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You can go to the polls starting Friday
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ELECTION 2021

You can go to the polls starting Friday

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In-person voting for the November elections begins today throughout Virginia, when registered voters can cast ballots by mail or in-person in races ranging from governor through the General Assembly to local board and constitutional offices.

Polling places will be open on hours and days set by local election boards, but the absentee voting is standardized and the same as it was in 2020.

An absentee ballot also will be mailed to everyone who asks for one, and you don’t have to give a reason to vote absentee. If you are registered to vote, just contact the registrar’s office in your city or county or visit elections.virginia.gov/voterinformation. A vote-by-mail application may be downloaded at elections.virginia.gov/forms.

Regardless of where you vote in Virginia, the last day to request an absentee ballot is at 5 p.m. Oct. 22, and those ballots must be postmarked by Election Day, which is Nov. 2, and received by your registrar by noon Nov. 5 to be counted.

Sealed ballots may be dropped off are your assigned polling place as long as it is received by 7 p.m. on Election Day.

Early in-person voting will be at locally set hours on weekdays through Oct. 29 as well as two Saturdays, Oct. 23 and Oct. 30. There is no paperwork required to vote in person. Just go to your registrar’s office, present a valid ID and cast your ballot.

Every voter in Virginia will be given the opportunity to vote for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.

Republican Glenn Youngkin, Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Libertarian Princess Teira Blanding are vying for governor, and Republican Winsome Earle Sears and Democrat Hala Sophia Ayala are candidates for lieutenant governor.

The attorney general’s office will be filled by either Republican Stuart Miyares or incumbent Democrat Mark Herring.

There are contested races for the House of Delegates districts that include Henry and Patrick counties and the city of Martinsville.

Incumbent Les Adams (R-Chatham) is facing Martinsville resident Chance Trevillian in the 16th District, and incumbent Danny Marshall (R-Danville) faces Rhett Deitz in the 14th District.

The 9th District has two new candidates. Republican Wren Williams (R-Stuart) overpowered incumbent Charles Poindexter (R-Franklin) in the primary and will face another newcomer, Democrat Bridgette Craighead of Rocky Mount.

Local races, too

Henry and Patrick counties will have local races on the ballot.

Henry County Board of Supervisors incumbent Chair Jim Adams is running unopposed in the Blackberry District, and incumbent Thomas E. Auker is running for another term on the Henry County School Board.

But voters in the Iriswood and Collinsville districts have races for their supervisors.

Garrett Dillard, Eric Phillips, Billy Dean White and Eric Bowling want the seat in Iriswood vacated by David Martin.

And in the Collinsville District, incumbent Joe Bryant is being challenged by newcomer Andrew Palmer.

The Collinsville seat on the school board is a match of Elizabeth Durden and Ray Reynolds Jr.

In Patrick County, Caroline Jones and Walter Scott are running for the Smith River District seat on the school board.

Running unopposed in Patrick County are Cindy D. Kendrick, commissioner of the revenue, and Dan River District Supervisor Brandon J. Simmons.

No one filed to run for the Dan River District seat on the school board, and that slot will be decided by write-in vote.

Ironically, despite the city of Martinsville’s request to dissolve all constitutional offices by reverting to a town in Henry County by next summer, those offices are all up for re-election, but Commonwealth’s Attorney G. Andrew Hall, Sheriff Steve M. Draper, Commissioner of the Revenue Ruth L. Easley and Treasurer C.L.”Cindy” Dickerson are all unopposed.

Election processes

Henry County and Martinsville both have new registrars. Cindy Barbour retired June 1 in Martinsville and has been replaced by Sara Workman. Dawn Stultz-Vaughn will be overseeing her first general election in Henry County after having replaced Elizabeth Stone, the state’s longest-serving registrar who passed away shortly after last year’s elections.

Each county has slightly different hours and drop-off processes, but essentially you can vote in person during business hours each weekday and on Oct. 23 and Oct. 30. All in-person locations are requesting voters to wear masks, and social distancing will be practiced.

Registrars ask that voters verify their registration before going to vote and remember to bring with them a valid ID. Oct. 11 is the last day to register to vote or to change voter registration information for this election.

The Department of Elections anticipates a high volume of mail-in votes this election and is recommending anyone voting by mail to make your request early and return your ballot quickly. The status of your ballot application can either be tracked online at elections.virginia.gov/voterInformation or by calling your local registrar.

For voters who are blind, have low vision, or have a physical impairment, a ballot marking tool may be used to vote absentee and for anyone with questions about voting absentee whether it be by mail or in-person may call the Virginia Department of Elections at 800-552-9745, email info@elections.virginia.gov, or visit the website for additional information at elections.virginia.gov.

In Martinsville

The official drop off stations in the city is a ballot drop-off box near the drive-thru beside the utility payment drop box at the Martinsville Municipal Building, 55 W. Church St., and at the registrar’s office, Room 122 inside.

Drop-off and in-person voting will be daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Oct. 23 and Oct. 30. All polling places will serve as drop off stations on Election Day.

In Henry County

Stultz-Vaughn reported 625 ballots were being readied to mail out in Henry County, and she noted that all voter applications must be sent to the Henry County Registrar’s Office at 3300 Kings Mountain Road, No. 103 and postmarked by the deadline. An absentee ballot may be requested at vote@co.hennry.va.us by Oct. 22.

In Henry County, in-person voting will be 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each weekday, with special days Oct. 23 and Oct. 30.

Before Election Day, the registrar’s office at the Henry County Administration Building is the only designed drop-off station, and on Election Day all polling places will also serve as drop-off stations.

In Patrick County

Registrar Susan Taylor said her office has sent out 222 ballots by mail and will be open for early voting at 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Oct. 23 and Oct. 30.

Anyone without internet access, may visit the registrar’s office at the Patrick County Veterans’ Memorial Building, 106 Rucker St. Room 216C in Stuart, during normal business hours.

Additionally, anyone with questions or concerns may call the registrar’s office at 276-694-7206, email staylor@co.patrick.va.us. or visit the website at co.patrick.va.us/registrar.

Bill Wyatt is a reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin. He can be reached at 276-638-8801, Ext. 236. Follow him @billdwyatt.

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Martinsville City Council pushed the reversion process another step Thursday night with the adoption of an ordinance on first reading, approving the voluntary settlement agreement (VSA) with Henry County and authorizing the filing of a petition to have the the city become a town within Henry County.

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