Citizens encouraged to apply for absentee voting during outbreak

Published: Mar. 24, 2020 at 5:32 PM EDT
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While voter registrars across the Shenandoah Valley will be closed to the public, like most municipal buildings during the COVID-19 outbreak, election officials are issuing reminders that everyone can register to vote or request an absentee ballot online.

The Virginia Department of Elections has an online portal at


People can also request ballots over the phone at 564-3055. Ballots will then be mailed to them.

Voters who are already registered are strongly encouraged to vote by mail in the upcoming local elections.

To vote by mail, an application to request an absentee ballot must be completed and submitted to the voter registration office. You can use reason code 2A “My disability or illness” on the application, per Virginia guidelines right now.

Applications for absentee ballots may be requested/submitted the following ways for Staunton residents (the online link works for anyone):

• Online using your VA driver’s license at

• By email at

• By printing from

and mailing to the voter registration office

• By voicemail at 540.332.3840, stating your full name, mailing address and the number of applications you require.

Applications and ballots for Staunton residents can be mailed to Voter Registration, P.O. Box 1092, Staunton, VA 24402, or deposited in the dark green city drop box on the corner of W. Beverley St. and Central Ave.

As an alternative to mailing an absentee ballot, in-person absentee voting is available in the Johnson Street parking garage from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, by emailing

Instructions for in-person absentee voting in Staunton:

• Park on the 2nd floor of the Johnson Street parking garage near the elevator.

• A representative of the voter registration office will meet you in the garage, check your ID card, and provide a ballot for you to complete

• Complete your ballot and place it in a privacy envelope provided by the representative, who will insert the ballot into the voting machine on return to the office