Election Day is nearly here! This year, your new majority in the General Assembly has made voting easier and safer than ever. If you have not yet cast your ballot, then this newsletter should serve as a comprehensive guide to ensure your voice is heard in this election.
If you have already submitted a ballot, you can check your voting history online to make sure your vote has been counted.
Returning an Absentee Ballot
If you have already requested and received an absentee ballot, it’s not too late to return it. Technically, the law only requires a completed mail-in ballot be postmarked by Election Day – November 3 – and received by the Prince William County Board of Elections by noon on November 6. However, the Virginia Board of Elections strongly advises everyone not to wait until this deadline due to the risk of mail delays surrounding the election.
To ensure your absentee ballot is counted, you should physically return it to your local registrar’s office or a secure drop-off location. The Prince William County Office of Elections has set up drop boxes where mail-in ballots may be returned on November 2 until 5pm at these three locations:
- Haymarket Gainesville Library, 14870 Lightner Road, Haymarket
- Prince William County Office of Elections, 9250 Lee Ave, Suite 1, Manassas
- DMV Woodbridge, 2731 Caton Hill Road, Woodbridge
On Election Day, you can return your absentee ballot to any polling place in Prince William County between 6am and 7pm. Remember: This year, no excuse is needed to vote absentee and a witness signature is not required.
Office of the General Registrar: Prince William County Office of Elections
9250 Lee Ave, Suite 1
Manassas, VA 20110
There are certain exceptions for emergency absentee voting:
- If you were unable to meet the mail-in ballot application deadline due to your hospitalization or illness; the hospitalization, illness, or death of a spouse, child, or parent; or another justifiable emergency then you may request an absentee ballot with your general registrar before 2pm on Monday, November 2. The ballot must be returned to the general registrar prior to the close of polls on Election Day.
- If an emergency obligation arose after noon on Saturday, October 31 that will make in-person voting impossible – including professional obligations, the voter’s hospitalization or the hospitalization or death of an immediate family member, or a precinct reassignment if the voter is an election officer – then you may vote in person at your registrar’s office until 2pm on Monday, November 2.
If you received an absentee ballot in the mail but decide you would rather cast your ballot in a voting booth, follow the directions below and bring your unopened absentee ballot with you to surrender.
Voting In Person
You can still vote early in person today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday) between 8:30am and 5pm. There are eight early voting locations in Prince William County:
- Piney Branch Elementary School
- Colgan High School
- McCoart Administrative Building in Woodbridge
- Ferlazzo Building in Woodbridge
- Dumfries Town Hall
- Prince William County Office of Elections in Manassas
- Haymarket Gainesville Library
- Woodbridge DMV
You do not need to provide a reason or fill out an application to vote early. You will still need to bring the same valid identification as you would if voting on Election Day.
The polls are open on Election Day, November 3, from 6am until 7pm. Find your polling place here. You must be registered to vote and show an accepted form of identification before casting your ballot. Acceptable IDs include:
- Voter confirmation documents you received after registering to vote
- Virginia DMV-issued driver’s license or ID card
- Valid US passport
- Any ID card issued by the US, Virginia, or a local Virginia government
- Any student ID card issued by a US college or university
- Valid student ID issued by a school in Virginia
- Employer-issued photo ID card
- Any current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document with your name and address
- An ID confirmation statement
- See more
If you don’t have one of these forms of ID, you may sign an ID Confirmation Statement at the polls. Anyone without an acceptable form of ID who refuses to sign an ID Confirmation Statement will be able to vote via provisional ballot.
Voter Accessibility –
Every polling place should have:
- Signage indicating accessibility at the voting location
- Accessible parking spaces
- Available seating in the waiting area and some voting booths
- Space for voters in wheelchairs
- Notepads for communicating in writing and magnifiers for viewing election materials
- At least one voting machine equipped for voters with disabilities to vote privately and independently
- Election officials who can provide assistance reading or completing forms (you may also bring your own helper)
- Curbside voting available for those with physical disabilities or age 65 or older
- If you want to take advantage of curbside voting, park in the designated curbside parking space at the voting location and follow the directions on any signage. You can call ahead to alert the polling place that you are coming or bring a helper with you who can enter the polling place to request assistance if need be.
