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EDITORIAL: Vote early

Every eligible voter who is able ought to vote early

On the ballot are questions of racial justice and human rights, economic recovery, healthcare and the balance of the Supreme Court, among countless others.
On the ballot are questions of racial justice and human rights, economic recovery, healthcare and the balance of the Supreme Court, among countless others.

With the United States hosting its general election Nov. 3, full and engaged voter participation will be critical. In the midst of a pandemic, national leaders have raised concerns over voter fraud and delays in the delivery of mail-in ballots. At the same time, a series of budget cuts to the United States Postal Service could result in the disenfranchisement of millions of voters by undermining the ability of the federal agency to sort and deliver mail on time.

The stakes have never been higher. Questions of racial justice and human rights, economic recovery, healthcare and the balance of the Supreme Court are all on the ballot next month. The Cavalier Daily Editorial Board urges all of our eligible readers to participate in the electoral process and vote early if able. 

All students attending Virginia colleges — whether they are in-state or out-of-state — have the option to register and vote at their school address. Additionally, for the upcoming election, Virginia is allowing all residents to vote absentee without an excuse and has waived the witness requirement for absentee ballots. So long as you are an eligible U.S. voter and have a Virginia address, you may vote early or absentee. In Virginia, the deadline to register to vote or update your registration information is Tuesday, Oct. 13. 

Although claims of mail-in voter fraud have been widely debunked, their very existence — in conjunction with delays in ballot delivery — threaten the long-standing American tradition of a peaceful transfer of power. An ambiguous election result would be nothing short of disastrous for the health and continuity of the American experiment. Early voting mitigates this possibility by giving the USPS enough time to process ballots. Voters can circumvent the mail-in process altogether through in-person voting. 

Thus far, citizens have answered the call to vote early — Virginia is among the states leading the nation in early voter turnout. It is absolutely imperative that this trend extends through the remainder of the election, and across the rest of the nation, for the sake of our democracy.

We also remind our readers that although this is a presidential election year, there are other decisions on the ballot, including races for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, as well as referenda on redistricting and tax exemptions for disabled service members. These outcomes matter, too. Although the presidential race is unsurprisingly getting the most national media attention, our right to vote extends beyond simply electing a president. We cannot uphold a representative democracy if we simply ignore the many places in which this right exists.

As such, The Cavalier Daily Editorial Board has compiled a list of resources below that may assist you in participating in November’s election.


Virginia deadlines:

October 13th: Final day to register to vote

October 23rd: Final day to request a mail-in absentee ballot

November 3rd: Mail-in absentee ballots must be postmarked or received

Other state deadlines:

Varying deadlines

Voting:

Am I registered to vote?

HoosVoting: Where do I begin (for U.Va Students)

Find my polling place

Request an absentee ballot

Track your absentee ballot

How to request an emergency absentee ballot

What’s on my ballot

Acceptable forms of voter ID


The Cavalier Daily Editorial Board is composed of the Executive Editor, the Editor-in-Chief, the two Opinion Editors, their Senior Associate and an Opinion Columnist. The board can be reached at eb@cavalierdaily.com.

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