Voter registration is up, turnout low across the Shenandoah Valley

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 15 and while elections offices say it's important to register to vote, they also stressed the importance of actually voting.

Some localities have not yet released a sample ballot.

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 the person to get to the polls.

"Basically the political parties 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.