If you have any questions regarding voter accessibility, please contact your local registrar or the Virginia Department of Elections at 800-552-9745 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can submit an accessibility complaint at https://www.elections.virginia.gov/voter-complaints/.
Voter Protection Resources –
Know that your right to vote is protected. From language barriers to voter intimidation, the ACLU can offer guidance for various scenarios. You can always call the nonpartisan voter protection hotline: 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683).
It is illegal to intimidate, threaten, or coerce someone in order to interfere with their right to vote. Report any voter intimidation to your local registrar’s office.
You’re likely familiar with the top of the ticket this year. Here are all the offices and issues you will be voting on:
President and Vice President of the United States –
- Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris (D)
- Donald Trump and Michael Pence (R)
- Jo Jorgensen and Jeremy “Spike” Cohen (L)
Delegate Torian endorses Joe Biden for President and Kamala Harris for Vice President
United States Senate –
- Mark Warner (D)
- Daniel Gade (R)
Delegate Torian endorses Mark Warner for Senate
United States House of Representatives –
- Qasim Rashid (D)
- Robert Wittman (R)
Delegate Torian endorses Qasim Rashid for Congress
– OR –
- Gerald “Gerry” Connolly (D)
- Manga Anantatmula (R)
Delegate Torian endorses Gerry Connolly for Congress
Dumfries Town Council –
- Brian Fields
- Tyrone Brown
- Shaun Peet
- Write in candidate: Ebony Lofton
(You may vote for up to three candidates)
Amendment 1 –
“Should the Constitution of Virginia be amended to establish a redistricting commission, consisting of eight members of the General Assembly and eight citizens of the Commonwealth, that is responsible for drawing the congressional and state legislative districts that will be subsequently voted on, but not changed by, the General Assembly and enacted without the Governor’s involvement and to give the responsibility of drawing districts to the Supreme Court of Virginia if the redistricting commission fails to draw districts or the General Assembly fails to enact districts by certain deadlines?”
Delegate Torian recommends: No
In its implementation, this commission would be neither nonpartisan nor independent from the legislature. It allows ample room for partisan stalemates. Most importantly, the proposed commission includes no guarantee of a seat at the table for marginalized voices. Any proposal to remove institutionalized bias and racial gerrymandering from the redistricting process must ensure fair representation of communities of color.
Amendment 2 –
“Should an automobile or pickup truck that is owned and used primarily by or for a veteran of the United States armed forces or the Virginia National Guard who has a one hundred percent service-connected, permanent, and total disability be free from state and local taxation?”
Delegate Torian recommends: Yes
Your vote matters. Elections matter. Over the last few years, Virginia’s General Assembly and Congressional delegation has been transformed – with significant results.
In 2017, Democrats won 15 new seats in the Virginia House of Delegates, including Prince William County’s own Delegates Jennifer Carroll Foy, Danica Roem, Elizabeth Guzman, Lee Carter, and Hala Ayala. As a result, we were able to pass Medicaid expansion and over 470,000 Virginians now have health insurance.
In 2018, Virginia voters sent Congresswomen Elaine Luria, Abigail Spanberger, and Jennifer Wexton to Congress, flipping their seats and winning back a Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives – a much-needed check on the power of the President and U.S. Senate.
With every state Senate and House seat on the ballot in 2019, Virginia voters flipped the last few General Assembly seats needed to secure a Democratic majority in both chambers. Some consequences of that election include:
- Significantly expanded voting rights and Election Day as a state holiday
- Common-sense gun safety legislation
- Ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment
- Discrimination protections for Virginia’s LGBTQ+ community
- Historic environmental progress, including making Virginia the first Southern state with a 100% clean energy standard
- Comprehensive criminal justice reform
- Ending “balance billing” after out-of-network medical treatment
- Keeping higher education affordable and accessible
Over the last four years, Virginia’s vote has been powerful and transformative. Let’s finish strong: Once you know your vote will be counted, check in with five friends, family members, coworkers, or neighbors and make sure they have a plan to vote on or before November 3.