Virginia Tech students in quarantine, isolation due to COVID-19 still able to vote on Election Day

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — For Hokies who are either under quarantine or in isolation on campus due to the coronavirus, in-person voting is not an option for Election Day 2020, but Virginia Tech is still offering a way for these students to cast their ballots on Tuesday.

Anyone who already registered to vote in Montgomery County was allowed to apply for an emergency absentee ballot. Therefore, on Tuesday, Nov. 3, students whose applications are approved will receive a paper ballot to cast their vote from campus.

According to an announcement from Virginia Tech on Sunday, Nov. 1, the university’s Housing and Residence Life and the Dean of Students Office are modifying the voting process for students staying in New Hall West or East Eggleston Hall, which serve as the campus designated quarantine and isolation spaces.

As of Sunday, Virginia Tech says 91 students were living in these spaces.

“We do have very civically engaged students,” said Amanda Eagan, assistant director for Housing and Residence Life. “It is important to provide a service to students that I would want provided to me if I was stuck in isolation or quarantine.”

In order to vote, students were required to request a ballot application from Housing and Residence Life by noon on Monday, Nov. 2. Afterward, a representative from that office was set to deliver applications to students’ rooms and collect the completed applications, which would then be delivered to the Montgomery County General Registrar of Elections by staff from the Dean of Students Office.

On Tuesday, Virginia Tech says voting students will be assigned a designated time to walk outside to the tables in front of New Hall West or East Eggleston so they can fill out absentee ballots, which will be delivered back to the Montgomery County General Registrar to be counted in the election.

“There are a lot of steps that go into them getting to vote, but we are excited that it’s an option,” Eagan said.

As for the students in quarantine or isolation who already received absentee ballots from their hometowns, Housing and Residence Life representatives also helped these students mail the ballots back to their localities, according to Eagan.

“We want to give our students the opportunity to show up,” said Sean Grube, director of Housing and Residence Life.

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