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‘Rigged’ or Not, Election Positions Trump to Shape Rules on How You Vote
12/02/16 |
Publication Date: 
Saturday, December 3, 2016 - 01:00
Excerpt: 

“The last time we had a national government that was as hostile to the protection of minority voting rights as we may have with this president was probably near the end of the first Reconstruction” after the Civil War, said Pamela S. Karlan, a Stanford University law professor, who was a deputy assistant attorney general under President Obama until 2015. ...

Several potentially decisive federal court rulings on voting rules and redistricting, most favoring voting-rights advocates, now appear bound for a Supreme Court whose ideological balance is in Mr. Trump’s hands. Enforcement of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a linchpin of some of those cases, will fall to a Justice Department whose likely attorney general, Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, is viewed with deep suspicion by civil rights advocates.

One Trump adviser, Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state, is among the most aggressive national crusaders for voting restrictions.

Michigan legislature debating voter ID bill
12/02/16 |
Publication Date: 
Thursday, December 1, 2016 - 16:45
Excerpt: 

Adding the new requirements would make Michigan’s voter identification rules among the strictest in the nation. Michigan would join Wisconsin, Kansas, Indiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia and Virginia as the only states that require voters to both sign an affidavit at the polls and then take the second step of proving their identity later.

Thirty-four states, including Michigan, request or require voters to show identification at the polls, though several states are engaged in lawsuits with civil rights groups and the federal government challenging their rules. ...

Michigan legislators have until December 15 to pass final bills before adjourning for the year.

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Virginia Election Info

Upcoming Elections in Your State

2016 General Election: Tuesday. November 8, 2016

Voter Registration Deadline: Monday, October 17, 2016

For more information, visit the Virginia State Board of Elections website.

Election Day:

Polls are open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern time on Election Day.

Early Voting:

Registered voters may go in person to their local registrar’s office (or an alternative location) to vote an absentee ballot. In-person absentee voting is conducted starting 45 days prior to an election.  You cannot register to vote and cast an absentee ballot in person on the same day.  Contact information for your local registrar’s office can be found at (https://voterinfo.sbe.virginia.gov/PublicSite/Public/FT2/PublicContactLookup.aspx).

How to Find Your Polling Place:

A voter can determine his or her proper polling place by checking the Virginia Voter Info website (https://vote.elections.virginia.gov/VoterInformation/PollingPlaceLookup). 

REGISTER TO VOTE HERE

Already registered? Verify your voter registration status.


Registration Deadlines: The voter registration deadline is 22 calendar days before Election Day.  For the 2016 Presidential Election, this deadline is Monday, October 17, 2016.

How to Check Your Registration: To verify your registration status, check the Virginia Election and Registration Information System (VERIS) on the Virginia Board of Elections website.

Registration Eligibility: In order to be eligible to register to vote in Virginia, you must:

  • Be a citizens of the United States;
  • Reside in Virginia;
  • Be at least 18 years old on or before Election Day;
  • Not be registered and plan to vote in another state.
  • Have voting rights restored if convicted of a felony; and
  • Have had a capacity restored by court order if declared mentally incapacitated.

How to Register: Virginia residents may register in person, my mail, or online.

Online: Applicants can apply to register on the Virginia Department of Elections website.

By Mail: In order to register by mail, you must obtain a mail-in registration form by downloading a mail-in form from the Virginia Department of Elections website or by picking up a form at one of the following places:

  • a local voter registration office,
  • State or local government offices when applying or re-certifying for Aid to Dependent Children, Food Stamps, WIC, Medicaid, or Rehabilitation Services
  • Government offices in the State that provide State-funded programs primarily engaged in providing services to person with disabilities,
  • Armed forces recruitment offices,
  • Public libraries,
  • Virginia Department of Elections office,
  • Department of Motor Vehicles offices, or
  • Voter Registration Drives.

In person: You may register to vote in person at a local voter registration office.

Identification Required for Registration: Identification is not required of voters registering in person, although the Virginia Voter Registration Form requires the applicant's social security number.  If an applicant does not provide his/her social security number, the application for voter registration will be denied.

If registering for the first time by mail, a voter must provide a copy of identification including:

  • Current and valid photo ID;
  • Current utility bill;
  • Bank statement;
  • Government check;
  • Paycheck; or
  • Other government document. 

However, a voter may also present this identification upon voting for the first time.

