OPINION — Have you voted yet?

Published 8:01 am Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Last November, Virginians elected a GOP majority in the House and the first Republican governor in over a decade. Last year’s historic election proved that participation in our elections is one of the most important responsibilities every Virginian has.

To that end, early voting began Sept. 23 for the 2022 midterm elections. Under Virginia law, you can vote early at your local registrar’s office beginning 45 days before Election Day and ending the Saturday before Election Day. Before visiting your local registrar’s office, you may wish to check your registration status or call your registrar’s office. To vote early in-person, do the following:

• Starting 45 days before Election Day, visit your local registrar’s office or a satellite voting location in your county or city to vote early. Remember, the Saturday before Election Day is the last day to vote early.

• You do not have to have a reason or fill out an application to vote early.

• At the registrar’s office or satellite voting location, you must provide your name and address and show an acceptable form of ID or sign an ID Confirmation Statement. To view a complete list of acceptable IDs, please visit our page. If acceptable identification is not provided, you must sign an ID Confirmation Statement or a provisional ballot will be offered and you are allowed until the Friday at noon following the election to provide a copy of acceptable identification to the electoral board or sign an ID Confirmation Statement. Provisional voters receive a notice to remind them of the deadline and right to attend the electoral board meeting.

• Accessible equipment and/or curbside voting is available upon request.

If you are unable to vote early in person ,or in person on Election Day you may currently apply for an mail-in ballot for the 2022 election. Instructions for applying for a mail in ballot can be found on the Virginia Department of Elections website.

More about the tax rebate

If you missed last week’s newsletter, I would like to remind you about Virginia’s 2022 tax rebate.  Starting September 19, taxpayers can go to tax.virginia.gov/rebate and check their eligibility for this one-time tax rebate. We are processing the rebates “first in/first out.” Those who filed by July 1 should expect their rebate to arrive in late October. Those who file between July 1 and November 1 will receive their rebate within 4 months of their file date.

Taxpayers who received a state tax refund by direct deposit this year will likely receive their one-time tax rebate by direct deposit in the same bank account. All other eligible taxpayers will receive their rebate by paper check in the mail.

If a taxpayer owes money to Virginia Tax, or another state or local agency, the Commonwealth will use their tax rebate to satisfy that debt before sending the taxpayer the remainder of the rebate (along with contact information for the agency that was owed).

In the event a taxpayer owes more than the amount of the one-time tax rebate, Virginia Tax will send the taxpayer a letter explaining the use of the rebate toward the debt as well as contact information for the agency that was owed.

In the weeks ahead as the 2023 Virginia General Assembly session is scheduled to begin in January, I will be in Richmond working with my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee. Along with the Senate Finance Committee we will craft any changes that are needed in the $59 billion budget for the second year of the biennium.

In addition to my budgetary duties, I have begun crafting several pieces of legislation to file in the 2023 session which I believe will tackle issues important to the Commonwealth. I look forward to sharing more details of my legislative package with you in future newsletters.

Del. C. Matthew Fariss represents Buckingham in the Virginia House of Delegates. His email address is DelMFariss@house.virginia.gov.