Many Stafford residents have recently received mailings from a group called the “Center for Voter Information” containing a request for an absentee ballot with a return envelope addressed to the Stafford County Voter Registrar. The mailings have caused confusion among voters who did not request the unsolicited mailings and/or may have already submitted an application for an absentee voting ballot. Officials want the public to know the mailings were not sent out by the Stafford County Voter Registrar’s Office, and the Registrar’s Office does not coordinate with any third-party groups on campaign information. As well, a request for an absentee ballot is completely different from an actual official absentee ballot - it is just a request.
“The best thing a voter who wants to vote absentee can do is to visit the state elections website and fill out the official request for an absentee ballot,” said Stafford County Voter Registrar Anna Hash. “You can also call the office and ask to have an absentee ballot application be mailed to you. Once you receive it, you can mail it back in. We also offer in-person absentee voting in our office during business hours starting 45 days before the election.”
The Coronavirus pandemic has caused many voters to reassess their plans for voting. As well, both true and false information is being disseminated via social media, the news and radio and television. The best source of information is always the official sources – the Virginia Department of Elections and the Stafford County Voter Registrar – both of whom work under the chain of command of the Federal Election Commission.
If you completed the request for an absentee ballot that was sent by the Center for Voter Information and returned it to Stafford County, it will be processed. Approximately 300 of these applications have already been received by the Registrar’s Office. If you have already applied for an absentee ballot, you do not need to submit a new application. The first day that absentee ballots will be mailed is September 18, 2020.
To request an official absentee voting ballot, please visit Official Absentee Ballot. The most accurate and timely sources of election information are the Virginia Department of Elections website at www.elections.virginia.gov and the Stafford County Voter Registrar’s webpage at https://staffordcountyva.gov/875/Voter-Registration. The Voter Registrar’s Office may also be reached by phone at (540) 658-4000.