VOTING IN THE NOV. 3 GENERAL ELECTION:   Some New Procedures

VOTING IN THE NOV. 3 GENERAL ELECTION:  

Some New Procedures

There will be 3 ways to vote in the Nov. General Election.  In essence, these three ways have existed for a number of years. There have been some modifications.

1. On Election Day you may go to you your assigned polling place and cast your ballot, as you always have. As always, curbside voting (voting from your car) is available if you are ill, have health concerns, would have difficulty standing in line, have other disabilities, or are over 64.

You may also vote Absentee by Mail and In-Person before Election Day.  Although this is very similar to what we have done for a number of years, some differences exist.  We have summarized the procedures here and if you click on Absentee and Early Voting, you will receive many more details from State Department of Elections.

2. To vote in person before Election Day, a process that is called Early Voting In-Person, the easiest way is first to make sure that you are properly registered to vote.  Then simply go the the General Registrar’s Office, 600 N. Main Street, Suite 103, Woodstock, VA 22664, indicate that you are there to vote, and you will go through a process very similar to what you would do in person on Election Day.

(Please note that this procedure was established by the General Assembly with the Approval of the Governor in the last regular legislative session.) Again, curbside voting (voting from your car) also is available for Early Voting In-Person,  if you are ill, have health concerns, would have difficulty standing in line, have other disabilities, or are over 64.

3. To vote Absentee, you simply apply for a ballot and it will be mailed to you.  You do not have to provide a reason to vote absentee by mail. This is different from what we have done in the past.   You do have to fill out all required information and sign it appropriately. Another difference, however, is that you are not required to have a witness signature, if you think that you can not get one safely. (Again, this procedure was established by the General Assembly with the Approval of the Governor in the last regular legislative session.)

Then you either return it by mail or deliver it personally to the Registrar or a Registrar’s agent at the Registrar’s office or deliver it to a Drop Box at the Registrar’s Office. If you plan to do this it may be simpler to vote early at the Registrar’s office.  No absentee application, no concerns about the mail, no concerns about signatures, or returning the ballot.

You will also have the option to devliver your voted Absentee Ballot to a Drop Box at a Precinct Polling Place on Election Day.  You will not, however either be able to put your Absentee Ballot directly into an OVI Scanner.

Absentee Ballots dropped off at a Polling Place or the Registrar’s Office will be processed exactly like Absentee Ballots that arrive by mail.

If you decide to vote curbside either at the polls or when voting early at the Registrar’s Office, you can be assured that the Election Official(s) who return your ballot to the polling place will immediate vote your ballot in the appropriate OVI Scanner.

This link will take you to the State Electoral Board discussion of  ABSENTEE AND EARLY VOTING

This link will take you to the Online Application for Absentee Voting by Mail

 CITIZEN PORTAL

When you click on the portal you will see 4 green buttons.  To register to vote online you need a valid Virginia DMV drivers license or a valid Virginia state ID card.  With the license or card you can register to vote online by pushing the first  green button.  (The buttons on this page are not links to the citizen portal.  You must click above to get to active green buttons on the VA Dept of Elections Page).   You may also apply to vote absentee by mail on line if you have the above IDs. Simply go to the Citizen Portal and click the fourth green button

You do not need a drivers license or a state ID to check your registration status, the status of your Absentee Ballot by Mail or Early Voting.  Just go to the Portal and click Check Registration Status. First you see your registration status.  Then if  you scroll down you will see your vote Absentee by Mail information.  Actually this is your vote Absentee by Mail and Early Voting Information.

The box below gives RM’s absentee voting record in VA, and is used with his permission.  The top line shows that he requested an absentee ballot for the  2020 Republican Primary in April;  he requested the ballot before it  could be mailed.   The ballot was issued exactly 45 days before the primary.  If you request your absentee ballot before mid September then will be a delay between its approval and receipt and when it is mailed.  (If your absentee voting record shows that your ballot has been mailed before Sept. 18th, it is probably incorrect.)

So if you have already applied for an absentee ballot for the Nov. election, the box would show when the ballot was received and show that it was approved.  It would not have a date for ballot issued because it will not necessarily be issued before Sept. 18.

Notice that his absentee ballot was not received.  He did not return the ballot.  He decided to vote in his precinct.  He took his  unopened absentee ballot with him on voting day.  He returned it to an Election Official and was issued a new ballot.  If he had tried to vote and did not have his unused absentee ballot with him,  he would have had to sign a legal statement that he had not voted the ballot and he would have been given a provisional ballot.  When the Electoral Board and Registrar checked whether he had voted, they could found that he had not voted.  His provisional ballot would have counted.

If he had falsely signed a statement that he had not voted,(in other words his original absentee ballot had been returned to the registrar’s office), his provisional ballot would have not been counted.  Moreover, legal authorities would been told, and he would have been subject to felony prosecution.

The other 3 vote absentee by mail lines show that the approved application was received, the ballot issued, and that he voted on the same day.  This was not Absentee by mail; rather it was Absentee in Person, which is now early voting and does not require an absentee application.

Click the first green button to register and the fourth green button to apply for an Absentee Mail Ballot.