Absentee Voting Underway in Virginia for the November General Election

RICHMOND, VA – Absentee voting for the November 7, 2017 General Election is successfully underway in the Commonwealth. Qualified Virginia voters may now vote absentee in-person at their local voter registration office or vote absentee by mail.  To vote absentee, registered voters must meet one of the 20 eligibility requirements listed on the Virginia Absentee Ballot Application.

“Absentee voting is a great option that allows Virginians to participate in the upcoming election even if they are unable to make it to the polls on Election Day. Virginia voters can find everything they need to know about the upcoming election at vote.virginia.gov,” said Edgardo Cortés, Virginia’s Commissioner of Elections.  Voters can request an absentee ballot online using the Department’s secure online Citizen Portal at vote.virginia.gov.

Voters who want to vote an absentee ballot by mail must apply before 5:00pm on Tuesday, October 31st.  If you need to request a ballot by mail, the Department of Elections advises applying as early as possible to account for any potential delays in mail delivery.  Absentee ballots by mail must be returned by 7:00pm on Election Day.

In-person absentee voting is available at local voter registration offices Monday through Friday during regular office hours and on Saturday, October 28th and Saturday, November 4th. The last day for in-person absentee voting is Saturday, November 4, 2017.  Office hours and locations for in-person absentee voting may vary by locality and are available atvote.virginia.gov.

Also remember that Virginia law requires voters to present an acceptable photo ID when voting in-person.  For a list of acceptable forms of photo identification, or to find out how to obtain a free Virginia Voter Photo ID Card, please visit vote.virginia.gov.  Voters can also find information about the upcoming election and check their registration status on the site.

Eligible Virginians may register to vote online at vote.virginia.gov or by submitting a completed voter registration form to their local general registrar’s office.  The last day to register to vote for the November General Election is October 16, 2017.  Registrations must be received or postmarked by this date. For more information, call the Department of Elections’ toll free number at1-800-552-9745 or email info@elections.virginia.gov.

(From Andrea M. Gaines, andrea.gaines@elections.virginia.gov)

Calendar for September

Happy September!
Note on Absentee voting: Absentee voting in Virginia for the November 7th General Election will begin September 22. Check your calendar, and if you will be unable to get to the polls on November 7th for any reason, contact the Registrar’s Office about absentee voting. If you have questions about absentee voting, reply to this e-mail and I will help you find answers.
Note on health care: Now is a good time to be looking carefully at U.S. healthcare, from economic and humanitarian viewpoints. Republicans failed to repeal and replace Obamacare because it is the best health insurance program we have seen — but there is growing awareness of problems that exist with Obamacare, particularly its inability to stem the rising cost of private health insurance and prescription drugs. Currently a much larger percentage of people have health insurance, but many remain in the gap produced by the failure of states to expand Medicaid, as in Virginia and Tennessee. Keep yourself informed on health care, and see how details of the proposed bills would affect you and your friends and family. Here are suggestions for places to start informing yourself on the health care issue:
  • In August NPR reported that Senator Bernie Sanders plans to introduce a bill for Medicare for All in the Senate in September. Senator Kamala Harris, D-California, has joined as a co-sponsor.
  • In the House of Representatives, a well-defined bill for Medicare for All (HR676) was introduced January 24th by Rep. John Conyers, Jr, D-MI, and referred to House committees on Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, and Natural Resources. On February 10th, the bill was also referred to the Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs. This bill currently has 117 cosponsors in the House.
  • More facts and statistics in support of single payer are visible on Facebook and Twitter, and the topic is in the news. Search for Medicare for All, Single Payer Health Insurance, etc. on line to find articles in major and trusted sources.
  • Look for local presentations on the topic.

State Democrats on the Nov. 7 ballot in Virginia:

  • Ralph S. Northam for Governor
  • Justin E. Fairfax for Lieutenant Governor
  • Mark R. Herring for Attorney General

Local Democrats on the Nov. 7 ballot in Bristol VA: 

  • Cloe Eva Barker for Commissioner of Revenue
  • Joe R. Mink for Sheriff  

Our scheduled meetings in September, with a December reminder:

  • Monday, September 11: BVDC Committee Meeting at 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., at the Bristol Virginia Courthouse, 497 Cumberland St., in Bristol, VA. 
  • Thursday, September 14: Washington County Democratic Committee Meeting at 6 p.m. at The Southwest Virginia 4H Center, 25236 Hillman Highway, Abingdon, VA 24210. Links to FB and contact information is on their website at www:WashCoVADems.org
  • Friday, September 15: time and location to be announced, Tim Kaine Breakfast in Abingdon. This is not a fundraiser, but an opportunity to meet Senator Kaine.
  • Saturday, September 16:  at 9:00 a.m. at the Golden Corral, Exit 7 in Bristol. Good conversation, no agenda. Attendees pay separately for breakfast.
  • Monday, September 18: TN-VA Democratic Social at around 5:00 p.m. Due to the Rhythm & Roots Reunion in town Friday-Sunday, a lot of Bristol’s restaurants, including the State Line, will be closed on Monday, Sept. 18. MACADO’ S will be open. and we will meet there. Hope to see Democrats, Liberals, Progressives, etc., at this informal monthly gathering. Whether you are a member of any party or none, drop in sometime around 5. It’s okay to come late, but we are usually heading for home around 7.
  • Coming in December, time and date to be announced: We will be electing new members and new officers in the Bristol Virginia Democratic Committee. Bristol VA voters who are Democrats, along with like-minded Bristol VA voters, are invited to apply for membership. Come to any of our meetings to socialize and/or get information about membership, committee activities, or issues of the day. Remember that the committee represents you, and the committee is composed of those willing to join together to seek and support candidates for public office.
Hope to see many of you in September!