map of the 2021 Virginia congressional districts.
District lines have been redrawn since the last election. Source: Virginia Redistricting

Election Day is only a few weeks away. Cardinal News’ voter guide answers common voter questions so you’re ready to cast your vote, including on how and where you can vote, who is running in the 5th, 6th, and 9th districts, and what will be on ballots in Southwest and Southside Virginia. We also cover how redistricting affected congressional districts in Southwest and Southside Virginia.

Let’s dive in.

Can I still register to vote after Oct. 17?

Yes. You can register to vote through Election Day, but you will be given a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots are reviewed after Election Day by the local election board to determine if each vote can be counted. 

Can I vote with an out-of-state or expired license? 

Yes. If you get to your polling place without an acceptable ID, you can sign a statement affirming your identity and vote on a regular ballot, according to the Virginia Department of Elections. If your license is expired, you can still use it to vote.

How can I vote by mail in Virginia?

You can request a mail-in ballot by mail or online until Oct. 28. After that, you may apply in-person for an absentee ballot until Nov. 5. 

Request the mail-in ballot on Virginia’s election portal, or by mailing an application for an absentee ballot to your local voter registration office. You can find the address for your voter registration office on the Virginia Department of Elections website.

Nov. 7 is the last day to ask for an emergency absentee ballot. To qualify for an emergency absentee ballot, you need to have a serious conflict (like a work conflict, or a health issue of an immediate family member) come up after 12 p.m. on Nov. 5.

Can I vote early in-person?

Yes. You can vote early in-person at your local registrar’s office. You can find the location of the general registrar’s office in your jurisdiction and read more about early voting on the Virginia Department of Elections’ website.

Where is my polling place?

You can find your polling place with the Virginia Department of Elections look-up tool

When do polls open?

Polls will be open between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8. If you are in line by 7 p.m., you will be allowed to vote.

Can I vote from jail in Virginia? 

In many cases, yes. If you do not have a felony conviction, or if the governor has restored your right to vote after a felony conviction, you can vote – even from jail. This includes if you are being detained awaiting your court date, or are in jail for a misdemeanor conviction. 

If you have a felony conviction, you can petition the governor to restore your voting rights.

Which congressional district am I in? 

Congressional districts were recently redrawn, so your district may have changed. Find your district and current representative with the House of Representatives look-up tool.

Who is running in the 9th Congressional District?

Republican Morgan Griffith and Democrat Taysha DeVaughan are running in Virginia’s 9th District.

Morgan Griffith

Morgan Griffith

Morgan Griffith is the Republican incumbent in the 9th, which he has represented since 2011. Between 1994 and 2001, Griffith was a Virginia state delegate. He is currently a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the conservative Freedom Caucus. 

Griffith has not done a recent interview about his policy priorities, but he is a member of a group of House Republicans called Commitment to America, which prioritizes lowering inflation and the cost of living, funding police, private health care, and “expanding parental choice” in education. 

Read Griffith’s voting record and a more comprehensive summary of his policy positions.

Cardinal News stories on Griffith: 

Taysha DeVaughan

Taysha DeVaughan is challenging Griffith in the 9th District. 

DeVaughan is the development coordinator at the Appalachian Community Fund, which “funds and encourages grassroots social change in Central Appalachia,” according to its website. She has worked at ACF for more than three years.

She also serves on Virginia’s Council on Environmental Justice. DeVaughan is the former president of Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards and serves on the coordinating committee for the Alliance for Appalachia, both of which oppose mountaintop removal.

In an interview with WJHL, DeVaughan says her priorities would be working conditions and workers’ rights to unionize, economic investment, health, including substance abuse, mental health, water and air quality and prescription drug prices.

Cardinal News stories on DeVaughan:

Who is running in the 5th Congressional District?

Republican Bob Good and Democrat Josh Throneburg are running in Virginia’s 5th District.

Bob Good

Bob Good press photo

Bob Good has been a U.S. House representative for the 5th District since January 2021. He serves on the Budget and the Education and Labor committees and is a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus. Good is running as a “constitutional biblical conservative” on a far-right platform that closely aligns with former President Trump’s.

