Early voting starts Friday: Here’s what you need to know

Published 1:06 am Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Here in the region and across Virginia, it’s election season. Voters will have a chance to participate in the General Election on Tuesday, Nov. 7 at their local polling locations. Or for anyone looking to do their civic duty beforehand, early voting starts later this week. 

Beginning Friday, Sept. 22, early in-person voting will take place across the Commonwealth. Voters should make sure to bring a form of identification to the polling locations. Valid IDs include a driver’s license, U.S. Military ID, valid passport and current utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck containing the name and address of the voter. Voters can view other acceptable forms of identification at elections.virginia.gov. 

The last day to register to vote or make any changes, like a new address, needs to be done by Monday, Oct. 16. This can be done at the local registrar’s office or online at elections.virginia.gov. 

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For early voting, residents can do so from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday until Friday, Nov. 3. Polling locations will also be available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28 and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4, which is the last day to vote before Election Day. 

“Having early voting gives easy access and more time for people to come vote,” said Ginger L. Chiesa, general registrar for Buckingham County. “I’d say it saves the line on Election Day but we don’t have lines anymore because of early voting.”

Where is early voting taking place?

In Buckingham County, residents can come to early vote in the basement at the registrar’s office at 13360 W. James Anderson Highway. Cumberland will hold early voting at the Cumberland County Registrar’s Office at 1487 Anderson Highway. Prince Edward residents can come to the early voting room on the second floor of the courthouse at 124 N. Main St. Sample ballots can be found on each county’s website.

Now Prince Edward’s ballot could be a little confusing to people. The county is split, with some represented by the 9th Senate District and others by the 10th Senate District. The same is true for the House of Delegates, as some are represented by District 50 and others by District 60. So if you have different candidates on the ballot than your neighbor down the street, that’s because of where you live. 

“Prince Edward residents do have to vote for two separate candidates for the Senate of Virginia 9th and 10th Districts and the House of Delegates 50th and 60th Districts, as the candidate depends on where in the county you live,” said Lynette Wright, general registrar for Prince Edward. 

What about absentee ballots?

Those interested in absentee voting need to request their absentee ballot by 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27. On Election Day, anyone who no longer wants to mail in their ballot can use the drop-off box or bring it inside when they come to vote in person. Mailed ballots must be postmarked on or before election day and received by noon on Monday, Nov. 13, to count.