What’s on the Ballot; How to Vote

What’s on the Ballot; How to Vote

Election Day is Nov. 4, 2014, but you can vote as early as Sept. 19.

Every year is Election Year in Virginia. This year, every Virginia voter will choose one member of the U.S. Senate and their member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Two of Northern Virginia’s three house seats are open seats with the retirement of two longstanding members, Jim Moran (D-8) and Frank Wolf (R-10).

This area has very high rates of voter registration, but voter turnout varies significantly from year to year. For example, two years ago in 2012, a presidential election year, 71.78 percent of Virginia registered voters turned out to vote. But in 2010, more comparable to this year, only 44.01 percent of Virginia registered voters turned out to vote.

In Fairfax County, with a population around 1,130,900, there are 713,025 registered voters as of July 1, 2014, up from 676,802 in 2012. (Population data from U.S. Census and voter data from Virginia Department of Elections.)

In Alexandria, with a population of about 148,900, there are 97,883 total registered voters as of July 1, 2014. That’s down from 101,887 total registered voters as of July 2, 2012.

In Arlington, with a population of about 224,900, there are 162,100 total registered voters as of July 1, 2014, up from 157, 236 on July 2, 2012.

REGISTER, CHANGE OF ADDRESS: In order to vote on Election Day, you must be registered at your current address no later than Oct. 13, 2014. You can check your registration status online by going to www.sbe.virginia.gov.

Voting Early, Absentee

Virtually every voter in Virginia is eligible to vote absentee, which includes voting in-person absentee at a variety of locations between Sept. 19 and Nov. 1.

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 eleven or more hours of the thirteen that the polls are open (6 a.m. to 7 p.m.).

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

In person absentee voting begins at Fairfax County Governmental Center beginning Sept. 19.

Office of Elections, 12000 Government Center Pkwy, Conf. Rooms 2/3, Fairfax, 22035

Sept. 19 - Oct. 10: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday - 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Thursdays: 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Oct. 14 - Oct. 31, Monday thru Friday - 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Saturdays, Sept. 27, Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25 and Nov. 1, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Closed Monday, Oct. 13 for Columbus Day

Satellite Voting Locations Begin Friday Oct. 14

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

Monday - Friday, Oct. 14 - 31, 3:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Saturdays, Sept. 27, Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25 and Nov. 1, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Closed Monday, Oct. 13 for Columbus Day

For more, call 703-222-0776 or visit http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/elections/absentee.htm

What’s on the Ballot?

Every voter in Virginia will vote for U.S senator and their member in the U.S. House of Representatives.

One constitutional question will appear on all Virginia ballots, Proposed Constitutional Amendment - Question: Shall the Constitution of Virginia be amended to allow the General Assembly to exempt from taxation the real property of the surviving spouse of any member of the armed forces of the United States who was killed in action, where the surviving spouse occupies the real property as his or her principal place of residence and has not remarried?

U.S. Senate

One-term incumbent Sen. Mark R. Warner (D) is challenged by Republican Ed W. Gillespie and Libertarian Robert C. Sarvis.

Republican Ed W. Gillespie, www.edforsenate.com

Democrat Mark R. Warner, www.markwarnerva.com

Libertarian Robert C. Sarvis, www.robertsarvis.com

The 8th District is an open seat because of the retirement of incumbent Rep. Jim Moran (D), who was elected in 1990. Democrat Donald S. Beyer Jr. will face Republican Micah K. Edmond plus three independent candidates. The 8th district includes all of Alexandria and Arlington, plus parts of Fairfax County including Mount Vernon, Lorton and parts of McLean, Tysons and Falls Church.

In the 10th District, an open seat was created by the retirement of Frank Wolf (R), who was elected to office in 1982. Both major party candidates are elected officials from McLean, with Republican Barbara Comstock, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, facing Democrat John Foust, a member of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. The 10th district sprawls from McLean to Winchester, and includes Great Falls, Chantilly, parts of Fairfax Station, the Town of Clifton, part of Burke and Springfield.

