Editorial: Voting Never Mattered More

Editorial: Voting Never Mattered More

Consider voting absentee in person since more than 500,000 other voters are likely to turnout on Election Day.

With more than 655,000 active voters in Fairfax County, and as many as 500,000 voters turning out on Election Day, it’s a good time to consider voting early, and preparing for a longer-than-usual process if voting on Election Day.

While the Presidential election will take top billing, every seat in the U.S. Congress is on the ballot, with one hotly contested race in Northern Virginia.

In Fairfax County, voters will decide whether to enact a four percent meals tax.

The Town of Herndon will have its first November election, moving from May in past elections, with the office of Mayor and six Town Council seats on the ballot. http://herndon-va.gov/government/mayor-and-council/town-elections

Fairfax County voters will decide on three bond questions, including $120 million in transportation bonds for Metro; $107 million in bonds for parks; and $85 million for building and renovating senior and community centers, and homeless shelters. More at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/bond/

Virginia Voter ID

Virginia has a significant voter identification requirement, plan to bring photo identification with you to vote, whether that is absentee or on Election Day. But you can get a voter ID card if you don’t have one of the other acceptable identifications.

Among accepted ID: valid Virginia Driver’s License or Identification Card; valid Virginia DMV issued Veteran’s ID card; valid U.S. Passport; other government-issued photo identification cards issued by the U.S. Government, the Commonwealth of Virginia, or a political subdivision of the Commonwealth; valid college or university student photo identification card from an institution of higher education located in Virginia; valid student ID issued by a public school or private school in Virginia displaying a photo; 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.

Any registered voter who does not have one of the required forms of identification can 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 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.

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

Provisional Ballot Process for Voters Who Arrive Without Identification

If you arrive at your polling place on Election Day without an acceptable form of photo identification, don’t panic or give up. You 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 or to appear in person to apply for a Virginia Voter Photo ID Card. 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.

Also by noon on Friday following the election, the voter may appear in-person in the office of the general registrar, in the locality in which the provisional ballot was cast, 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 may be provided to the electoral board to suffice the identification requirement.

Absentee Voting in Person in Fairfax County

Voting began Sept. 23, and with record turnout possible, voting early if you qualify is a good choice.

There are 19 valid reasons to vote absentee in Virginia, including working and commuting to and from home for 11 or more hours between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Election Day, which basically means anyone who commutes to a job. Check the Virginia Department of Elections list to see if you are eligible. http://elections.virginia.gov/casting-a-ballot/absentee-voting/index.html

If you vote absentee in-person you will fill out the application when you arrive at the in-person absentee location.

Absentee Voting Began Sept. 23

Fairfax County Government Center, Conference Room 2/3,

12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, 22035

Weekday Schedule:

  • Sept. 23 to Oct. 14, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Thursday: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Closed, Monday, Oct. 10, Columbus Day.

  • Oct. 17 to Nov. 4, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Saturday Schedule: Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 and November 5, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 5 is the last day to absentee vote in-person.

Absentee Voting at Satellite Locations

Saturday Schedule: Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 and Nov. 5, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Weekday Schedule: Oct. 17 to Nov. 4, Monday - Friday, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Satellite Voting Locations:

  • Providence Community Center - 3001 Vaden Dr., Fairfax, 22031

  • Franconia Governmental Center - 6121 Franconia Rd., Alexandria, 22310

  • McLean Governmental Center - 1437 Balls Hill Rd., Community Room, McLean, 22101

  • North County Governmental Center, 1801 Cameron Glen Dr., Community Rooms, Reston, 20190

  • West Springfield Governmental Center - 6140 Rolling Rd., Springfield, 22152

  • Mason Governmental Center - 6507 Columbia Pike, Annandale, 22003

  • Mount Vernon Governmental Center - 2511 Parkers Lane, Alexandria, 22306

  • Sully Governmental Center - 4900 Stonecroft Blvd., Chantilly, 20151

  • Lorton Library - 9520 Richmond Hwy., Lorton, 22079 SATURDAYS ONLY (Closed Weekdays).

VOTE: Upcoming Dates

  • To vote in November’s election, you must be registered by Oct. 17: Voter Registration Deadline - In-Person: 5 p.m., Online www.vote.virginia.gov 11:59 p.m. To determine whether you are eligible and registered to vote in this election, visit the Virginia Department of Elections website at http://elections.virginia.gov/ or call Fairfax Elections office at 703-222-0776.

  • In-Person Absentee Voting began Sept. 23 and will continue until Nov. 5. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/elections/absentee.htm

  • Nov. 1: Last Day to Apply for an Absentee Ballot by Mail, Fax, Email or Online: 5 p.m.

  • Nov. 5: Final Day for In-Person Absentee Voting

  • On Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls are open from 6 a.m. - 7 p.m.

  • Nov. 8: Absentee Ballot Return Deadline: 7 p.m.

For more information on voting in Fairfax County:

Voter Registration: 703-222-0776, TTY 711

Absentee Fax: 703-324-3725

Email: voting@fairfaxcounty.gov

Election Officer Info: 703-324-4735, TTY 711

ON THE BALLOT in Fairfax County:

  • President and Vice President

  • U.S. House of Representatives, 8th, 10th, or 11th District

  • Meal Tax Referendum

  • Three Proposed County Bond Questions

  • Two Proposed Constitutional Amendments

See the Connection’s community guide on how to vote and what’s on the ballot at www.connectionnewspapers.com/news/2016/aug/25/how-vote-fairfax-county/