RICHMOND, Va. — There was an extra push to get people signed up to vote ahead of the November election on Tuesday.
A little tent was set up outside of the Capitol by the Department of Elections for National Voter Registration Day. A group of enthusiastic youth were asking questions about how to register and what programs are available for people who speak English as a second language.
“As an American and as a Virginian, in general, it’s exciting to see people participating in the process, being excited about having their voice heard,” said Christopher Piper, the Commissioner of the Department of Elections.
During this midterm election cycle, the Department of Elections has seen an increase in voter registration, especially over the summer. So far, there are over 5.5 million Virginians registered to vote.
“We’re seeing higher voter registration numbers than in 2014. Even absentee voting is up near presidential levels,” Piper said.
If you need to check your voter registration, you can go online to the Department of Elections website. There, you can update your information and also get access to absentee voting locations as well as ballots if you can’t go in person. There are 20 different reasons you are allowed vote absentee, including being out of the country or have a religious obligation.
If you prefer to register in person, there are a few locations you can pick up an application.
“Libraries carry voter registration, but also social service agencies around the state carry voter registration applications,” Piper said.
When you go to the Department of Motor Vehicles to update your license or address, you can also update your registration. Then you will be mailed your voter information, including which precinct you can cast your ballot in.
The day to mark in the calendar is October 15. That’s the deadline to register for the November 6 General Election. Polling hours throughout the Commonwealth are from 6:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. As long as a voter is in line by 7:00 p.m., the voter will be able to vote.