2024-07-12 12:38 PM

Guest Commentary: Early Voting Opened Statewide on Friday

The 2021 General Election is here. While the official date of the election is Nov 2nd, the City of Falls Church Office of Voter Registration and Elections has already mailed and emailed over 700 ballots to voters who requested by-mail ballots domestically and overseas. Friday Sept. 17, is the first day for in-person Early Voting. As with last year’s presidential election, voters do not need any reason to vote early. Simply show up with a valid form of ID such as a driver’s license or state ID card, Voter Information Notice or utility bill with your name and address matching your voter registration address and we’ll issue you your ballot so you can cast it here in our office.

This ballot includes statewide races for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General. The ballot also includes candidates for the House of Delegates for the 53rd District and the following City offices: Sheriff, Commissioner of Revenue, and Treasurer. Finally, on the back of the ballot are races to elect four members to City Council and four members to School Board. A Sample Ballot can be found at our website.

In addition to last year’s new early voting laws that allows any voter to vote early in-person for any reason, we now have expanded early voting hours:

Starting Friday, Sept. 17 our office will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. until Oct. 29. However, we will be closed Monday, Oct. 11 for the holiday.

We will also be open the following extra hours:

Saturday, Oct 23: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Sunday, Oct 24: 12 – 3 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 27: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct 30: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. This is the last day to vote early.

By-mail voting has added a permanent option. You can request a ballot for just the upcoming election or you can request all your ballots for all upcoming elections to be mailed to your voter registration address. Please note: If you choose a primary, you can only choose one primary: Democratic or Republican. Choosing both primaries will cancel each other out and you won’t get ballots for any primary. If you have a DMV ID like a driver’s license, you can apply for your by-mail ballot by going to the Virginia Department of the Elections website. By-mail ballots this year require a witness signature.

We have a drop box for your by-mail ballots outside in the parking lot of City Hall near the blue USPS mailboxes. We will empty the drop box daily to check in your ballot. You can go to the Virginia Department of Elections website, address below, look up your voter record, and it will reflect that we have received your ballot. To be counted, your mail ballot must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by noon on Friday, Nov. 5.

All polling places are in the same physical location. However, some names have changed recently:

Ward 1 is now called Oak Street Elementary School (formerly known as Thomas Jefferson Elementary School).

Ward 2 is now called Falls Green Apartments (formerly Oakwood Apartments).

Ward 3 is still the Falls Church City Community Center.

We are doing due diligence to keep our City elections fair, free, transparent, legal and secure. Please contact us directly if you have any questions or concerns about the process. We are happy to discuss with you anything from voter ID to vote by mail to our paper-based voting equipment. The federal government and the Virginia General Assembly make our laws. Our office implements those laws. If you want changes, please speak to your representatives. If you want to understand the process, please contact us. Happy Voting!

Register to vote, update your voter registration, request your by-mail ballot, check the status of your by-mail ballot, visit here

David B. Bjerke, Director of Elections & General Registrar of Voters.

The City of Falls Church’s Electoral Board consists of Renee Bergmann Andrews, Megan Dolan and Bill Wanlund. The Office of Voter Registration & Elections is located at 300 Park Ave., Room 206C, Falls Church





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