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While there aren’t any national races in this November’s election, there are still plenty of reasons for Bedford area residents to make sure they’re registered to vote. And, the fact is, this year’s gubernatorial race in Virginia is being treated by some as a national referendum on where this country is headed with the Democrats holding both Houses of Congress as well as the White House.
So if you’re not registered to vote, you have less than a week to take care of that.
Virginians who are not registered to vote must complete and submit a voter registration application by 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 5 if they plan to vote in the Nov. 3 general election. They may apply to register to vote at any of the 74 Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) customer service centers or 57 DMV Select locations throughout the state, or at their local registrar’s office.
Citizens should check their voting status before the application deadline. If you need to find out if you are registered to vote or where your polling precinct is located, visit the Virginia State Board of Elections Web site at www.sbe.virginia.gov, call 1-800-552-9745 or contact your local voter registrar.
For those living in Bedford County, the registrar’s office is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday and is located at the county administration building, 22 East Main Street, Suite 204 in Bedford. Call (540) 586-7649 for more information.
For those in the city of Bedford, residents may register to vote at the office of the General Registrar on the 2nd floor of the City Municipal Building at 215 East Main Street. The Office of Elections for the city of Bedford is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call 587-6007.
Citizens are not registered to vote until a paper voter registration application is completed, signed and approved by your local registrar. Once an application is approved, a voter registration card will be mailed to you from your local registrar’s office.
To be eligible to register to vote in Virginia, you must:
• Be a resident of Virginia (a person who has come to Virginia for temporary purposes and intends to return to another state is not considered a resident for voting purposes).
• Be a U.S. citizen.
• Be 18 years old (any person who is 17 years old and will be 18 years old by Nov. 3 may register).
• Not claim the right to vote in any other state.
• Not currently be declared mentally incompetent by a court of law.
• Have had your right to vote restored, if convicted of a felony.
This year’s election includes statewide races for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. Delegate Lacey Putney is facing two challengers in the 19th House of Delegates race — Democrat Lewis Medlin and Will Smith, representing the Constitution Party. There are also some uncontested races for the board of supervisors and school board. The governor’s race represents a rematch of sorts as Republican Bob McDonnell beat Democrat Creigh Deeds by what amounted to less than one vote per precinct in the attorney general’s race four years ago. The fact is every vote counts. Make sure you’re eligible to cast your vote before it’s too late.