Get involved by registering to vote

Published 9:22 pm Monday, October 1, 2012

The upcoming election is impossible to ignore with television political ads blasting Hampton Roads, signs in yards and ads popping up on Internet browsers. National political headlines and local visits by candidates dominate the airwaves. It’s almost too much.

But, as some people say, you can’t — or maybe shouldn’t — complain about the outcome if you don’t vote. And with Virginia being a battleground state, your vote could actually turn the tides of this year’s presidential election, not to mention races for the U.S. Senate and Suffolk municipal positions.

This week I became an “official” Virginia resident. My husband and I marched over to the DMV to get our driver’s licenses. At the same time, we were able to register to vote. Pretty simple — just checked a box when we were filling out the forms. The DMV also has the forms just to register to vote if you don’t need to update your license.

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The Oct. 15 deadline to register to vote is quickly approaching. Registering is easy, and you therefore have no excuse not to have your voice heard. Forms are widely available at the Department of Motor Vehicles and public assistance agency offices.

The registration forms also can be downloaded at and mailed to the registrar’s office. You can also register in person at Human Resources Building, 440 Market St. in Suffolk. According to the Suffolk voter registration office, potential voters need to provide their full legal name and current residence address, Social Security number, date of birth and the address of their most recent voter registration. Simple as that!

I remember one of the first things I did after turning 18 was to register to vote. The next year, I got to vote in my very first presidential election. It was exciting to be part of the process, even if the person I voted for didn’t win. Ever since then I have tried to vote every November.

Remember to vote on Nov. 6. You might even be eligible to vote by absentee ballot if you are a registered voter and will be unable to go to the polls on Election Day. If your address has changed, also make sure you update your information with the registrar’s office so you can vote at the appropriate polling place.

Here is some information about who can register to vote and how to register.

You are eligible to register to vote if you satisfy all of the requirements below:

  • A citizen of the United States
  • At least 18 years of age by the next general election
  • A resident of Virginia

To register at the Suffolk DMV location, visit 268 Holladay St. between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or between 8 a.m. and noon on Saturdays.

For more information, call the Suffolk Voter Registrar at 514-7750.