Loudoun County election officials remind voters of the proper procedures for absentee voting and early voting for the November 3 general election.
“There are three things that appear to be causing some concern and confusion among voters right now: absentee ballot witness signatures, which envelopes are required for return and how to participate in early voting,” said Loudoun County General Registrar Judy Brown, who provides the following information:
Absentee Ballot Witness Signature Requirement Waived
Due to health and safety concerns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the previous long-standing requirement in Virginia that voters casting absentee ballots must have a witness was recently waived. However, the witness requirement is still listed in the instructions, with the provision that people may opt out of the requirement if they cannot safely obtain a witness signature. “We are accepting absentee ballots without a witness signature as long as everything else on the ‘B’ envelope is filled out correctly,” said Brown. The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot by mail is October 23, 2020, at 5:00 p.m.
Follow Instruction and Use the Return Envelope
Brown reminds voters who have received an absentee ballot to make sure they follow the instructions for filling it out. When completed, they should seal the ballot in the ‘B’ envelope and complete the required information and then seal the ‘B’ envelope in the return envelope, which is the one with the purple stripe. “If people use the return envelope with the purple stripe down the side, that will speed up our ability to get their ballot into the system,” she said.
Early Voters Do Not Have to Apply in Advance
Anyone who would like to vote early in person may do so without an appointment or application. Early voting is available at the Office of Elections in Leesburg during normal business hours, with extended hours and additional early voting sites opening beginning October 17, 2020. The last day to vote early in person is Saturday, October 31, 2020.
Loudoun County also encourages residents to stay informed about COVID-19.
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