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Votes

Editorial: How to Register, Vote, Vote Early

Don't sweat voter ID; voter registration card, current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or government check with name, address of voter will work.

Changes in Virginia's voter identification rules are causing confusion in many quarters, and some voters might be tempted to stay home rather than deal with a difficult situation. What about your 92-year-old mother who hasn't driven in almost a decade? Do you need to schlep her to the DMV to get her a photo ID before November?

Slow down, there are alternatives, including a current utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck indicating the name and address of the voter.

More Election Information

Fairfax County Board of Elections, 703-222-0776, www.fairfaxcounty...

12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, Suite 232, Fairfax, 22035; FAX 703-324-2205; email voting@fairfaxcou...

City of Fairfax General Registrar, 703-385-7890, http://www.fairfa...

10455 Armstrong Street, Sisson House, Fairfax, 22030; FAX 703-591-8364; email kevin.linehan@fai...

State Board of Elections, 804 864-8901, http://www.sbe.vi...

Toll Free: 800 552-9745

FAX: 804 371-0194

email: info@sbe.virginia...

Acceptable forms of identification include: Virginia voter identification card (due to arrive in the mail next week); current utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck indicating the name and address of the voter; valid Virginia driver's license; military ID; any Federal, Virginia state or local government-issued ID; employer issued photo ID card; concealed handgun permit; valid student ID issued by any institution of higher education located in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

How important is it for Virginia voters to turn out on or before Nov. 6? As a critical “battleground” state, Virginia will be key in determining who will be the next President of the United States. Who will represent Virginia in the U.S. Senate is also too close to call. Since polling shows that there are very few undecided voters in the Commonwealth, every eligible voter will want to be sure to cast a ballot. Turnout in Northern Virginia could determine who is president and which party controls the U.S. Senate.

This is a high-participating, politically engaged area.

Fairfax County, with a population of just more than 1.1 million people, has 717,105 registered voters as of Aug. 31, 2012.

And consider that in 2008, 79 percent of Fairfax County's registered voters turned out at the polls.

The City of Alexandria has a population of about 144,000 with 103,445 registered voters as of Aug. 31, 2012.

Arlington has a population of about 216,000 and 160,326 registered voters as of Aug. 31, 2012.

When you consider the sheer numbers of people likely to go to vote on Election Day, wouldn't it make sense to go and vote early?

Virtually every voter in Virginia is eligible to vote absentee, which includes voting in-person absentee at a variety of locations. Absentee voting began Sept. 21 and will continue through Nov. 2.

There are many reasons that voters are allowed to vote absentee, but the most broad of these applies to almost anyone with a job: “Any person who, in the regular and orderly course of his business, profession, or occupation, will be at his place of work and commuting to and from his home to his place of work for 11 or more hours of the 13 that the polls are open (6 a.m. to 7 p.m.).

See http://www.sbe.vi... for a complete list of acceptable reasons to vote absentee, links to download a request for an absentee ballot and other instructions.

You can download an absentee ballot and mail it to your local voter registration office, or you can vote “absentee in person.”

To vote on Election Day, you must be registered at your current address no later than Oct. 15, 2012. You can check your registration status online by going to www.sbe.virginia.gov. There you can also download a voter registration form and mail it to the elections office address, listed above.

Absentee Voting in Person, Fairfax County

  • Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 323, Fairfax, VA 22035

Absentee voting hours, Sept. 21-Oct. 16, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Thursdays: 8 a.m.-7 p.m.

Oct. 17-Nov. 2, Monday-Friday: 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Saturday Hours: Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27, Nov. 3: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Office Closed On: Monday, Oct. 8, 2012 (Columbus Day)

Last Day to Vote In-Person: Saturday, Nov. 3

Absentee Voting in Person, Fairfax County Satellite Locations

Voting in the following seven locations is available Oct. 17-Nov. 3, Monday-Friday, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

  • Franconia Governmental Center, 6121 Franconia Road, Alexandria, VA 22310
  • Dolley Madison Library, 1244 Oak Ridge Avenue, McLean, VA 22101
  • North County Human Services Building, 1850 Cameron Glen Drive, Reston, VA 20190
  • West Springfield Governmental Center, 6140 Rolling Road, Springfield, VA 22152
  • Mason Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA 22003
  • Mount Vernon Governmental Center, 2511 Parkers Lane, Alexandria, VA 22306
  • Sully Governmental Center, 4900 Stonecroft Boulevard, Chantilly, VA 20151