HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – For the first time, Virginians can register to vote on Election Day.
The Virginia General Assembly approved a new law allowing voters to register on the same day they cast their ballots. Advocates believe the law will break barriers to voting and that minorities and young voters will benefit from the change.
If a resident registers to vote on Election Day, their ballot will be set aside as a provisional ballot. Once officials verify the voter’s eligibility, the vote will be counted. The process is similar to mail-in votes.
“Giving individuals an opportunity to cast their vote and participate in the Democratic process is a good thing,” legal and political analyst Dr. Eric Claville said. “As it relates to the impact of voting, these races are very close, so it is possible that some races could be decided by this; however, I don’t foresee how the numbers are falling, I don’t foresee it as a major key in winning those races that are on the ballot this year.”
The review process must be completed within seven days of the election, according to the Virginia Board of Elections website.
“I believe because of the issues that are on the ballot and at stake, I think that is pushing the uptick in voting,” Claville said. “Expanding that access to the ballot box, individuals are taking their civic duty very seriously to ensure that their voice is heard.”
Those seeking to register and vote on Election Day must go to the polling location for the prescient in which they reside.