In the 11th District, Gerry Connolly (D), former chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, elected to congress in 2008, will face Republican Suzanne K. Scholte and two independent candidates.

In Fairfax County, all voters will vote yes or no for more money for transportation projects.

Transportation Improvements Bond Question: Shall the Board of Supervisors contract a debt, borrow money and issue bonds of Fairfax County, Virginia, in addition to bonds previously authorized for transportation improvements and facilities, in the maximum aggregate principal amount of $100,000,000 for the purpose of providing funds to finance the cost of constructing, reconstructing, improving and acquiring transportation facilities, including improvements to primary and secondary State highways, improvements related to transit, improvements for pedestrians and bicycles, and ancillary related improvements and facilities?

In the City of Fairfax, voters will also vote on an advisory Referendum regarding length of term for Offices of Mayor, City Council and School Board, and whether the term of office should be increased from two years to four years.

New Voter Identification Requirements

As of this summer, there are new requirements for voter identification that voters must bring with them to the polling place.

Virginia law requires all voters to provide an acceptable form of photo identification at the polls. Voters arriving to the polls without photo ID will be allowed to vote a provisional ballot and will have until noon on the Friday after the election to deliver a copy of identification to their locality’s electoral board in order for their provisional ballot to be counted.

Virginia’s photo ID requirements also apply to absentee voters who vote in-person in all elections.

Here are the “acceptable” forms of identification:

  • Valid Virginia Driver’s License or Identification Card

  • Valid Virginia DMV issued Veteran’s ID card

  • Valid United States Passport

  • Other government-issued photo identification cards (must be issued by US Government, the Commonwealth of Virginia, or a political subdivision of the Commonwealth

  • Valid college or university student photo identification card, must be from an institution of higher education located in Virginia.

  • Employee identification card containing a photograph of the voter and issued by an employer of the voter in the ordinary course of the employer’s business

  • or a Virginia Voter Photo ID Card obtained through any local general registrar’s office

“Valid” is defined as a genuine document, bearing the photograph of the voter, and is not expired for more than 12 months.

A voter who does not bring an acceptable photo ID to the polls will be offered a provisional ballot.

Don’t Have One of These?

Any registered voter who does not possess one of the above mentioned forms of photo ID, may apply for a free Virginia Voter Photo Identification from any general registrar’s office in the Commonwealth. Voters applying for the Virginia Voter Photo ID Card will have to complete the Virginia Voter Photo Identification Card Application, have their picture taken, and sign the digital signature pad. Once the application is processed, the card will be mailed directly to the voter.

Provisional Ballot Process

A voter who arrives at the polling place without an acceptable form of photo identification will be given the opportunity to vote a provisional ballot. After completing the provisional ballot, the individual voting will be given written instructions from the election officials on how to submit a copy of his/her identification so that his/her vote can be counted.

A voter will have until noon on the Friday following the election to deliver a copy of the identification to the local electoral board. Voters may submit a copy of their ID via fax, email, in-person submission, or through USPS or commercial delivery service. Please note that the copy of the ID must be delivered to the electoral board by noon on Friday, or the provisional ballot cannot be counted. A Friday postmark will not be sufficient. Written notice given to the voter will provide the necessary information, including email, fax, and address of where the ID should be delivered.

If you vote a provisional ballot but don’t have an “acceptable ID,” you can appear in-person in the office of the general registrar in the locality in which the provisional ballot was cast by noon on Friday following the election and apply for a Virginia Voter Photo ID Card. At the completion of the application process, the voter may request a Temporary Identification Document. This document can be provided to the electoral board as acceptable identification and the voter’s provisional ballot will be counted.

SOURCE: Virginia Department of Elections, www.sbe.virginia.gov

For More Election Information

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

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

City of Fairfax General Registrar, 703-385-7890, http://www.fairfaxva.gov/government/general-registrar

10455 Armstrong Street, Sisson House, Fairfax, 22030; FAX 703-591-8364; email generalregistrar@fairfaxva.gov

State Board of Elections, 804 864-8901 Toll Free: 800 552-9745 FAX: 804 371-0194

email: info@sbe.virginia.gov