Making Democracy Work

Voting Information: Overview

Overview

This section describes government and elections in Virginia and Montgomery County and provides information on registering to vote.

Websites with voting information

The Virginia Department of Elections maintains a website (http://www.elections.virginia.gov/. There you can register to vote, apply for an absentee ballot, find out what is on the ballot, and more.

Montgomery County, Virginia, also has a useful website (http://www.montva.com/). The Office of Voter Registration is found listed under departments. The site contains downloadable forms, maps, results of recent elections and much more detailed information. Email Montgomery County with your voting questions.

To get Voter guides for elections prepared by the League of Women Voters, go to vote411.org.

To track legislation and the voting record of your representatives, use these sites:
National Legislation:
   Congress.gov
   Votesmart.org

Commonwealth Legislation:
   Virginia General Assembly
   Richmond Sunlight

Government and Elections in Virginia and Montgomery County

Virginia has elections every year. With the exception of primaries and special elections called by the Governor and the Courts, all elections are held the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Statewide, three officials are elected every four years: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General. Virginia's legislative body, the General Assembly, is divided into two chambers: The House of Delegates and the Senate. Delegates are elected for two-year terms and Senators for four-year terms. Montgomery County is divided into three House of Delegates districts and three Senatorial districts.

Montgomery County has a county form of government. Within the county are two towns, Blacksburg and Christiansburg. Each town elects a mayor and a town council. In addition, the County is divided into seven supervisory districts. Residents of towns vote for mayor, town council members, and a supervisor. Elected county-wide are the Constitutional Officers: Commonwealth Attorney, Clerk of the Court, Sheriff, Commissioner of the Revenue, and Treasurer. All Constitutional Officers are elected for a four-year term, with the exception of the Clerk of the Court, which is an eight-year term.

Oversight of elections in Virginia is provided by the Department of Elections (ELECT). Locally a three-member court-appointed electoral board in each county or city selects a local Registrar. The Electoral Board and Registrar are responsible for holding elections in each jurisdiction.

Registering to Vote

All citizens must be registered within Montgomery County before voting. You may register at the Office of Voter Registration at the Montgomery County Government Center in Christiansburg or while obtaining or changing the information on your Virginia driver's license at the Division of Motor Vehicles. Or you may complete the voter registration application on the Department of Elections website). You can also register by mail (forms available at county libraries, the DMV, and the Blacksburg Post Office at 909 University City Blvd. and the Christiansburg Post Office at 350 Arbor Drive) or by applying in person at offices that provide public assistance or that serve persons with disabilities.

You must register at least 22 days before a general election, 13 days prior to a special election, or 7 days before a special election called by the Governor.

To register, you must be a citizen of the United States, a resident of Virginia, at least 18 years of age, and not be a convicted felon (unless your voting rights have been restored by the Governor). You will be required, under oath, to provide: your full name, including maiden name and any prior legal name; age; date and place of birth; social security number, if any; whether a citizen of the United States; address and place of abode and date of residence in the precinct; place of any previous registrations to vote; and whether ever adjudicated to be mentally incompetent or convicted of a felony. There are no fees to register or vote, and voters do not declare a party affiliation.

Voter card: After you register, the local Office of Voter Registration or the Department of Elections will send you a voter card that identifies your polling place and your Congressional and General Assembly districts. If you change residences within Montgomery County or change your name, it is important to notify the Office of Voter Registration to ensure that your name is placed on the proper polling book. Please do this at least 22 days before the election.

Voting, Polling Places

The polling places are open from 6 am to 7 pm the day of elections. Voters in line at 7 pm will be allowed to vote.

Photo ID
Virginia law requires all voters to provide an acceptable form of photo identification (photo ID) when voting in person at their polling place.

Virginia law requires all voters to provide photo identification when voting in person at their polling place. Acceptable photo IDs include valid versions of these documents: Virginia Driver's License or Identification Card, Virginia DMV-issued Veteran's ID card, United States Passport, other government-issued photo identification cards (must be issued by US Government, the Commonwealth of Virginia, or a political subdivision of the Commonwealth), college or university student photo ID card (must be from a Virginia college or university), or employee ID card with a photograph of the voter and issued by an employer of the voter in the ordinary course of the employer's business. All of the acceptable forms of photo ID can be used up to a year after ID has expired.

Absentee Voting
Absentee voting,in advance of election day, is allowed at the Registrar's Office for state certified reasons, such as absence from the locality on the day of election, a prolonged illness, service in the military, or a work day which prevents you going to the polls.
You can find a full list of state-certified reasons for absentee voting at the Department of Elections website, or by contacting the Office of Voter Registration.

You may request a mail-in absentee ballot by mail, online, or fax no later than 7 days before the election. Mail-in absentee ballots are available 45 days before an election and may be requested up to a year in advance of the election.

Turn in your absentee ballot in person by 5 pm on the last Saturday before the election. Mail-in ballots must be received by the Office of Voter Registration by 7 pm on election day.

Montgomery County Electoral Board

Chairman: Marshall "Dean" Dowdy, 540-382-5741 (o), 540-953-2281 (h), dddowdy@hotmail.com
term March 1, 2015 - February 29, 2016
Vice-Chairman: Fred A. McKenzie, 540-382-5741 (o), 540-381-6811 (h), fredm24068@yahoo.com
term March 1, 2015 - February 28, 2018
Secretary: Carroll D. Williams, 540-382-5741 (o), 540-808-6812 (h), cwilliams2060@gmail.com
term March 1, 2014 - February 28, 2017

General Registrar: E. Randall Wertz
755 Roanoke Street, Suite 1F, Christiansburg, VA 24073
540-382-5714, wertzer@montgomerycountyva.gov
term expires June 30, 2019