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Clock ticks to register to vote

The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 6 election is Monday, Oct. 15, according to Halifax County Registrar Judy Meeler. 

On Nov. 6 Halifax County voters will cast ballots for President and Vice-President, U.S. Senator and for Virginia’s Fifth District Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Also on the ballot are races for Virgilina and Halifax town councils as well as two proposed constitutional amendments.

Registration activities have been brisk over past months. 

“We’ve registered 376 new voters since June 1,” Meeler said Monday. “And we’ve been pretty hectic, maybe not quite as busy as the last presidential election in 2008. It’s been pretty heavy the last couple of weeks with people coming in and calling wanting to know more about voter id, absentee voting and registering to vote.”

Meeler said her office also has been taking absentee ballots that will continue in person through Saturday, Nov. 3, and by mail through Oct. 30.

Any registered voter who will be out of town for school or on business or who will not be able to go to the polls to vote Nov. 6 due to illness may vote by absentee ballot. 

Voters can go to the registrar’s office in the Mary Bethune office complex in Halifax to cast absentee ballots in person Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Meeler said her office also would be open two Saturdays prior to the election to accommodate absentee voters, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 27 and Nov. 3.

Voters also can cast absentee ballots by mail, Meeler said. The last day to mail out absentee ballots is Oct. 30.

In 2012 changes were made to Virginia’s voter identification laws. Meeler reminds voters state law requires all voters to provide an acceptable form of identification at the polls. 

Virginia’s ID requirements also apply to absentee voters who vote in-person, she explained.

Acceptable forms of identification include Virginia voter registration card, valid Virginia driver’s license, military ID, any federal, Virginia state or local government-issued ID, employer issued photo ID card, concealed handgun permit, valid student ID issued by any institution of higher education located in the Commonwealth of Virginia, current utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck indicating the name and address of the voter, and Social Security card.

A voter who does not bring an acceptable ID to the polls will be offered a provisional ballot.

Meeler said the state board is mailing out new identification cards to active voters, and all active voters should receive a card by Oct. 3.

For those who are not registered but are eligible for registration, when  they register, a voter registration card will be mailed to them by the registrar’s office after their application has been processed, she explained.

A voter who arrives at the polling place without an acceptable form of identification will be given the opportunity to vote a provisional ballot. After completing the provisional ballot, the individual voting will be given written instructions from the election officials on how to submit a copy of his/her identification so that his/her vote can be counted, the registrar explained.

A voter will have until noon on the Friday following the election to deliver a copy of the identification to the local electoral board. Voters may submit a copy of their ID via fax, email, in-person submission, or through USPS, or Virginia residents can check their voter registration status by visiting www.sbe.virginia.gov and clicking on the “Check Voter Registration Status” link, by calling 800-552-9745 or 804-864-8901 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and speaking with staff and volunteers at the Virginia State Board of Election Voter Registration Call Center, or by calling their local registrar.

For more information about voter registration, voting by absentee ballot, or for any other questions, call the Halifax County Registrar’s Office at 476-3322.