PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Tuesday, Oct. 12 is the last day to make sure you’re registered to vote in the 2021 elections in Virginia.
To make sure you’re eligible you can:
- Register in-person: head to your local registrar’s office by 5 p.m.
- Register by mail: make sure to have your envelope postmarked by October 12
- Register online: head to the Virginia Department of Elections website. You have until 11:59 p.m. to apply.
Once you’re registered, you can vote early through Saturday, Oct. 30 at 5 p.m. at your local registration office. Election Day is November 2.
All Virginians can also request an absentee ballot by mail. The deadline is Oct. 22.
Virginians are voting for governor, leuitenant governor and attorney general this year, as well as all 100 House of Delegates seats. For more information and to read more about the candidates, visit WAVY’s politics page.
Early voting has seen successful numbers across the commonwealth so far.
As of Monday, 4,568 people in Norfolk have voted early in person, voted by mail or requested an absentee ballot. For the last governor’s election in 2017, only 2,247 people voted early in Norfolk.
Portsmouth is seeing similar success with 2,332 early voters so far this election compared with 1,199 in 2017.
Voters 10 On Your Side spoke with like the expanded early voting and looser restrictions.
“I think it makes it easier for everybody, if you’re older it especially makes it easy,” said Norfolk early voter Mary Patrick.
Portsmouth Resident Angela Blackwell told us she cast her early vote Tuesday in under 10 minutes.
Not everyone is on board with the early voting system.
“I don’t think that the early voting serves the community well. It’s a disservice to the point where it gives us the least amount of time to reach the citizens,” explained Portsmouth School Board candidate Willie J. Bamberg II. “We have to spend a lot of time down here rather than getting out to meet the citizens.”
Bamberg argues the early voting causes candidates to stand by the polls as people go in to vote rather than using the time to campaign in the communities.