NORFOLK, Va. — It's the final countdown to the November 2022 midterm elections and early voting has started in Virginia.
Early voting kicked off at election offices across Hampton Roads with signs of candidates sprinkled about the front lawns of the buildings.
Judy Taylor and Evelyn Harris from Suffolk arrived early in the morning to show support for a Suffolk School Board candidate. They also encouraged people to get out and cast their ballots early.
Harris said encouraging a diverse group of people to vote is what elections like this one need to have different voices heard.
“I believe it’s very important because a lot of young people may have some time during the week to get out and vote, so it’s important that everyone has the opportunity to vote," Harris said. "The young, the old, everyone.”
Taylor held up her sign for the candidate she favors, saying she was ready to cast her ballot.
"If you don't vote, you're giving that vote to the other candidate you don't want," Taylor said. "The early voting process...it's to let people know they have plenty of time."
Suffolk resident, Patricia Jacobson, walked out of the Registrar's Office Friday morning with her "I Voted!" sticker placed proudly on her sweater.
"I think it's just so important to vote as soon as you can," Jacobson, who showed up to meet Congresswoman Elaine Luria before voting, said.
A poll worker herself, she has seen first-hand how early voting can help on Election Day.
"Because it's so important. If people don't vote, then they don't have a say in what goes on in the country or the community, and a lot of people don't realize that the local votes are just as important as the national votes," Jacobson said.
There are some important tips to remember ahead of the midterm elections.
To vote early in person, you'll have to go to your local Registrar's Office. Don't forget to bring a valid government-issued ID.
The deadline to register online for in-person or for mail-in voting is Oct. 17.
However, a new law in Virginia allows you to do same-day registration on Election Day, Nov. 8, if you miss the October deadline.
If you're planning to request a mail-in ballot, make sure you do so by Oct. 28.