Are You Registered to Vote? If Not, Here's What to Do 

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Time is running short for anyone who needs to register to vote in the Nov. 8 national and local elections.

The registration deadline is 5 p.m. Monday to sign up at your city or county voter registrar office or a designated satellite location. Eligible Virginians can register online until 11:59 p.m. Monday on the state Department of Elections website.

People already registered but unsure of their status or who want to know what’s on their ballot can check their records on the state website under the “registration” tab. To register in Virginia, you must be 18 by Nov. 8, a state resident and U.S. citizen. Anyone with a felony conviction is forbidden to register unless the governor has restored his or her voting rights.

Meanwhile, absentee voting has already begun. Virginia does not allow early voting for everyone but has numerous exceptions.

Firefighters, police officers and other first responders can vote early, as can active-duty members of the military and merchant mariners. College students away at school or anyone who would be out of town Nov. 8 for business or vacation can do the same. Anyone who is pregnant, has a disability or needs to care for an ailing relative can vote absentee. A complete list is posted on the state website.

Absentee voting is a two-step process. A voter first must apply for a ballot and then return the ballot to their city or county voter registrar before election day.

An absentee ballot has to be received by registrars by Nov. 1. to allow time to process and send a ballot. An absentee ballot can be requested in person until Nov. 5.

The completed ballot then has to be back in a registrar’s hands before the polls close at 7 p.m. Nov. 8.

For more information, state election officials can be reached weekdays between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. at 800-552-9745 (select Option 1).


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