HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Your last chance to register to vote in Virginia's elections this November is on Tuesday.
Some localities have not yet released a sample ballot.
The deadline for voter registration is Oct. 15. Registrations submitted by mail have to be postmarked by that date.
And while elections offices say it's important to register to vote, they also stress the importance of actually voting.
Across the Shenandoah Valley, the number of people registered to vote has increased since 2015, but voter turnout has been consistently low over the years.
The Harrisonburg Electoral Board encourages people to follow through, but it is ultimately up to you to get to the polls.
"Basically, the political parties try to make sure they get the people out to vote. But to me, if you register to vote, you should have the obligation to go out and use your right to vote," Bill Ney, Vice-Chairman to the Board, said.
So far in 2019, there are more than 25,000 people registered to vote in Harrisonburg, more than 50,000 in Rockingham County and more than 16,000 in Staunton.
Both Rockingham County and Staunton report a low voter turnout rate over the years, especially during state and local elections.
"They affect people's lives in Virginia as much as the federal elections do," Ney said. "So, it's very important for them to cast their vote for who they feel will serve them the best at the state level."
Ney said to double check your registration ahead of time, so you are ready on Election Day. If you can not make it to the polls, you can request an absentee ballot until Nov. 2.
Absentee voting opened on September 20. Anyone registered to vote can head to their local voter registration offices to cast in-person absentee ballots or request an absentee ballot by mail.
However, in Virginia, voters must meet one of 20 eligibility requirements to be able to vote absentee. You can find that list of requirements on the absentee ballot application or on Virginia's election website here.
“It is important for every eligible voter in the Commonwealth of Virginia to participate in our elections process,” said Department of Elections Commissioner Christopher E. Piper. “Absentee voting allows all qualified Virginia voters to take part in our democracy when they can’t make it to their polling place on Election Day.”
The deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail is 5 p.m. Tuesday, October 29. They have to be returned to your local voter registration office by 7 p.m. on Election Day.
You can request your ballot at http://vote.virginia.gov/.
In-person absentee voting is available Monday through Friday during regular business hours and on Saturday, October 26, and Saturday, November 2. The deadline for in-person absentee voting is Saturday, November 2.
When voting in person, Virginia law requires you to present an acceptable photo ID. You can find a list of acceptable forms of identification or how to obtain Virginia Voter Photo ID Card at elections.virginia.gov/voter-outreach/photo-id.html.
The Department of Elections’ toll free number is 1-800-552-9745 for further questions.