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PNS Daily Newscast - November 25, 2020 


Feeding hungry families, on Thanksgiving and beyond; and is that turkey really from a family farm? (Note to Broadcasters: The newscast has been granted a holiday for Thanksgiving, but we'll return first thing Friday.)


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Time's Almost Up to Register to Vote in Virginia

Mail-in ballot drop boxes in Fairfax County, Va., are being monitored by security cameras to ensure safe voting. (Adobe Stock)
Mail-in ballot drop boxes in Fairfax County, Va., are being monitored by security cameras to ensure safe voting. (Adobe Stock)
October 12, 2020

RICHMOND, Va. -- With the November 3 election just three weeks away, tomorrow is the last day Virginians can register to vote for president, one U.S senator and 11 U.S. House seats.

To help with voting during the pandemic, Virginia lawmakers have passed several measures to make the mail-in process more accessible and secure, according to Beth Tudan, executive director at the Fairfax area's League of Women Voters. She said for the first time, the state is offering drop boxes for mail-in ballots for anyone concerned that ballots could get lost in the mail or could be late.

She's reassuring voters that using a drop box is a safe way to vote.

"Fairfax County, for instance, has a drop box at the government center that's 24 hours a day and it's securely monitored with cameras aimed at it," Tudan said. "And there's also one inside, and it's locked, and there's always an election official with it."

She said more satellite voting offices will open this Wednesday, October 14, with drop boxes. And on Election Day, Virginians can now bring their ballots to any precinct or polling place in the state.

To register online and request an absentee ballot, visit elections.virginia.gov.

Tudan pointed out that witness signatures are no longer needed for mail-in ballots, and no postage is necessary. She said this election also includes a constitutional amendment on adding a bipartisan redistricting commission, and one on exempting state and local property taxes for vehicles owned by veterans with disabilities.

She urges people to research local candidates and initiatives, and said it's especially important to vote on local issues.

"We have constitutional amendments on the ballot this year," she said. "So, fewer people as it goes down the ballot vote on those, so your vote has a larger impact."

The last day to request a vote-by-mail ballot is October 23. But if you're going to use the Postal Service to send a ballot, Tudan suggests applying soon to avoid potential mail delays.

State officials will accept mail-in ballots delivered by the US Postal Service until November 6.

Support for this reporting was provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Diane Bernard, Public News Service - VA