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Hampton Roads Community News

2020 Election Season Underway In Virginia

By Leonard E. Colvin
Chief Reporter
New Journal and Guide

In 2016, James Fischer admits that he was one of the thousands of African Americans who did not vote in the General Election.

He did not like Donald Trump whom he called a “con man”. He did not trust Hilary Clinton because she supported the 1995 Crime Bill which sent large numbers of Black men to jail. So Fisher stayed home.

“But now I know better,” said Fischer, who resides in Norfolk. “I made a huge mistake and allowed that orange-haired ape to get in the White House. I plan on being one of the first to vote to make sure he is not reelected.”

Fischer said he has voted in every election since 2016.

This year, he will be voting in-person absentee at the Norfolk Registrar’s Office in Norfolk’s City Hall.

He is especially proud of voting in the 2018 General Election which enabled the Democrats to take control of the House of Representatives.

This year because of the pandemic, Virginia is joining other states in expanding its early voting so people fearing exposure to the COVID-19 virus, will not have to go to the polls.

The state is encouraging people to vote early and absentee.

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Last week Governor Ralph Northam, who has supported early voting and other reforms, said the state has sent out over 790,000 ballots to voters who want to vote absentee via mail or in person.

The last day to register to vote is October 13 at 5 p.m.

The deadline for absentee voting is October 31 at 5 p.m.

The last day to request an absentee ballot is October 23 at 5 p.m.

Due to voter reforms passed by the Virginia General Assembly, people will not need any of the 19 excuses the state once required people to use to get permission to vote absentee.

If a person is casting an absentee vote from home, a witness is required and the state is spending $2 million to put a stamp on an envelope so the ballot can be sent back to the registrar’s office on time.

Early voting by absentee ballot via the mail or in-person at the city’s registrar’s office started September 18, and Fischer is joining a large number of people who will be voting as early as possible.

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