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Election Officials Bust Rumors

FARMVILLE – Inaccurate voter registration information has become something of a national problem ahead of the November election.

Prince Edward County Voter Registrar Dale Bolt said he has had questions from residents about re-registering to vote.

“They told me they needed to register again, but I don't know how they knew that, why they said that,” Bolt said.

But he did know the answer.

“I said, 'No, there's no requirement; as long as you have a voting record and haven't moved you never have to re-register,'” he said.

“But if they're in doubt, they want to know, instead of registering just come and call us and we can tell them,” the registrar advised. “That's the easiest way if you want to know, to be sure.”

Bolt said that all registered voters will receive new voter cards in the mail, probably in September.

“So if they don't get a voter card when those new ones come out then it's a problem with either delivery at that address, or it's a problem, something like that, they might want to check,” he said.

If you don't get your new voter card, call the voter registrar's office.

Bolt admitted that attempts by political operatives in the presidential campaign are “possible,” but said the State Board of Elections, “this time, as opposed to 2008, seems to be more prepared for these kinds of things. They are taking a proactive look at all that and trying to contact anybody who's actually doing voter drives and things like that.

“They came up with new guidelines to make sure that we don't have some of the problems we had in 2008-people taking applications and not turning them in on time and that kind of thing… So they are trying to be proactive and let people know everything that's going on, too, so they can be aware of it,” said Bolt.

“I hope that that will cut down on some of the problems, come closer time to the election, but once you get past the deadline or Election day,” he warned, “it's too late to do anything about it.”

The State Board of Elections demonstrated its verve by issuing a “rumor buster” alert to underscore the falsehood in mass emails claiming people needed to re-register for the presidential election.

“The State Board of Elections is aware of incorrect information circulating via mass emails stating that voters who have not voted since the 2008 General Election must re-register to vote 25 days prior to Election Day, November 6, 2012 in order to be eligible to vote. This information is false. There is absolutely no requirement to re-register in Virginia. Voters are not removed from the rolls solely for the reason of not voting; however, it is recommended that voters check their registration status to ensure it is current,” the State Board of Elections announced in a special press release.

For those who are not registered, the deadline to do so and vote in the November election is October 15, which is 21 days prior to the election.