Virginia Voting During Social Distancing
Chesterfield provides guidance for its registered voters
To help curb the spread of the coronavirus, the Chesterfield County General Registrar’s office is encouraging its registered voters to seek an absentee by mail ballot for the June 23 Democratic and Republican Primary Elections. Voters in Chesterfield and other localities can find more information at the Virginia Department of Elections website.
Voters may choose reason code “2A My disability or illness” to vote absentee in the elections, per Governor Ralph Northam’s executive order to change the June primary elections because of the pandemic.
COVID-19 VOTING EXCEPTIONS
In Virginia, “The ballot does require a witness unless the voter cannot safely have their ballot witnessed,” says Chesterfield County Registrar and Director of Elections Constance Hargrove. “The witness signature is to protect the voter against fraud. However, there is an exception due to COVID-19.” For more information, visit the Department of Elections.
Hargrove adds, “Absentee voters are not solely committed to voting absentee. However, they will have to take some additional steps to vote on election day. They will be required to vote a provisional ballot if they do not bring the absentee ballot with them to the polling place on election day. Anyone concerned about social distancing can vote absentee in person in their car or they can vote curbside on election day.”
The Chesterfield County Electoral Board will conduct a Democratic Party Primary Election on Tuesday, June 23 to nominate candidates for the 4th Congressional District and a Republican Party Primary Election to nominate candidates for U.S. Senate.
HOW TO SIGN UP
While absentee voting begins Friday, May 8, the last day to request an absentee ballot through the mail is Tuesday, June 16. All requests for absentee ballots in Chesterfield, including those being submitted by mail, fax or email, must be received by the Registrar’s Office at 9848 Lori Road, 23832 (in Court Square) by 5 p.m.
Voters also can submit an absentee application online at the Virginia Department of Elections or call the Registrar’s Office at (804) 748-1471 to have an application mailed. Voters also can fax their application to (804) 751-0822.
Beginning May 8 through Friday, June 19 the Registrar’s Office will be open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. for in person absentee voting; and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 20 for the last day of in person absentee voting.
All completed absentee ballots must be received by the Registrar’s Office by 7 p.m. on Election Day (June 23).
State and local election officials are encouraging voters to seek an absentee by mail ballot because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; however, voters planning to vote in person may continue to do so. However, please anticipate longer than normal wait times as there will be a limited number of voting booths at each location.
Furthermore, the Chesterfield Registrar’s Office is requesting all voters who plan to vote in person, either absentee or on Election Day, wear a face mask for your protection; and continue to follow social distancing and health measures as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day.