Virginia’s voter registration deadline has handed, however in case you missed it and nonetheless wish to forged your poll on this yr’s elections, you may nonetheless achieve this.
As of final yr, Virginia permits “same-day voter registration,” which signifies that eligible voters can nonetheless register and forged their ballots concurrently by way of Election Day.
By this course of, voters will forged a provisional poll—however don’t let the title scare you off, since so long as you’re eligible, it’ll rely. After a provisional poll is forged, the native registrar’s workplace will analysis whether or not the voter who forged that poll is certainly eligible to vote in that locality.
If the voter’s registration utility is accredited, the provisional poll is then counted like a standard poll. If for some motive the provisional poll just isn’t counted, the voter shall be notified by the overall registrar.
Beneath Virginia’s outdated election legal guidelines, which Democrats reformed once they briefly held legislative majorities in 2020 and 2021, voter rolls have been frozen when the official voter registration interval ended about three weeks earlier than Election Day.
“This invoice is supposed to broaden voting and make it simpler,” Democratic Del. Marcus Simon, who co-sponsored the laws, mentioned of the change. “And to not penalize individuals who aren’t listening to an election three or 4 weeks out and will not notice that their registration might must be up to date.”
Regardless of the relative newness of this registration and voting methodology, it’s already been lauded as a “easy and reassuring” course of. In 2022, 25,353 Virginians statewide forged their ballots by way of same-day registration; of these, 96% have been reviewed by native registrars and counted as official votes.
Throughout the first yr of same-day registration, Virginia localities which might be house to a number of of the state’s universities noticed the very best utilization of this voting methodology, together with Williamsburg, Richmond, Harrisonburg, and Blacksburg.
Whereas “normal registrars famous that the rise in provisional ballots put stress on operations each at polling places and normally registrars’ workplaces,” based on a post-election report from the Virginia Division of Elections, a DOE post-election survey discovered that voters “had an overwhelmingly optimistic expertise on the polls”; over 88% of respondents expressed confidence that their votes can be counted precisely.
The League of Girls Voters (LWV) of Virginia declared that “same-day registration is an total success” and pushed again towards GOP-led makes an attempt earlier this yr to curtail or outright remove the apply.
In February, the Republican-controlled Home handed a measure that might have discouraged same-day registration by requiring voters casting their ballots this method to signal a kind reminding them that deliberately voting twice is a Class 6 felony, even if quite a few voting paperwork already embrace warnings that voting twice is towards the legislation. Including a brand new kind and warning “is each redundant and would intimidate voters,” mentioned LWV Virginia president Deb Wake.
The measure was stopped within the Democratic-majority state Senate. Two different Republicans additionally launched payments that will have ended same-day registration outright, however each proposals failed.
Republicans additionally tried to repeal same-day voter registration in 2022; the invoice handed the GOP Home however was blocked by the state Senate.
“When Democrats held the bulk within the Home of Delegates, we expanded voter entry and made it simpler for each Virginian to train their proper to vote. This consists of guaranteeing that Virginia has similar day registration in order that extra voters could make their voices heard,” Home Democratic Chief Don Scott advised Dogwood. “My message to each eligible Virginian is to get out and vote and to vote early. Your basic rights and freedoms depend upon it.”
Virginia’s key 2023 voting deadlines:
- The deadline to apply for a mail-in poll is Friday, Oct. 27, 2023. The request should be acquired by your native voter registration workplace by 5 p.m.
- Early Saturday voting at your native voter registration workplace begins Oct. 28, 2023.
- The final day to vote early in-person is Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, by 5 p.m.
- The final election is on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023. Polls shall be open from 6 a.m. by way of 7 p.m.