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Voters targeted with false information on ability to vote by phone

Posted on Friday, October 12, 2012 at 2:01 pm

From the office of The Virginia State Board of Elections
The Virginia State Board of Elections (SBE) is aware that some Virginia voters, particularly older Virginians, are receiving phone calls from unidentified individuals informing voters that they can vote over the phone.  This information is false. Virginia law does not permit voting through the telephone. Apart from voting at the polls on Election Day, eligible Virginians may vote an absentee ballot by mail or in-person at the registrar’s office or other authorized satellite location. However, voting cannot be done via the phone, email, or any other means than absentee voting by mail and in-person during the absentee voting period or on Election Day.

At this point in time, it is unclear how widespread these calls have been. However, SBE has received several complaints over the past few days.

These calls may violate several state and federal laws and the State Board of Elections will alert appropriate law enforcement authorities   regarding this matter and provide new information if SBE receives additional voter complaints. 

We encourage any voter who receives a call matching this description to ask for the name, phone number, and organization from where the individual is calling. We then ask voters to contact the State Board of Elections at 1-800-552-9745 and provide a staff member with that information.


Registration deadlines

The deadline to apply to register to vote in Virginia for the November 6, 2012 General Election is Monday, October 15th. Monday is also the deadline for voters to make any changes to their registration record before the election, including any change of address or name change.  Virginia residents are encouraged to check their registration status and polling place on the State Board of Elections website, by calling their local registrar’s office, or by calling the State Board of Elections toll free at 1-800-552-9745. 

Voter registration applications must be postmarked no later than October 15, 2012 at 5:00 pm.  Applications are available at the local general registrar’s office, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and are downloadable on the Virginia State Board of Election’s website. Applicants should allow their general registrar reasonable time to process their registration application since registration volume is currently very high and it may take longer than usual to process the application and mail the voter registration card.

An application to vote by absentee ballot may also be submitted and can be requested from your local general registrar or obtained from the Virginia State Board of Elections website.  Applicants must list a qualifying reason for voting absentee.  Absentee applications being mailed or faxed to the general registrar’s office must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 30th.  Absentee applications may be completed in person at the general registrar’s office no later than Saturday, November 3rd.   The registration and voting deadline for military and military dependent voters using the Federal Write-In Absentee ballot (FWAB) is November 6, 2012.

Once cast, absentee ballots are final. Absentee voters cannot change their mind and vote again.  In order to be counted, voted absentee ballots must be received by the time the polls close on Tuesday, November 6th at 7:00 pm.

To obtain a voter registration application or an application to vote absentee go to the Virginia State Board of Elections web site or call 1-800-552-9745.