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Voting district or ballot question? The Virginia Beach registrar — and local parties — are happy to help

Assistant Virginia Beach registrar Jasmine Sampson assists voter Melvin Johnson of Seatack before he casts an absentee ballot on Friday, Oct. 27, at the registrar’s office in Courthouse. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE

COURTHOUSE – Dave Belote, chair of the Virginia Beach Democratic Committee, is among the local elections and political party officials who encounter voters who sometimes do not know what state legislative district they live within.

Belote said he usually recommends the Virginia Public Access Project website, vpap.org, where people can type in their address and see basic information about where and for whom they vote.

“I’ve got that on my cell phone, ready to go,” he said. “I type it in right there on the spot.”

“I had a conversation with somebody last night,” said Tina Mapes, chairperson of the Republican Party of Virginia Beach, during a recent interview.  “‘Who’s your delegate?’ ‘I’m not sure.’ You do come across a lot of people who do not know their delegate.”

Mapes also works with voters who may be unsure of their district, including folks who stop by the party’s office, which is staffed with people fielding such questions.

She, too, recommended resources such as the Virginia Public Access Project and the registrar’s office. 

And people are always welcome to call the party or stop in.

“We do have a list of our candidates who are Republicans,” she said.

This year Virginia Beach voters will choose their local House of Delegates representatives, who run in districts that can cross city lines and, on the map, take on odd shapes. 

That’s in addition to constitutional officers, who run throughout the city, and state officials such as the governor, for whom every Virginia voter gets to choose. 

There are seven state house districts, either all or partially in Virginia Beach, on ballots in the city this year.

The state elections department has a voter information portal at vote.elections.virginia.gov/voterinformation, where people can look up precincts and find other voting information. And the Virginia Beach registrar has a varierty of tools at its site, vbgov.com/voter

These include information on polling locations changes and sample ballots that can be found by precinct.

“If you go on our website and you know your precinct, you can click on your precinct and see your sample ballot,” said Christine Lewis, deputy registrar in Virginia Beach.

The office is happy to help people with questions, offering candidate lists and other information, such as polling place changes, she added. 

During a recent visit, sample ballots were up on the wall while citizens came in to vote absentee.

She recommended that people go online to research their ballot before they head to the polls or vote absentee.

“We’ve tried to put as much information on our website,” Lewis said.  “We’re trying to make it as easy as possible for people to know what’s on the ballot.”

The 21st Virginia House of Delegates District. [Courtesy of Virginia Public Access Project]

The 81st Virginia House of Delegates District includes parts of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake. That majority of the district’s voters are in Virginia Beach. [Via Virginia Public Access Project]

The 84th District of the Virginia House of Delegates is contained within Virginia Beach. [Courtesy of Virginia Public Access Project]


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The Independent News

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