As the 2020 Presidential race approaches the polls, here is what you need to know to ensure that your vote is cast.
The deadline to register to vote is Tuesday, October 13, 2020. If you plan on voting in the upcoming presidential election you will need to register by that date. If you register after that date, your application may not be processed in time to allow you to vote. If you have moved since the last time you voted, you will need to update your address. The deadline to do that is also October 13th. Once they receive your new address you will be notified of the correct voting precinct where you can vote on election day. You must go to your correct voting precinct on election day to be allowed to cast your ballot. To register or change your address you can go to your local registrar’s office or submit an application on the Virginia Department of Elections Website.
If you choose, you have the option to vote absentee. This means that your ballot will be cast before election day. You will not have to go to your polling location on election day to cast your ballot. There are two options to vote absentee. First, you can vote in person at the registrar’s office or another satellite location if available. The last day for in person absentee voting is Saturday, October 31, 2020. The second option is you can submit an application for a ballot to be mailed to you. To apply, the application can be found online, or you can pick one up at your local registrar’s office. You can submit that application online, by fax or email. The deadline to request an absentee ballot to be mailed to you is October 23, 2020. Ballots will be mailed out as early as 45 days before election day. All ballots must be received by the registrar’s office by 7:00pm on election day, or by noon 3 days after election day if it was mailed and postmarked on or before election day. Mailing it in is risky so the earlier the better.
On election day expect a lot of people and long lines. Be sure you have a photo ID with you to present to the poll workers. A photo ID is required to check you in so that you can receive a ballot. You can view a list of acceptable forms of ID online as well. If you are disabled and do not want to go inside the polling location, there is an option for curbside voting. You can drive up to the front of the polling location and one of the poll workers will come to you, get your ID to check you in, and bring you a ballot. They will ensure that your ballot is cast immediately, this way you don’t have to get out of your car!
The upcoming presidential election is an important election and I anticipate that it will be a busy one. Come prepared and well informed to vote on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.