Virginia’s voter registration deadline has handed, however for those who missed it and nonetheless wish to solid your poll on this yr’s elections, you possibly can nonetheless achieve this.
As of final yr, Virginia permits “same-day voter registration,” which implies that eligible voters can nonetheless register and solid their ballots concurrently by way of Election Day.
By means of this course of, voters will solid a provisional poll—however don’t let the identify scare you off, since so long as you’re eligible, it’ll rely. After a provisional poll is solid, the native registrar’s workplace will analysis whether or not the voter who solid that poll is certainly eligible to vote in that locality.
If the voter’s registration utility is permitted, the provisional poll is then counted like a traditional poll. If for some motive the provisional poll will not be counted, the voter will probably be notified by the overall registrar.
Below Virginia’s previous 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 increase voting and make it simpler,” Democratic Del. Marcus Simon, who co-sponsored the laws, stated of the change. “And to not penalize individuals who aren’t taking note of an election three or 4 weeks out and should not understand that their registration could have to be up to date.”
Regardless of the relative newness of this registration and voting technique, it’s already been lauded as a “clean and reassuring” course of. In 2022, 25,353 Virginians statewide solid their ballots by way of same-day registration; of these, 96% have been reviewed by native registrars and counted as reliable votes.
In the course of the first yr of same-day registration, Virginia localities which might be dwelling to a number of of the state’s universities noticed the very best utilization of this voting technique, together with Williamsburg, Richmond, Harrisonburg, and Blacksburg.
Whereas “normal registrars famous that the rise in provisional ballots put strain on operations each at polling places and on the whole 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 constructive expertise on the polls”; over 88% of respondents expressed confidence that their votes could be counted precisely.
The League of Girls Voters (LWV) of Virginia declared that “same-day registration is an general success” and pushed again towards GOP-led makes an attempt earlier this yr to curtail or outright eradicate the follow.
In February, the Republican-controlled Home handed a measure that would have discouraged same-day registration by requiring voters casting their ballots this strategy to signal a kind reminding them that deliberately voting twice is a Class 6 felony, although quite a few voting paperwork already embrace warnings that voting twice is towards the regulation. Including a brand new kind and warning “is each redundant and would intimidate voters,” stated LWV Virginia president Deb Wake.
The measure was stopped within the Democratic-majority state Senate. Two different Republicans additionally launched payments that may 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 contains making certain that Virginia has identical day registration in order that extra voters could make their voices heard,” Home Democratic Chief Don Scott informed 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 have to 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 will probably be open from 6 a.m. by way of 7 p.m.