Markus Schmidt reported that the majority of Good’s proposals relate to highly partisan issues. Among them: a proposal that would require gun silencers to be treated the same as firearms accessories and the Close Biden’s Open Border Act, which would free up money for a border wall.

Read Good’s voting record and a more comprehensive summary of his policy positions.

Cardinal News stories on Good: 

Josh Throneburg

Josh Throneburg is an ordained minister from Charlottesville who moved to Virginia from Illinois in 2018. He grew up as a Republican in a small Illinois farm town.

Throneburg told Ballotpedia his top three focuses would be environmental reform, addressing racial injustice and bringing the economy back from the pandemic.

He also spoke to reporter Markus Schmidt about the importance of accessible broadband in the 5th District, luring investment to underserved communities, green energy and the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, a decision Throneburg supports.

Cardinal News stories on Throneburg: 

Who is running in the 6th Congressional District?

Republican Ben Cline and Democrat Jennifer Lewis are running in Virginia’s 6th District.

Ben Cline

Ben Cline has been a U.S. House representative for the 6th District since 2019, where he is a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus. Between 2002 and 2018, Cline was a Virginia state delegate. He is also a member of the House Republicans’ Commitment to America. 

According to Cline’s website, he recently supported a bill blocking the U.S. from rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, a bill repealing the estate tax and a bill to end the practice of including more than one subject in a single bill. This session, Cline voted against bills to expand voter coverage, provide economic relief after COVID-19, prohibit discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender – all of which passed.

Read Cline’s voting record and a more comprehensive summary of his policy positions.

Cardinal News stories about Ben Cline

Jennifer Lewis

Jennifer Lewis works to help transition adults with mental illness from inpatient care back into the community, according to her website. Previously, Lewis worked as a behavioral therapist for kids and a crisis intervention specialist at a domestic violence safehouse. Lewis has previously run for the Virginia House of Delegates in District 20, and for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018.

Lewis says she supports Medicare for all, opposes the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines, supports abortion rights and equal pay for women, reducing mandatory minimum sentencing for nonviolent crimes, $15 minimum wage, and legalizing marijuana use. Review a more comprehensive summary of her policy positions here.

Cardinal News stories about Jennifer Lewis

Lewis faces Rep. Cline for the second time

How did redistricting change the districts for Southwest and Southside Virginia?

9th District

Map of the newly drawn 9th congressional district of Virginia.
The 9th Congressional District. Courtesy of Virginia Supreme Court.

The 9th District lost Salem and some northern areas, but pushed further east of the Blue Ridge, taking in the rest of Henry County (which had been split), Franklin County and part of Bedford County.

5th District

Map of the newly drawn 5th congressional district of Virginia.
5th Congerssional District. Courtesy of Virginia Supreme Court.

The 5th lost the northern part of the district – everything north of Greene County – and instead picked up Lynchburg and Amherst County. It also moved east as far as western Hanover County.

6th District

Map of the newly drawn 6th congressional district of Virginia.
The 6th congressional district. Courtesy of Virginia Supreme Court.

The 6th lost Lynchburg and gained territory in Salem and the northern Shenandoah Valley, specifically Clarke County, Frederick County and Winchester.

Local election coverage so far

Danville: “Danville is Virginia’s largest city without a woman on council. Two candidates aim to change that.

Lynchburg: “Lynchburg gears up for highly contested council election.”

Pittsylvania County: “One cent sales tax increase could raise $3.8 million a year for Pittsylvania school renovations.”

Roanoke: “Roanoke council election tests voters feelings on Democratic leadership.

Who will be on my ballot? 

Ballotpedia provides a sample ballot of all federal and statewide candidates who will appear on your ballot.

To see a complete sample ballot, including local candidates and local ballot measures, find your county in the list below. 

If you live in Southwest or Southside Virginia but your county is not listed, your county registrar’s office does not provide online sample ballots. You can reach out to them directly for a sample ballot, or find the local candidates running in your county on the complete list of Virginia candidates.

Still not sure if you’re eligible to vote?

Check this guide on how to vote in Virginia, Virginia DOE’s pocket voter guide, and read ProPublica’s guide on voting accessibility for more information.

Brooke Stephenson is digital audience engagement editor for Cardinal News. Reach her at brooke@cardinalnews.org...

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