NewsPolitics2021 Virginia Elections


Election officials remind voters witness signature is required to vote by mail in Virginia

Voting methods vary by state, mail-in voting increasing
Posted at 3:22 PM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 18:28:39-04

NORFOLK, Va. - So far, more than 100 voters in Norfolk have not included a witness signature on their absentee by mail ballot, Voter Registrar Stephanie Iles told News 3.

Now, election officials across the state are reminding voters a witness signature is required after it was waived last year during the pandemic.

"It is concerning in the fact that I think there was some confusion," Iles said. "People weren't sure if they needed a witness or not, but they need a witness."

The witness can be a friend, a neighbor, a family member - basically anyone 18 years and older. If a ballot does not include that, the registrar will send you a new ballot with a note explaining what's required.

The push comes amid a close race for governor in Virginia. Polls show Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin in a dead heat ahead of the November 2 election.

This week in Hampton Roads there was a point of contention as the Youngkin campaign touted an endorsement from a group called the Hampton Roads Black Caucus.

Local African-American Democrats called the group misleading during a press conference this week with local activists and politicians.

"We are here to set the record straight," Sen. Mamie Locke (D-Hampton) said. "Here are individuals who have been engaging in decades of services to the African-American community as members of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus and as members of the Greater Hampton Roads Black Democrats."

Over the phone, a member of the Board of Directors said the Hampton Roads Black Caucus is comprised of about 100 members. Ron Taylor wasn't able to say whether anyone in the caucus is an elected official.

Taylor said the group sent out an electronic survey to its members. Of those who responded, a majority supported Youngkin. "I was shocked," Taylor said.

The group is non-partisan and focused on addressing issues impacting the local African-American community, according to Taylor.

Local Democrats reaffirmed their support for Terry McAuliffe.

"We are the real Black caucus here," Sen. Lionell Spruill (D-Chesapeake) said. "Don't buy that stuff."

In response to the press conference, a Youngkin campaign spokesperson said, "Glenn has the support of a diverse and broad base of Virginians, and we thank the Black Legislative Caucus for bringing that to everyone’s attention by highlighting the endorsement of the Hampton Roads Black Caucus.”

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