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Guide to Registering and Voting




When is the voter registration deadline?

The deadline in Virginia is Monday, October 15, 2018 to register to vote, or update an existing registration, for the November 6th, 2018 General Election.

When is election day?

Tuesday, November 6, 2018. Block out time to vote in your calendar. Organize a group of friends to walk to the polls and vote with you. And join us after the polls close in Madison Union Ballroom from 7-10 pm for our Dukes Vote Election Night Party.

Am I eligible to vote in Virginia?

If you are a JMU student, you may claim residency in either Virginia (including in Harrisonburg) or your home district. To register in Virginia you must:

  • be a citizen of the United States
  • be a resident of Virginia and of the precinct in which you want to vote
  • be 18 years old by the next May or November general election
  • if convicted of a felony, your right to vote must have been restored
  • not currently declared mentally incompetent by a court of law

If you have a Virginia Driver's License, you can register online through the VA Department of Elections or stop by the Dukes Vote office in Burruss Hall 243.

 

Can I vote in Harrisonburg?

YES! If you register here, you can vote here. Submit a voter registration form with your local address by October 15 deadline.

If you have a Virginia Driver's License, you can register online through the VA Department of Elections or stop by the Dukes Vote office in Burruss Hall 243.

How can I vote in my hometown as a student?

To vote in your hometown, fillout and submit your registration with that address. You will then need to request an absentee ballot. If you are from out-of-state, be sure to check your state's Department of Elections rules and deadlines for registering to vote and requesting an absentee ballot. Rock the Vote also has a useful resource for looking up individual state information.

How can I see if I'm already registered?

Look yourself up! If you are a Virginia resident, you can check at the VA Department of Elections here.

What address do I use to register?

You must use your full physical address to register. So, if you are living on campus in a residence hall (not Grace Street apts) and want to register at JMU then you need to put 800 S Main Street 22807 AND your hall name on your voter registration form. You must also include your PO Box for mail delivery (see sample below). If you are a resident of the Apartments on Grace Street, there are special instructions for you too - enter 42 W. Grace Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22807 for your Residence Address line, but also check the second box under #4 and include your mailing address: 800 S. Main Street, Box # G---, Harrisonburg, VA 22807 (see sample below).

If you live off-campus, use that mailing address.

Many JMU students prefer to register in their home districts and vote absentee. If you want to vote absentee you will register at that address (e.g., in Norfolk, VA or Montpelier, VT). You should request an absentee ballot be sent to your Harrisonburg address. See the links for absentee balloting for more information.

Here is a sample registration form if you live in a residence hall and choose to vote in Harrisonburg.

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Here is a sample registration form if you live at the Apartments on Grace Street and choose to vote in Harrisonburg.

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I have moved. Do I need to register again?

YES. You will need to update your voter registration. If you are a Virginia resident, you can do it on the Department of Elections website.

If you are an out-of-state student, Rock the Vote also has a useful resource for looking up individual state information.

How do I fill out the voter registration form adequately?

The most important piece of advice we can give you is to write LEGIBLY and include your FULL social security number. Make sure you fully complete and sign the form. If you have any questions, we are here to help, so just ask!

Can I vote absentee? What's the Deadline?

In Virginia, the registrar must receive an absentee ballot request by email or mail no later than 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 30, 2018. However, absentee ballots should be requested as far in advance as possible to allow time for the local elections office to mail the ballot to the voter and for the voter to complete and return the ballot. Completed absentee ballots must be returned to the correct registrar’s office before the close of the polls on Election Day.

If you are a Virginia resident, you can apply for an absentee ballot online through the Department of Elections. If you are an out-of-state student, be sure to check your state's deadlines and rules. Rock the Vote also has a useful resource for looking up individual state information.

Voters can only vote by absentee ballot if they have an accepted justification.  For an absentee ballot application and list of valid justifications, visit the Department of Elections.

  • REASON CODE 1A - Being a student attending a college or university is an accepted justification for voting by absentee ballot, BUT you must attend school outside of the locality (county or city) where you are registered to vote. For example, if you attend James Madison University and you are registered to vote in Fairfax County, then you may request an absentee ballot based on your status as a student.

Following the processing of your absentee voting application, you will receive your ballot in the mail. You may receive a notice along with your ballot explaining that you have to provide a copy of one of the following types of identification:

  1. current and valid photo ID (Driver’s License)
  2. utility bill, government check, or paycheck that shows your name and address
  3. another government document which shows your name and address.

If you are notified that you must submit one of these federal ID requirements, and fail to do so, your ballot will be considered a provisional ballot and your vote will not be counted until a copy of one of the ID requirements is provided.

Where is my voting location in Harrisonburg?

If you live in JMU residence halls, you vote at JMU's precinct at the Convocation Center. If you live off campus, you can find maps and information about local polling locations in Harrisonburg here. You will also find your polling location on your voter record, which you can access on the Department of Elections website.

Voting Locations

What identification do I need to vote?

In-person voters must show an acceptable type of ID at the polls or they will have to vote a provisional ballot, and produce acceptable ID later.

A Student ID may be used to vote!

Acceptable forms of ID include any one of the following:

  • Student ID issued from an institution of higher learning in the state of Virginia (either public or private);
  • Voter registration card;
  • Valid Virginia driver’s license;
  • Social Security card;
  • Identification cards issued by the US military, employer, or federal, Virginia, or local agency;
  • Concealed handgun permit; or
  • Copy of a utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck that shows the name and address of the voter.

Virginia law requires you bring a valid picture ID. So, if you are bringing one of the above forms that does not have a picture, make sure to bring in a second valid form with your photo.

I am studying abroad this semester, can I still vote?

YES! Dukes Vote created this guide for JMU students who are Virginia residents studying abroad.

Studying Abroad This Fall? Your Vote Matters!

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