Virginia Absentee Ballots Require Witness Signature

Many Virginia voters don’t realize that a witness signature for absentee ballots is a requirement again for the upcoming November 2 election.  Voting-rights groups are reminding folks to include them to be counted in what many are calling a pivotal election.  Diane Bernard from Virginia News Connection has more.

“With Virginia’s general election just a few weeks away, voting-rights groups are urging Virginians to make sure their absentee ballots include a witness signature,” says Bernard. “Hundreds of absentee ballots have poured into the state’s Department of Elections without these required signatures. Jim Dau with Virginia AARP says the witness requirement was waived in 2020 and for this past summer’s primary elections because Virginia was under a state of emergency during the pandemic. But the declaration ended June 30th.”

“The confusion among voters is understandable,” says Dau.  “The Virginia Department of Elections said last week that if a ballot is missing a witness signature, the voter will be contacted within three days of receipt by the local voter-registration office and asked to correct it.”

Dau sys voters have until 12 noon on November 5th to fix their ballot so it can be counted,” says Bernard. “Pundits are looking closely at Virginia’s November 2 election for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and state delegates.  As one of just two states holding major statewide elections, many are viewing the Commonwealth’s results as a guide to what to expect in next year’s national mid-terms.”

“As the pandemic continues, many Virginia voters may choose to vote by mail or vote early in-person,” says Bernard.  “Dau reminds folks they need to get absentee ballots in as soon as possible as the final day to submit one is October 22nd. He thinks the importance of voting can’t be overstated — he says it’s the most powerful way individuals can demand accountability from our elected officials.”

“After what we’ve seen in this country over the past however many years, we’ve become increasingly divided,” says Dau.  “Hopefully by looking at elections as an opportunity to evaluate candidates based on their positions and policy solutions, I think we’ll find as a people that there’s a lot more that unites us than divides us.”

The Virginia governor’s race between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin is neck and neck, and experts say enough voters seem undecided that either side could win,” says Bernard.  For more information on casting a ballot, go to the Virginia Department of Elections web site.”

For Virginia News Connection, I’m Diane Bernard.


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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