Early voting starts May 3 in U.S. House, Senate primaries

Published 12:01 pm Wednesday, May 1, 2024

In-person early voting for the June 18 Democratic and Republican primary elections for the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate begins May 3 and will continue through June 15.

In Isle of Wight County, Missy Cotter Smasal and Jeremiah “Jake” Denton IV, both of Virginia Beach, are vying for the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Jen Kiggans, R-Va., whose 2nd Congressional District includes Isle of Wight and Southampton counties, the cities of Suffolk, Franklin, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, and Accomack and Northampton counties on the Eastern Shore. Neither party is holding a primary election in Surry County, as the 4th Congressional District’s Republican Committee has already selected Bill Moher of Arlington County to run against incumbent U.S. Rep. Jennifer McClellan, D-Va. Moher, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, had originally planned to run for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District but failed to qualify for the ballot in the Northern Virginia race.

McClellan is the sole Democrat vying for the 4th District seat, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. She’s seeking her first full two-year term after having won a special election last year to succeed the late U.S. Rep. Donald McEachin, D-Va., who died shortly after winning reelection in 2022.

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Five candidates – Hung Cao of Purcellville, Edward “Eddie” Garcia Jr. of Arlington, Jonathan Emord of Williamsburg, C.L. “Chuck” Smith Jr. of Virginia Beach and Scott Parkinson of Arlington – are vying in a statewide race for the Republican nomination to challenge U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., who is unopposed in the Democratic primary.

Isle of Wight voters can cast in-person early ballots at the county registrar’s office, 17106 Monument Circle, Isle of Wight. A list of acceptable forms of identification is available at https://www.elections.virginia.gov/registration/voterid/.

Additionally, absentee ballots requested by voters will be mailed beginning May 3, including ballots to registered military and overseas voters. Any registered voter can request an absentee ballot either in person, by mail, online at https://vote.elections.virginia.gov/VoterInformation, or by calling their local registrar’s office. The deadline to request a mailed absentee ballot is June 7. Registered voters do not need a reason to request an absentee ballot.

Absentee ballots can be dropped off at the general registrar’s office or polling location on Election Day. Absentee ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than June 18. Anyone with visual or manual dexterity impairment has the option to vote an absentee ballot using an electronic marking tool.

In localities with dual primaries, voters may be asked to choose which party’s ballot they wish to vote. In a dual primary, officers of election will ask voters if they want to cast their ballot in the Democratic Party Primary or the Republican Party Primary. All qualified voters may vote in either primary, but voters may not vote in both primaries held on the same date, even if they want to vote for candidates running for different offices. Virginia voters do not register by party, and voting in a party’s primary does not register the voter with that party.

The deadline to register to vote and cast a regular ballot is May 28. Afterward, voters can register and vote through same-day registration and cast a provisional ballot. Same-day registration must take place in person at an early voting location for the jurisdiction in which the voter intends to register.

Some jurisdictions offer early in-person voting at satellite locations in addition to the general registrar’s office, which are listed at https://www.elections.virginia.gov/casting-a-ballot/early-voting-office-locations/. Curbside voting is also available for those with disabilities and those over 65 who wish to vote in person. Contact your general registrar’s office for more information regarding voting hours, additional locations and ballot drop boxes.

Voters with questions about absentee or early in-person voting can call their general registrar’s office or the Department of Elections at 1-800-552-9745 or email at info@elections.virginia.gov.