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2016 Virginia General Election Voter Guide

Posted at 5:45 PM, Oct 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-27 17:31:38-04

RICHMOND, Va. — There will be higher participation locally in the 2016 election than the 2008 election if the number of newly registered voters is any indication. 

Not only has this election season provoked strong public opinions, internationally even, but there is a significant appeal even on a local level. Additionally, one of Richmond’s own is on the presidential ballot, and the city has a seven-contestant mayoral race at a time when its future is under a huge spotlight.

We hope this page helps to answer all of your Election Day questions. The State Board of Elections has also extended their hours to assist voters; click here to reach them. 

The last day to absentee vote in-person is Nov. 5.

The polls open in Virginia at 6 a.m. on Election Day, Nov. 8 and stay open until 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Frequently Asked Questions

Virginia’s Voter Photo ID Rules

Under Virginia law, voters are required to bring a photo ID to the polls. If you DO NOT have a photo ID, you can still vote, but you need to take some extra steps for your vote to count.

Here are examples of different photo ID you can bring to the polls:

  • Valid Virginia Driver’s License or Identification Card
  • Valid Virginia DMV issued Veteran’s ID card
  • Valid 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)
  • Valid college or university student photo identification card (must be from an institution of higher education located in Virginia)
  • Employee identification card containing a photograph of the voter and issued by an employer of the voter in the ordinary course of the employer’s business

There are election seats and questions specific to each voters’ district. Please click here to see your sample ballot. 

Constitutional Amendments

On the ballot are two proposed amendments to Virginia’s Constitution.

The first regards the “right to work” law, which has been in place since 1947. The proposed amendment would put that law into the Constitution of Virginia, where it can only be amended by voters, not by the  General Assembly.  It is a Republican-backed measure that passed both chambers with no Democratic support.

The second amendment would allow localities to offer property tax exemptions to spouses of certain emergency services providers. Currently, the state Constitution exempts veterans and surviving spouses of veterans, unless the surviving spouse remarries.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment Question 1: 

Should Article I of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to prohibit any agreement or combination between an employer and a labor union or labor organization whereby (i) nonmembers of the union or organization are denied the right to work for the employer, (ii) membership to the union or organization is made a condition of employment or continuation of employment by such employer, or (iii) the union or organization acquires an employment monopoly in any such enterprise?

A VOTE FOR:  A yes vote supports adding a section to the constitution that would make it illegal for workplaces to require mandatory labor union membership for employees as a condition for employment.

A VOTE AGAINST:  A no vote opposes adding this section to the constitution while maintaining a similar law in state statutes.

Read more about Proposed Constitutional Amendment Question 1, here. 

Proposed Constitutional Amendment Question 2: 

Shall the Constitution of Virginia be amended to allow the General Assembly to provide an option to the localities to exempt from taxation the real property of the surviving spouse of any law-enforcement officer, firefighter, search and rescue personnel, or emergency medical services personnel who was killed in the line of duty, where the surviving spouse occupies the real property as his or her principal place of residence and has not remarried?

A VOTE FOR:  A yes vote supports providing a local option property tax exemption for surviving spouses of first responders killed in the line of duty.

A VOTE AGAINST: A no vote opposes providing this tax exemption.

Read more about Proposed Constitutional Amendment Question 2, here. 

Issues at the poll?

Click here to let us know if you experience anything unusual at the polls.