If You Want to Vote Early by In-Person Absentee Ballot: In-person absentee voting: Registered voters may go in person to their local registrar’s office (or an alternative location) to vote an absentee ballot.   In-person absentee voting is conducted starting 45 days prior to an election.  You cannot register to vote and cast an absentee ballot in person on the same day.   Contact information for your local registrar’s office can be found at (https://voterinfo.sbe.virginia.gov/PublicSite/Public/FT2/PublicContactLookup.aspx).

If You Want to Vote Absentee

By Mail: This type of absentee voting allows a voter or a near relative or legal guardian to request that an absentee ballot be sent to the voter by mail.  Any registered Virginia voter can request a mail-in absentee ballot but they must give a reason why they will be absent or are unable to vote on Election Day.

Voters (or their near relative or legal guardian) can obtain an absentee ballot application on the Department of Elections’ website, at the State Board of Elections’ office, or at the office of a county board of election.  The absentee ballot request must be received by the voter’s local registrar by 5:00 p.m. on the Tuesday prior to the election in which you wish to vote.  A completed absentee ballot request can be mailed, e-mailed, faxed, or delivered to the county board of elections in person.  An application for an absentee ballot can also be completed in person at the office of the general registrar until three days prior to the election. 

The voter may vote the ballot and return it to the county board of elections by the ballot return deadline.  The deadline to return an absentee ballot is by the close of polls (7:00 p.m.) on Election Day.

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot: A photo ID is required to vote in Virginia.   The ID must be valid.  Acceptable forms of ID include:

  • Virginia Driver’s License;
  • Any other photo ID issued by Virginia or one of its political subdivisions;
  • U.S. passport or any other U.S. government-issued photo ID;
  • Student ID card containing a photograph of the voter and issued by any institution of higher education located in Virginia or any private school located in Virginia; and
  • Employee photo ID card.

For a more detailed list of accepted ID please click here: http://www.elections.virginia.gov/Files/CastYourBallot/VotingInPerson/VoterIdentificationChart.pdf

In order to be valid, an ID must be genuine, bear the photograph of the voter, and not be expired for more than 12 months.

If your current address does not match that on the voter rolls, the officer of election shall provide you with a change of address form.  False statements in the form are subject to felony penalties.

If you do not have identification with you, you may leave, get your photo ID, and return to vote by regular ballot, as long as you return to polling place and are in line by 7:00 pm.  Otherwise, you may cast a provisional ballot, but you must submit a copy of your ID to your local electoral board via fax, email, in-person, or via mail.  Your copies must be received by the electoral board by noon on the third day after the election or your provisional ballot will not be counted. 

VoteRiders has created Virginia voter ID info cards in English and in Spanish.

Moving within the Same Precinct

Go to your regular polling location. You need to ask for and fill out a change of address form. You can cast a regular ballot.

Moving within the Same County

Go to you OLD precinct to vote (unless you registration has been transferred or canceled). You may vote through the next two elections following your move and any intervening elections. You need to ask for and fill out a change of address form. You can cast a regular ballot.

Moving Between Counties

Go to your OLD precinct to vote (unless your registration has been transferred or canceled). You may vote through the next November general election following your move and any intervening elections. You need to ask for and fill out a change of address form. You can cast a regular ballot.

Registering and Requesting an Absentee Ballot

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), also known as Standard Form 76, to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot.  Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) Virginia-specific FPCA webpage. Military and overseas citizens can send and receive voting materials by fax and email.  If you wish to use the fax or email options, you must indicate this on your FPCA.

If you have a felony conviction, then you will not be able to vote unless your rights have been restored by Governor and have registered to vote. You can check on the status of you registration by visiting the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website.

Voters may also request more information from our state partner, Revive My Vote, by calling 1-844-WE2-VOTE (1-844-932-8683)

FAQ

Top Issues to Field

For more information for voters with disabilities, find a National Disability Rights Network partner in your area.

For more information for student voters, visit the Student Voting Guide from the Brennan Center for Justice.

Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

Voting as a Student

As a student, you have a constitutional right to register and vote in the place you truly consider to be “home” — whether that’s your parents’ house, your apartment, or your dorm room. But before you make the important decision about where to vote, make sure you know the voting rules (and sometimes consequences) of registering to vote in that state.

More Info On Student Voting

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2016 Election Information for your state