This year’s elections are extremely important. But, it’s pretty easy to make your voice heard in the November 6 elections. Virginia voters have multiple options to ensure their votes are counted. With two weeks to go before Election Day, you have three ways to make sure your vote – and the votes of your family and friends – counts.
If you know you will be unable to make it to the polls on November 6, you have two ways to make sure you still get to vote and that your vote will be counted. The first is to have an absentee ballot mailed to you. The State Board of Elections has a webpage set up to help you cast your ballot by mail. To get there, you can either click here or go to the State Board of Elections website at www.sbe.virginia.gov and click on the link near the top of the page that says “Can’t Vote on Election Day? Vote Absentee.” The site explains the rules for absentee voting in Virginia. To make it even quicker, you can obtain an official Virginia Absentee Ballot Application Form by clicking here. The form, including instructions, can be printed on your home printer. Just complete the form and mail it to your local registrar. You will find the correct address for your local registrar on the form instructions, or you can locate it by clicking here. The absentee ballot application form must be received at your local registrar by 5:00 PM on Tuesday, October 30th, 2012.
Registrar’s offices across the Commonwealth have been very quick at processing these applications, and you should receive your ballot in a few days. If you’d rather not wait for the mail, you can vote absentee at your local registrar’s office. Just call your local voter registrar to find out when and where you can cast an in-person absentee ballot. Then, take your completed Virginia Absentee Ballot Application Form with you and cast your ballot right there. The last day to vote absentee in-person is November 3, 2012.
Of course, most Virginians in this election will cast their ballots at their regular polling place. If you’re unsure where your polling place is, the location is printed on the official Voter Registration Card you received in the mail. If you can’t immediately locate that card, find your polling place by clicking here and filling in your address on the online form. The form will tell you exactly where you vote. New this year is that voters will have to provide a form of identification in order for their vote to count. Your ID could be a driver’s license, a voter registration card, a student ID, or even a current utility bill. For a complete list of acceptable forms of ID, click here. Remember, polling places inVirginia are open for 13 hours on Election Day, opening at 6:00 a.m. and closing at 7:00 p.m.
It’s hard to remember elections with more at stake than this year’s, which will determine our nation’s direction for generations to come. Virginia is now considered a “swing state,” so an entire nation – and most of the world – will be anxiously waiting after the polls close on November 6 to hear how you voted.