Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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November 2, 2013

Absentee voting: Last day to vote early

— — Voters in Southwest Virginia hoping to avoid long lines at the polls Tuesday are reminded that today is the last day to cast an absentee in-person ballot at their local voter registration office.

Area offices of the general registrars will be open for eight hours today to allow voters to cast an absentee ballot. In order to vote absentee, residents must be registered to vote in Virginia and must meet one of several eligibility requirements listed on the Virginia absentee ballot.

For example, if a voter is a college student who attends classes out of the area, he or she may vote absentee. The same goes for those who may be out of town on business or vacation on Election Day. If a voter has a disability or illness that would keep them from waiting in long lines at the polls on Nov. 5, they also may cast an absentee ballot. The same goes for local residents who are serving in the military.

At the top of the Nov. 5 ticket is the closely watched gubernatorial contest between  Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Terry McAuliffe. Both men are hoping to succeed outgoing Gov. Bob McDonnell in the Nov. 5 general election.

While recent polls had suggested a comfortable lead for McAuliffe, a new poll released just earlier this week indicates the race has tightened with only a 4 percentage point difference between the two candidates. The gubernatorial contest could be an interesting fight to the finish. A number of high profile political figures have already been stumping across the state for the candidate representing their political party, including former President Bill Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.

But beyond the gubernatorial contest, a number of state and county races also will be decided Nov. 5 across Southwest Virginia, including contested local races in Tazewell, Bland and Giles counties. The 3rd Legislative District race between incumbent Delegate James W. “Will” Morefield, R-Tazewell, and Democrat James M. O’Quinn also will be decided Nov. 5.

If you want to vote early, today would be the day to do so. But if you don’t vote absentee, please remember to cast a ballot on Tuesday. It’s an important election and all registered voters in the state of Virginia should cast a ballot.

As one of only two gubernatorial elections this year, the nation will be watching to see how Virginia votes Tuesday. Please cast a ballot. Let your voice be heard.


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