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AARP Virginia Working to Ensure Awareness of Absentee Ballot Witness Signature Requirement

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Update: AARP has worked to ensure Virginia editions of the AARP Bulletin are now targeted for arrival in mailboxes on or after Nov. 9

RICHMOND – In light of recent reports that registrars across the state are receiving absentee ballots without a witness signature and as part of its efforts to help Virginians get the information they need to make their own plan to vote safely in the coming general elections, AARP Virginia is ramping up efforts to raise awareness of the need for an absentee ballot to include a witness’s signature.

In addition to existing confusion about absentee voting, in the coming days AARP members will start receiving the October issue of the AARP Bulletin. An article in the issue, “Election Special: Voter Guide,” contains voting information that has become outdated.  Specifically, a witness signature IS required on absentee ballots for the Nov. 2 general election for the vote to be counted. That change took effect when the COVID-19 state of emergency was ended. AARP has corrected its online Virginia voter guide here.

AARP has already reached out to members ahead of the issue’s arrival into homes in mid-October through phone calls, emails, and digital media.

“Voting is the single most important and powerful way that Virginians can have a say in their communities,” said AARP Virginia State Director Jim Dau. “AARP takes our responsibility as a reliable source of information very seriously. We’ll continue to do what we can to provide accurate, nonpartisan information and help people make their voices heard, as we’ve done for decades.”

AARP Virginia will also expand current radio and print advertisements to help voters understand important steps and deadlines that may be required to cast their ballot – however each person chooses to do so.

Earlier this week the Virginia Department of Elections began public outreach to remind voters about the witness signature requirement on absentee ballots and information on what to do for those who may have submitted incomplete ballots. Specifically, it wrote that registrars that receive absentee ballots without a witness signature will notify those voters within three days of its receipt. Those voters will have until noon on Nov. 5 to correct their ballot in order for it to be counted.

To confirm the most recent voting information, please visit elections.virginia.gov.

About AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability, and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.

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