Getting ready for Nov. 6

9/20/2018, 6 a.m.
Elections have consequences. The chronic drama, turmoil and horrid decisions emanating from the Trump White House prove that the November ...

Elections have consequences.

The chronic drama, turmoil and horrid decisions emanating from the Trump White House prove that the November 2016 election had dire consequences for this nation.

Now nearly two years later, Virginia and the nation will face critical midterm elections on Nov. 6, when all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate will be up for grabs.

In Virginia, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, a Democrat and former Virginia governor and former Richmond mayor, is facing a re-election contest against Confederate sympathizer Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors.

In Metro Richmond, Democratic Congressman A. Donald McEachin is being challenged by Republican evangelical Pastor Ryan McAdams in the 4th District, while Republican Congressman Dave Brat is locked in a close election battle with Democratic challenger Abigail Spanberger, a former CIA operations officer.

This is a critical time for our nation. And the outcome of this election will very much determine whether the United States ultimately drowns in the swamp created by President Trump and the Republican Party or will be guided on a more steady and progressive path by a new Democratic majority in Congress.

 Why are we bringing this up when the election is roughly 45 days away?

Two reasons.

One, for those who are not registered to vote, the deadline to register is Monday, Oct. 15. To cast a ballot on Nov. 6, your name must be on the voter rolls by Oct. 15.

Two, it gives those who are registered 25 days to check with their local voter registrar’s office to make sure they are still on the rolls.

Shenanigans engineered by conservative forces have put into place in Virginia and 25 other states a voter crosscheck system that has wrongly challenged or dumped mostly people of color from voter rolls. The Free Press and other news outlets have published articles in the past detailing the system that many believe was deliberately installed to purge African-Americans — largely Democratic voters — from the rolls.

By checking with the local voter registrar’s office now, you can make sure that your name is on the voter rolls and that you will be allowed to vote on Nov. 6.

The 45-day window also allows Virginians to make sure they have an acceptable form of photo ID, which is required to vote.

In Virginia, acceptable IDs include a valid Virginia driver’s license, a DMV-issued photo ID, a valid U.S. passport or other government-issued photo ID, a valid employee photo ID, a valid student photo ID from a Virginia college or university and a tribal ID issued by one of the 11 federally recognized Native American tribes in Virginia.

New voter registrants and voters already on the rolls can get a free Virginia Voter Photo ID Card at their local voter registrar’s office.

For a quick way to register to vote, or to check your registration, go to the Virginia Department of Elections website at www.elections.virginia.gov.

The site also has detailed information on the types of IDs accepted for voting and a way to look up the location of your polling place for Election Day.

For help by phone, here are the numbers for area voter registrar’s offices:

Richmond – (804) 646-5950

Henrico – (804) 501-4347

Chesterfield – (804) 748-1471

Hanover – (804) 365-6080

Petersburg – (804) 733-8071

Elections have consequences. Make sure your voice is heard on Nov. 6. Vote.