Registrar offers options for voting amid snail mail issues

Free Press staff report | 2/29/2024, 6 p.m.
Richmond’s General Registrar Keith Balmer said at a recent meeting that he was offering practical solutions to ensure eligible voters ...
Mr. Balmer

Richmond’s General Registrar Keith Balmer said at a recent meeting that he was offering practical solutions to ensure eligible voters in Richmond can cast ballots without hindrance in next week’s presidential primary, according to The Washington Post and other news outlets.

The city’s Office of Elections posted Mr. Balmer’s remarks from the meeting on social media Monday with a message encouraging voters to use one of three drop boxes located around the city instead.

Anyone who hasn’t received a requested ballot or is worried that a ballot may not reach its destination in time can visit an early voting center to fill out a form and cast a ballot or cast a provisional ballot on March 5, the day of the primary, Mr. Balmer said.

“I understand that these issues extend beyond mere inconvenience; they represent a fundamental threat to our democracy,” Mr. Balmer said in his remarks.

Data collected by the Virginia Department of Elections showed that about 33% of the roughly 2.5 million Virginians who voted in statewide elections in 2023 voted by absentee ballot, news media reported Monday.

More than 40% of the ballots that were mailed out in Chesterfield County have been returned, Registrar Missy Vera told WRIC-TV 8.

Henrico County Registrar Mark Coakley told the station last week that mail problems haven’t affected sending or receiving ballots there.

The U.S. Postal Service said in a statement that it is committed to “secure, timely” delivery of election mail and has been working with officials to meet that goal. It recommends that voters allow time to complete and return their ballots by their state’s deadlines.

The Postal Service said it has addressed complications experienced during the setup and rollout of Richmond’s new regional processing center, one of the first of its type under modernization efforts, but it continues to struggle with the tight labor market.

To read Mr. Balmer’s remarks, please visit: https://twitter.com/RVA_Votes/status/1762149536686854625

The next election is the March primary on Tuesday, March 5.

You can view a sample ballot for this election at:

Republican Party Presidential Primary:


Democratic Party Presidential Primary.

Sample ballot: https://www.rva.gov/sites/default/files/2024-01/LPW_YB_RICHMOND-DEMOCRATIC-GENERIC%20-sample_0.pdf

You can find out what your voting precinct number is by visiting: https://rva.gov/elections/precincts

Early voting began Friday, Jan. 19, and ends Saturday, March 2.

The locations, dates and times are as follows: Office of Elections: 2134 W. Laburnum Ave. through March 2, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Satellite locations for early voting that started Tuesday, Feb. 20.

City Hall: 900 E. Broad St. through March 2.

8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, March 2

Hickory Hill Community Center: 3000 E. Belt Blvd. through March 2.

8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March, 2