With eight days left for the Nov. 6 election, the Virginian State Board of Elections has been busy preparing each locality with information it needs to assure that the voting process is a smooth one for all Virginian voters. Hurricane Sandy has thrown uncertainty in the mix this week as she has been forecasted to be a big metrological event for most of the state–one in which Gov. Bob McDonnell has already called for a state of emergency.
So what does this mean for elections that will not take place for eight days? Virginia is still receiving absentee votes through the mail and voters may vote absentee in-person at a registrar’s office.
According to State Board of Elections Secretary Don Palmer, unless conditions render the voting process unsafe for general registrars and employees and voters, SBE encourages general registrars to keep the general registrar office open and to continue the in-person voting process.
“We have been instructed by the Virginia State Board of Elections to remain open,” said Chris Watkins, Louisa County general registrar. “If the county needs to close offices, Robert Dubé, county administrator, advised us to use our own discretion.”
The hours of operation for the registrar’s office is 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday and Saturday, Nov. 3 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Before making a trip to the registrar’s office, Watkins suggests that voters call to make sure the office is open at (540) 967-3427.
Watkins also reminds voters that if in doubt about your voter status, call the office now and get potential problems solved such as name changes, updating addresses and verifying polling precincts before heading to the polls. Communication with the registrar’s office may be difficult on election day if the switchboard is overwhelmed with calls.
Virginian voters should also be aware that they will vote on two Virginia Constitutional amendments in this election. Poll workers will not be able to explain the amendments. The only assistance they can offer is to read the amendment to the voter.
This year, voters will be required to supply an acceptable form of identification prior to voting, this does not mean it has to be a photo ID.
For anyone who has questions about this year’s ballot, voting process, status or precinct, call Watkins at (540) 967-3427 or visit www.sbe.virginia.gov.