Early voting logistics simplified for easy process

Published: Oct. 2, 2023 at 8:15 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The polls are open for people to vote early in this year’s election for in-person, mail-in, drop-off, and curbside. Election directors say they have seen a steady pace of people coming in so far.

“People coming in and registering the vote and typically those numbers will pick up the closer we actually get to Election Day,” said City of Harrisonburg General Registrar Mark Finks. “We have mailed out 612 absentee ballots and out of those we’ve received about 150 back.”

Early voting applies to ballots cast in person and those mailed in. One change is that mail-in ballots no longer need a witness signature.

“What they need to do is fill out the ballot envelope with their name and address last four digits of their social and birth year and sign that,” Rockingham County Director of Elections Lisa Gooden said.

The last day to request a ballot by mail is Oct. 27 — Finks said that applications have to be in his office by 5:00 p.m. that day.

All that’s needed is five minutes to present your ID and mark your ballot.

The deadline for voter registration is October 16. Same-day registration started in Virginia last year, and it is back again for those who miss that date.

“That is a provisional process, so there’s a little bit more to that process as far as filling out envelopes and applications to be able to vote that way, but that process is there if they miss the deadline to register to vote,” Finks said.

Election booths are open for eight hours on weekdays (Rockingham County is 8:30a-4:30p and Harrisonburg is 8:00a-4:00p). Voters who are not able to vote during the week can cast their ballots in person on the last two Saturdays of the election.

“On October 28 and November 4. They can come in, 9 to 5, those two Saturdays and vote in person,” Rockingham County Director of Elections Lisa Gooden said.

The window of opportunity to register to vote this year is closing soon.

“October 16 is the last day of voter registration so if someone wants to update their voter registration in Harrisonburg. they’re new to the area but they have until midnight that day. They either do it online or they need to come in and do it in person here in our office by 5 o’clock,” Finks said.

Finks said early voting helps with processing the polls on Election Day. He also wants to remind all voters that no voting happens at City Hall on Nov. 7