Voter registration deadline approaching for Virginia

University Hall on 2011 election day. (Photo courtesy of Jake McLernon.)
University Hall on 2011 election day. (Photo courtesy of Jake McLernon.)

Students have a limited amount of time remaining to register to vote in Virginia.

According to the Fairfax County Office of Elections, mail-in registration or change of address must be post-marked by Oct. 15, and in-office registration forms will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 15.

Cameron Quinn, general registrar for the Fairfax County Office of Elections, said first-time registration must be received in hard copy, however, change of address may also be faxed.

Registration for absentee ballots for Fairfax County must be received in the Office of Elections by 5 p.m. on Oct. 30.

Gary Scott, deputy registrar for the Fairfax County Office of Elections, said as of Oct. 12 there are 1,961 people registered to vote in the University precinct.

According to Scott, the University precinct includes George Mason University’s Fairfax campus and neighborhoods located to the east of campus. Scott said the precinct change occurred because of a split authorized by the Virginia General Assembly.

“The west side of the precinct was shifted into, I think, the House precinct to avoid having two ballots in one precinct, which created a need for the University precinct,” said Scott.

The creation of the University precinct also created an on-campus polling location, which is located in University Hall.

Quinn said that the Fairfax County registrar has been having issues with student’s applying for absentee ballots.  

“Someone has been telling students they can use our absentee registration for their home state,” Quinn said. “Absentee ballots should be registered in one’s home state.” The Fairfax registrar can send the registrations to other states but they will not accept them.

Quinn also said that students who live in Fairfax have been applying for absentee ballots that they cannot process.

“Absentee ballots are for people who can’t make it to their poll, not because it’s inconvenient,” said Quinn.

There is now an application available, called “FairfaxCounty,” for iPhone and Android phones that can confirm a person’s voter registration and can route directions to their appropriate voting poll. The Fairfax County government created the application.

The election will be held on Nov. 6.  

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