NAACP Culpeper #7058

Also Serving Madison and Rappahannock Counties

Tag: Absentee Ballot

New Guidance on Absentee Ballots

New Guidance on Absentee Ballots

 

Over the first few days of early voting, a number of Virginians who had previously requested absentee ballots but had not received those ballots appeared at registrar’s offices and satellite locations across the Commonwealth to vote in person. The statute governing this situation, Va. Code § 24.2-708(B), was unclear, so we sought clarification.As the ELECT guidance explains “[i]f the voter states either they have not received their mail ballot or have lost their mail ballot,” the voter should be directed to sign SBE-708 (the “Gold Form”) and be allowed to vote a regular ballot after doing so. Please confirm that your registrar has seen this guidance and is in conformity with it.

(NB: This only applies to the early voting period; on Election Day, the voter must cast a provisional ballot. However, unlike other provisional ballots that require the voter to take further action to “cure” an issue, these provisional ballots will automatically convert into a regular ballot once the locality’s electoral board confirms that the absentee ballot was not cast.)

Additionally, the guidance notes that “it is not appropriate for election officials to question a voter who states that they have not received or lost their mail ballot.” So long as the voter “has [1] applied for and has [2] been sent an absentee ballot,” § 24.2-708(B) applies if “for any reason . . . [the voter] does not receive the ballot[.]”

If a voter has received their previously requested absentee ballot but prefers to vote in person, they should bring the ballot with them to the early voting location to exchange for a regular ballot. If they do not bring the ballot with them, they will have to vote a provisional ballot—but that provisional will automatically convert after the electoral board confirms the absentee ballot was not cast.

Questions? Please contact your local Registrar https://vote.elections.virginia.gov/VoterInformation/PublicContactLookup

How to Vote in the 2020 Election

There are three different ways you can vote this year!

What’s your plan?

 

1 Vote by Mail

Click here to apply online to vote absentee by mail. The deadline to apply is Oct. 23.

 

2 Vote Early In-person

You can vote early at your local registrar’s office beginning Sept. 18 and ending Oct. 31. To check that you are registered to vote, click here. To find the location and hours for early voting in your county,  call your local registrar’s office, click here. You do not have to have a reason or fill out an application to vote early. You will need to show an acceptable form of ID or sign an ID Confirmation Statement. To view a complete list of acceptable IDs, click here. Accessible equipment and/or curbside voting is available upon request.

 

3 Vote In-Person on Election Day

The polls will be open from 6 AM until 7 PM on November 3. Find your polling location here.

 

Need more help? Call the Virginia Department of Elections (804) 864-8901

Absentee Ballot Alert

In the last two weeks, many Virginia voters received absentee ballot applications in the mail even though they didn’t request one. This was done by a non-partisan organization whose intent was to increase voter turnout.

The easiest and most secure way to request an absentee ballot is to go online to the Virginia Dept. of Elections website – LINK:

vote.elections.virginia.gov/voterinformation

The Virginia Department of Elections has a dedicated Citizens Portal for all matters related to voting and elections. You can register to vote, update your voter registration information, and verify the correct addresses of your registrar’s office and your polling location. Most importantly, to protect our election, we encourage you to use this secure channel to apply online to vote by mail in the November 3, 2020, General Election.

If you have already applied for an absentee ballot and are wondering why you haven’t received it yet, the first day that absentee ballots will be mailed to voters is September 18, 2020. No need to submit a new application–just track the status of your application using the Citizens Portal.

After you complete your ballot and mail it back to be counted, track the status of your ballot using the Citizens Portal. The return envelope has a tracking label unique to your voter registration information to protect your vote.

While the Virginia Department of Elections has no official affiliation or coordination with any third-party group, it has issued an official statement letting voters know that if you used a third party to mail your application, any applications that arrive in the wrong locality’s office will be forwarded immediately to the correct registrar’s office for processing.

 

Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy
1716 E. Franklin Street
Richmond, VA 23223

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