Voter - Absentee Ballots

The College Vote

“My kid is about to go off to college. Is there anything he or she should know?”

The best advice we can give is for your student to remain registered in Northampton, or register here before they go off to college. It is likely they will be asked to register by political groups or clubs on campus and be encouraged to register under their campus address. If your student registers with their campus address it will change their residency from Northampton to the campus’ locality. This may affect scholarships specific to Shore residents or have other unintended consequences.

Before your student goes, he or she should apply for an absentee ballot to be mailed to their campus address. They can apply online at https://www.elections.virginia.gov/casting-a-ballot/absentee-voting/ or contact our office to request an application at vote@co.northampton.va.us . Also, we will be open the last two Saturdays before the election, October 24 and 31, for in-person voting. These dates often coincide with fall breaks (if they have one this year), so your student can vote in person.

Thanks for helping us out and encouraging our young folks to vote. They will find voting is simple and convenient, and hopefully this will be the start of lifetime of good voting habits.


Terrence P. Flynn
General Registrar
Northampton County
Post Office Box 510
Eastville, VA 23347
Phone: 6757-678-0480
Fax: 757-678-0453



Your Vote Counts

“I want to vote absentee, but I’m worried about voting by mail. I hear it’s not secure, and my ballot may not get counted. It might be a big problem in this election.”

 

We have heard from many voters asking some form of this question, so let’s look at the difference between mail-in voting and voting absentee by mail. There is a big difference.

Some states, Colorado, Utah, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii do have mail-in voting, and send ballots to all registered voters, but how they do this is a better discussion for later.

Virginia allows absentee voters a choice, either vote in person during the 45 day period before the election, or have your ballot mailed to you for you to fill out and return to us. We have been doing this safely and securely since the 1950’s. We will only send voters a ballot if they request it, and if they supply us with a valid mailing address. We do not send every voter on our voter roll a ballot automatically. All of our mail has an official election mail imprint on the envelope, which means that if the address is not valid for some reason, it will not be forwarded and will be returned to us. So no ballots are just sitting in mail boxes. We also have tools like Ballot Scout which can help voters and us track their ballots. Also, only the voter may return his or her ballot in person to our office, so there can be no “ballot harvesting” like you hear about in the news.

You can make sure your ballot is counted by following the directions included in the ballot package. Especially make sure you fill out Envelope B, where you put your marked ballot, correctly with your complete RESIDENTIAL address, not a PO Box, and you and a witness sign it. Anyone over 18 may be your witness, family members included. Once you have Envelope B filled out correctly, place it in the return envelope provided in your ballot package, stamp it, and return it to us in a timely fashion. In the past we had to receive your ballot by 5 p.m. on Election Day for it to be counted, but now as long as the ballot is postmarked by Election Day and received by noon the Friday after the election, it can be counted.

Voting absentee by mail in Virginia is a great help to folks in our community who are unable to get to the polls, or may be out of the county on Election Day, like truck drivers and students. If you have any questions, please call us. Also, look out for more of these discussions on voting, and if there is a topic you would like addressed, email me at vote@co.northampton.va.us

Terry Flynn, General Registrar. 8/7/20


Terrence P. Flynn
General Registrar 
Northampton County
Post Office Box 510
Eastville, VA 23347
Phone: 6757-678-0480
Fax: 757-678-0453



Are Your Wondering About that Election Mailing?

You and other voters in your household may have received a mailing from The Center for Voter Information with a pre-filled absentee ballot application. You may be wondering, rightly, if it is legitimate, and even legal, for you to receive this. Groups such as this are known as “Third Party Vendors”. They are civic or political groups that buy mailing lists from various sources. The Northampton Voter Registration Office and the Virginia Department of Elections have no connection with them and no control over what they send you or the information contained in the mailing. Sometimes the information is old, unreliable, or may be addressed to deceased voters or people who used to live at your address. It is perfectly legal for third party vendors to encourage people to vote and to assist voters by sending prefilled forms.

Things to look for to evaluate the legitimacy of the mailing:
• Your personal information is correct
• The address where you would like your ballot delivered is correct
• If there is an envelope to return the application, the return address is our office, Voter Registration, PO Box 510, Eastville, VA 23347

As previously stated, most of these groups are legitimate and are only trying to help people vote. However, in the past we have seen some mailings that are not legitimate. The Department of Elections will then work with the group to either fix bad information, or may even ask them to cease and desist.

Red Flags to look for:
• The group does not clearly identify themselves or their mission.
• Your information is not correct
• Your ballot will be sent to a different address than yours
• There is a different return address on the envelope to mail back to us
• The mailing contains hyper-partisan or misleading information
As we get deeper into election season, these mailing may increase. Please do your due diligence as they arrive in your mail. If you see something obviously misleading, please call our office. 

Below is the response by the Department of Elections:

Virginia Department of Elections' Statement Concerning Third Party Mailings

 

RICHMOND, VA – The Center for Voter Information recently mailed absentee ballot applications to Virginia residents. The Virginia Department of Elections has no affiliation with this group nor coordinates with any third party groups on campaign efforts.

We are aware that voters in multiple localities that received an absentee ballot application were given pre-paid return envelopes addressed to the incorrect registrar’s office. 

The Virginia Department of Elections encourages all voters that would like to receive an absentee ballot for the November election to apply electronically on our website www.elections.virginia.gov/voterinformation.

Any applications that arrive in the wrong locality's office will be forwarded immediately to the correct office for processing.

If you have already applied for an absentee ballot, you do not need to submit a new application. The first day that absentee ballots will be mailed is September 18, 2020. Other inquiries regarding this mailing can be directed to the Center for Voter Information.


 

ABSENTEE VOTING BY MAIL is allowed for persons who are unable to go to the polls because of illness or physical disability; persons who are away on business or vacation; persons working at least 11 hours between 6:00 am and 7:00 pm; persons who are confined or awaiting trial; students who are attending school and their spouses; primary caretaker of a disabled or ill family member; members of the armed forces and their dependents, persons and their spouse or dependent employed outside US and persons with a religious obligation.

To obtain an Absentee Ballot Application contact the Voter Registrars Office or download from Absentee Ballot Application (http://elections.virginia.gov/casting-a-ballot/absentee-voting/index.html ).

Absentee Ballot Applications, for all, must be completed and returned to the Voter Registrar not less than seven days prior to the election. Voted ballots must be received on or before Election Day.

ABSENTEE VOTING IN PERSON: The Saturday before Election Day is the last day to vote in person at the Office of the General Registrar. The office will be open from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. on that Saturday. For faster service, call before you leave home. If time allows, we will prepare the necessary forms prior to your arrival.

ANNUAL APPLICATION FOR AN ABSENTEE BALLOT DUE TO PHYSICAL DISABILITY OR ILLNESS
In order to assist a person with a long-term disability or illness, the Code of Virginia was amended in 2001 to include an Annual Application. By completing this application, which requires a doctor's signature, the applicant is entitled to all applicable ballots for the remainder of the calendar year. If you, or someone you know would benefit from this type of application, please call for a complete explanation or see 24.2-703.1 of the Code of Virginia.


Department Staff Information

Terrence P. Flynn
General Registrar

Liz Smith
Assistant Registrar

Voter Registration
16404 Courthouse Rd
PO Box 510
Eastville VA 23347

Phone: 757-678-0480
Fax: 757-678-0453

vote@co.northampton.va.us