Absentee voting ends Saturday

Published 10:44 pm Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Election Day is drawing near, and people who wish to vote absentee have only four more days to do so.

The deadline to vote absentee in person is Saturday. The deadline to apply to vote absentee by mail has already passed; however, people who already have their ballots still can mail them in as long as they are received at the registrar’s office on or before Election Day, which is Nov. 8.

People can qualify under several different categories in order to vote absentee. The most common ones include people who are away from town on Election Day because of business or vacation; members of the military and their spouses; college students; people working and commuting to and from work from 11 or more hours of the 13 that the polls are open; people who cannot get to the polls because they are ill, disabled or pregnant; and other such exemptions.

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A total of 11 candidates hope to be elected to represent parts of Suffolk in the Virginia General Assembly. A statewide redistricting process this year split Suffolk among four Senate and five House districts, some of which have never before overlapped with the city’s boundaries.

Among the Senate districts, Republicans Blevins and Thomas K. Norment Jr. and Democrat L. Louise Lucas are running unopposed for their seats. All are incumbents.

But one contested race is on tap for Senate. Incumbent John C. Miller, a Democrat, faces challenging Republican Mickey P. Chohany for the First District seat. Only the Harbour View precinct votes with the First District.

On the House of Delegates side, Republican S. Chris Jones and Democrats Lionell Spruill Sr., Johnny S. Joannou and Matthew James all are running uncontested campaigns to return to their seats.

But incumbent Democrat William K. Barlow faces a challenge from Republican Rick L. Morris for the 64th District seat. Most of the southwestern part of the city will vote in this race.

In local elections, incumbent Clerk of Court W. Randolph “Randy” Carter Jr. is unchallenged in his bid to return to his job. And two candidates, Richard A. Gwaltney and Travis W. Williams, are making a run for seats on the Peanut District Soil and Water Conservation Board.

The Suffolk News-Herald will provide you with a chance to get to know Miller, Chohany, Barlow and Morris — the candidates in the contested races — in Sunday’s paper.

Voters can check their registration status, see what’s on their ballot, find their polling places and get other election information by visiting www.sbe.virginia.gov.