Election Time Is Drawing Near In Virginia, And In Order To Vote, You Must Register
Warm Springs, VA – Election time is drawing near in Virginia and in order to vote you must register. And keep in mind that the deadline to register is in October. Bath County’s General Registrar, Charles Garrett.
“Well there’s a big election coming up in November and there’s still plenty of time to register to vote, but we’re running out of time,” says Garrett. “The deadline is October 17th, to get registered. If you don’t have your registration in this office, or in your local Registrar’s office by then, then you will not be able to vote in the November election.”
If you want to register, there’s a short form to fill out. You can go to your local Registrar’s office and register in person. Or contact the office to have the form mailed to you and then you can mail it back after you’ve completed it.
“This is probably is a good opportunity for me to dispel a common myth,” says Garrett. “One of the things we hear, the reason people don’t want to register is because they don’t want to serve on jury duty.”
“In Virginia now, you can get called for jury duty if you have a drivers’ license, if you register a vehicle, if you pay personal property taxes, they can get that list of names from lots of different places. So registering to vote doesn’t increase your chances of being on a jury at all. And if you don’t register you can’t vote.”
You can also get the form and register to vote at other locations, such as a DMV office.
“They will offer you the option to register to vote when you have just about any transaction at a regular DMV,” says Garrett. “But you can change your address, you can register to vote, anything like that through the DMV.”
“And there are other places too. I understand you can pick up the standard registration form at WalMart. And before the elections different organizations have registration drives. All of the registrations eventually end up for Bath County residents in this office, no matter where they come from.”
Some redistricting has recently taken place in Bath County as a result of the census. All of Bath is now in House of Delegates District 24, not District 12. And due to population changes, one small section of Cedar Creek voters are now in the Warm Springs district. In the next couple of weeks, every voter in Bath County will receive a new Voter Card. The cards are being mailed from Richmond. Bath voters should check their new cards to see which magisterial district they are in and where they will vote.
If you’re a registered voter and don’t think you can make it to the polls on Tuesday November 8th, you can apply for an absentee ballot.
“If you’re going off to school or your know you’re going to have a vacation or you have the kind of work where your work schedules can make it difficult for you to vote, there’s a wide list of reasons that are acceptable for absentee ballots,” says Garrett. “You can apply for the absentee ballot now. Then when they come out in late September we’ll start mailing them out. Once you’re registered you can apply for an absentee ballot right up to the Saturday before the election.”
For more information about voting, contact the Bath Registrar’s office at 839-7266.