Local Commentary

A Penny for Your Thoughts: News of Greater Falls Church

prenny-fcnpElection Day is approaching rapidly, but there are a few days left to register in time to vote in the November 4 election. Next Tuesday, October 14, is the last day to register to vote in the general election. In Fairfax County, in-person registration deadline is 5 p.m. You may register in person at the Fairfax County Office of Elections, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 323, in Fairfax. By mail, your application must be postmarked not later than October 14; send it to the Elections Office at the address above. On-line registrations will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on October 14; register or update your information online at www.vote.virginia.gov.

If you already are registered to vote, and have not moved (or had a name change) since the last election, you do not need to take any action. However, under a new law passed by the Virginia General Assembly, every voter is required to provide a photo ID at the polls. Examples of acceptable photo IDs and more information about the new law are available at www.virginia.sbe.gov. There is controversy about the new requirements, since many Virginia residents do not have a driver’s license, the most readily available form of ID. This may be of special concern to elderly voters who may no longer drive; if you have an elderly relative or friend in this situation, the following information may be of special interest.

Free photo IDs may be obtained at the Fairfax County Office of Elections, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 323, in Fairfax, or during satellite voting hours at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale, Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., or Monday through Friday, October 14 – November 2, from 3:30 to 7 p.m., the same hours as absentee in-person voting. Other satellite voting locations in Fairfax County will provide the same photo ID service, same hours. Don’t miss your opportunity to vote. Make sure your photo ID is up-to-date now.

This year’s General Election, for congressional candidates (U.S. Senate and all 11 of Virginia’s seats in the House of Representatives), a Proposed Amendment to Virginia’s Constitution, and a county Transportation Bond referendum, is Tuesday, November 4. Your regular polling place will be open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. that day. Please double-check your voter registration card for the location and address of your regular polling place. A few changes to precinct lines were made after the 2010 Census.

Election officers are needed to help conduct the elections. You must be a registered voter, and bilingual citizens especially are encouraged to participate as election officers. Training is available, and the time commitment is for Election Day. The hours are long, the pay is low ($175 for the day) but your contribution to democracy is enormous! Find out how you can help at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/elections. You also may call 703/222-0776 for information about voter registration, absentee voting, polling places, and election officers, or send an email to voting@fairfaxcounty.gov.


 Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor, in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be emailed at mason@fairfaxcounty.gov.