Early Voting Begins Today in Virginia | Nvdaily
Early voting for the Nov. 2 election begins today in Virginia.
This is the second year that Virginia voters have been able to select their candidates early without needing a valid reason since the General Assembly passed a law that took effect last year.
Early voting will take place at voter registration points from Friday to October 30. At the sites, voters will fill out their ballot paper and enter it into a machine. Voting on the fly will also be offered.
In Shenandoah, Warren and Frederick counties, advance votes can be cast at local election offices.
In Warren County, this is the Office of Elections and Voter Registration, 465 W. 15th St., Suite 800. The office is open 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday and can be contacted at 540-635-4327.
“We are ready,” said Carol Tobin, Chief Electoral Officer and Registrar General for Warren County. The county has 29,119 registered voters including 9,937 registered with Front Royal.
In Shenandoah County, this is the Voting and Elections Department, 600 N. Main Street, Suite 103, Woodstock. The office is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and can be contacted at 540-459-6195.
“On Friday we are ready to roll,” said Lisa W. McDonald, Chief Electoral Officer and Registrar General for Shenandoah County. The county has 31,375 registered voters, including 5,377 in Strasbourg, 5,079 in Woodstock, 3,619 in New Market, 2,259 in Mount Jackson and 2,177 in Edinburgh.
In Frederick, it’s at the County Administration Building, 107 N. Kent St., Winchester, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding federal and state holidays. Last year, most of the county residents who voted early did so at a satellite location in Sunnyside Plaza, according to Frederick County Registrar of Electors Rich Venksoske, but that site will not be open this year. as it has been approved for one-time use by the Board of Directors. supervisors amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The three offices will also be open to early voting on October 23 and 30, the last two Saturdays before polling day.
Virginia law requires all voters to provide acceptable ID at polling stations or sign a Confirmation of Identity Statement. Those without proper identification can either sign an identity confirmation statement or vote provisionally. Voters who vote provisionally have until noon on the Friday following polling day to hand over a copy of their identity document to the electoral council of their locality.
Acceptable identification documents include:
• A driver’s license or identity card issued by Virginia DMV
• A valid US passport,
• an identity card issued by the government
• A valid college or university student card
• A public or private school identity card, an identity card with photo issued by the employer
• Any utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or any other official document bearing your name and address and not older than 12 months.
Postal ballots are also available. To apply, visit elections.virginia.gov. Applications must be received by a local registrar by 5:00 p.m. on October 22. Some emergencies, which are detailed on the website, allow a postal vote to be requested before 2 p.m. the day before election day.
The mail-in ballot request can be submitted online with a Department of Motor Vehicle ID, so that a signature can be matched, or delivered in person at a local poll registrar’s office. , by mail, fax or e-mail. A postal ballot will then be sent to the applicant.
Absentee ballots can then be returned to drop-off points or by mail. Drop off locations are accompanied by postal voting instructions.
Absentee ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than November 2 and received at the registrar’s office by noon on November 5.
Warren County had 515 mail-in vote requests as of Wednesday, Tobin said. Shenandoah County had nearly 500 mail-in vote requests as of Wednesday afternoon, McDonald said.
The pandemic and the convenience of voting outside of a specific day led to around 41% of Warren County’s votes at the start of the 2020 election, Tobin said. In Shenandoah County, McDonald’s said about 50% of the votes were cast early.
New this year is a law that was passed in March prohibiting a person from owning a firearm within 40 feet of a building used as a polling station, including the registrar’s offices. This includes one hour before and one hour after a building is used as a polling place.
Despite no evidence of widespread voter fraud in last year’s election, Tobin and McDonald spoke about its safety.
“We take this very seriously,” Tobin said of the oath taken by election workers to maintain the integrity of the process.
“There is always a system of checks and balances, throughout the process,” McDonald said. The machines are checked and several observers are in place, she said.
Tobin and McDonald have encouraged anyone who might have questions about the electoral process to volunteer to see how it goes.
In Warren County, two board seats and two school board seats are up for grabs. Special elections are also scheduled to fill vacant positions on the Front Royal School Board and City Council.
In Shenandoah County, three board seats and three school board seats are up for election. There is also a special election for a seat on the city council of the new market.
All seats in the Virginia House of Delegates are up for election.
Warren County is divided into three House Districts – the 15th, 18th and 29th. The 15th District includes the Districts of Fork and South River. The 18th District includes the Happy Creek District as well as the East Shenandoah and South River ridings. The 29th District includes the District of North River, as well as the ridings of Fork, Town and West Shenandoah.
All of Shenandoah County is in the 15th District.
Voters in Virginia will also choose a new governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.