By: Guest Author, Vice President of Political Operations, Anthony Reedy

Historically, only about 30 percent of Virginia voters participate in the off-odd-year state and local elections. With less than two weeks until the November 5, 2019 General Election, NOW is the time to make your plan to vote.

Why event bother to go vote?  Well, every vote matters, especially in low-turnout elections like this year. In 2017, a REALTOR®-supported candidate ended up tied with his opponent with 11,608 cast votes for each candidate. He fortunately won, but only by having his name drawn out of a bowl.

Imagine leaving your vote on the sideline in 2019?

If you think you’ll be busy on Tuesday, November 5, you have a couple options for voting early by absentee ballot.

First, are you eligible to vote by absentee ballot?

Virginia law gives voters 20 excuses to vote early. Common accepted reasons include:

  • Active Duty member of the Armed Forces
  • Temporarily residing outside of the U.S.
  • Caring for a disabled or ill family member
  • Student attending college
  • Personal business or vacation outside county/city of residence on Election Day
  • Business outside County/City of residence on Election Day
  • Working and commuting to/from home for 11 or more hours between 6:00 AM and 7:00 PM on Election Day

There are a couple ways you can absentee vote.

If you want to vote absentee by mail, you must submit your application to your local registrar no later than 5:00 pm on Tuesday, October 29, 2019. You can submit the application online or by mailing the paper application to your local voter registrar.

You can also vote absentee in-person at your local registrar’s office by the close of business on Saturday, November 2, 2019. Check with your voter registrar for location and hours for voting. Remember to bring an acceptable form of photo identification when voting in-person.

To find out more about absentee voting, be sure to check out the Virginia Department of Election’s website.