Bath GR/DoE talks about Spring through Fall

As we move a little closer to the season of large outdoor gatherings, park festivals, and politicians on the stump, Bath County Director of Elections and General Registrar, Charles Garratt updated listeners on how things are shaping up.  He started with state level races, which affect the wider area, but we only recently learned, not Bath.

“Parties around the state had called for June primaries had called for June primaries for all of the Virginia House of Delegates seats, and all the Virginia Senate seats.  We are in the 24th House district, and the 25th Senate District.  Once the primaries are called, then candidates have to apply to run in the primary.  They apply through the parties, and that gets reported to the state.  Once of the interesting things about primaries is there are no write-ins allowed, so if there is only one candidate, there’s no point in holding a primary.  And as it turns out for the 24th House of Delegates, and the 25th Senate, only one person qualified for each of the primaries.  So Bath County does not have a June primary.  And you’re still going to see ads for June primary candidates.  Our neighboring counties have primaries, so you’ll see media saying ‘Vote on June 11th’ but in Bath county the polls will not be open.  We have no primary.”

Next Charles shared what anyone considering throwing his or her hat into the arena needs to know.

“Our big local election is this coming November.  All of the constitutional offices except Clerk of the Court, will be on the ballot.  The clerk was elected four years ago for an eight year term.  Everybody else was elected for four year terms.  All of the districts of the board of supervisors; all of the districts of the school board, the treasurer, the commissioner of revenue, sheriff and two soil and water positions are all on the ballot in November.  The deadline to get your name on the ballot for November, is you have to have all your paperwork completed and in this office by June 11th.  That includes a number of different candidate information forms,  qualification and declaration of candidate, statement of economic interest, things like that.  There’s more paperwork than you might guess.  And you have to collect signatures which you’ve probably already seen people passing petitions around, and then all that has to be turned in and checked here to get on the ballot.  So far we have about half a dozen candidates qualified already.”

And even if you have no interest in representing your community, Charles reminded everyone to make sure your information as a voter is up to date.  The DMV is one place to check, but your local voter registration office has your most up to date information.

“You can it all correctly done  but when you’re at the DMV office, pay attention to the screens; pay attention to the forms that are coming to us.  If you haven’t moved, or you haven’t changed anything in your voter registration, you don’t have to submit something at the DMV.  They’ll ask..  They’re required by law to ask you, so if they ask you ‘Do you want to update your voter registration, or register to vote, you can say ‘No”.  If you’ve been in the same house for twenty years, and you’ve voted regularly and you know you’re registered.”

In Bath County,   the Voter registration office is in the Courthouse in Warm Springs.  More information about local offices is available as well on

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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