Absentee voting deadline approaching

Published 9:36 pm Monday, September 26, 2011

The deadline to apply to vote by absentee ballot is a little more than a month away.

The deadline is Nov. 1 for those voting absentee by mail, and Nov. 5 for in-person absentee voting.

Voters in Suffolk will be choosing Senate and House of Delegates members for the General Assembly. In addition, Clerk of Court W.R. “Randy” Carter Jr. is running an uncontested race for re-election, and two men are up to be chosen for the Soil and Water Conservation District.

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The election is set for Nov. 8, but voters who fall into more than a dozen different categories can vote ahead of time by absentee ballot.

“We want to make sure all registered voters have access to the election process and that those voters who qualify to vote by absentee ballot are aware of this option,” said Donald Palmer, secretary of the State Board of Elections. “It is part of a larger effort to make sure Virginians are election ready.”

There currently are more than 5 million voters registered in Virginia. The last day to register to vote in this election is Oct. 17.

To vote absentee by mail, the application is due by 5 p.m. Nov. 1. The last day to apply and vote absentee in person at the registrar’s office is Nov. 5. All absentee ballots must be submitted by the time the polls close at 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 8.

The following are the categories:

  • Does your work day, including your commute time, keep you away from home for 11 hours or more?
  • Are you the primary caregiver for a family member confined at home?
  • Are you disabled or suffering from an illness?
  • Are you a student away at school or a spouse of a student?
  • Are you pregnant?
  • Will you be away for business reasons?
  • Are you temporarily residing outside of the United States?
  • Do you have a religious obligation?
  • Will you be away on vacation or personal business?
  • Are you a member of the Mehant Marines or U.S. Uniformed Services on active duty or are you the spouse of an active duty service member?
  • Will you be serving as an election official?
  • Will you be confined either awaiting trial or already convicted of a misdemeanor?
  • Are you a first responder (member of law enforcement, fire fighter, emergency technician, search and rescue)?

For more information, to obtain an absentee ballot application or to check if you are registered to vote, visit www.sbe.virginia.gov.