Editorial – Take advantage of early voting

Published 4:34 pm Tuesday, May 2, 2023

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In-person voting for the June 20 primary election begins Friday, and we encourage our readers to take advantage of the opportunity.

The stakes are high here in Suffolk, where voters this year will help select three members of the General Assembly.

We’ve written extensively in this space about Senate District 17, a newly drawn district that covers all of Western Tidewater and might well determine which party controls the all-important state Senate beginning in 2024. Democrats now narrowly control the chamber, which serves as a check on Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s ability to fully implement his conservative agenda.

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Suffolk voters can participate in the June 20 Republican primary between Emily Brewer, who currently represents part of Suffolk in the House of Delegates, and Emporia businessman Hermie Sadler. The winner will advance to face state Del. Clinton Jenkins, D-Suffolk, in the November general election. As the Senate 17th goes, so might go the balance of power in Richmond.

North Suffolk Democrats who reside in the new 84th House District get to choose between Michele Joyce of Smithfield and former Del. Nadarius Clark. Both qualified for the ballot following Clark’s recent relocation from Portsmouth to North Suffolk.

Suffolk Republicans living in the 84th will choose between Navy veterans Mike Dillender and Rod Thompson, both of Suffolk.

Early voting continues through June 17.  

To vote early in person, registered voters should go to the general registrar’s office, present their ID and cast a ballot. A list of acceptable forms of identification can be found at www.elections.virginia.gov/registration/voterid/index.html.

Requested absentee ballots will be mailed beginning May 5, including ballots to registered military and overseas voters. Any registered voter can request an absentee ballot either in-person, by mail, online (https://vote.elections.virginia.gov/VoterInformation/Lookup/absentee) or by contacting the general registrar’s office. Registered voters do not need a reason to request an absentee ballot.

Absentee ballots can be dropped off at the general registrar’s office or at your normal polling location on Election Day. Absentee ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than June 20.

Voters with questions about absentee and early in-person voting can call the general registrar’s office at 757-514-4000 or the Department of Elections at 1-800-552-9745 or email info@elections.virginia.gov.