LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Absentee voting begins Thursday in Virginia for the Democratic presidential primary.
There is no Republican presidential primary in Virginia this year. The primary is open, meaning any registered voter, regardless of political preference, can vote for a Democratic candidate.
Anyone interested in voting absentee can apply now. To do so, you have to meet any one of 20 qualifying reasons to vote absentee.
Those reasons include pregnancy, a disability, work as a first responder, or other reasons that would prevent you from voting in person.
“People who are in the military,” said Lynchburg Director of Elections Christine Gibbons, “that’s another big one. So people in the military, students, and people who will be away on business, either they’re working or personal vacation time.”
Democratic party leaders say this primary will be significant.
“I think Virginia has served as a bellwether for a lot of national trends,” said Nichole Sanders, Chair of the Lynchburg Democratic Committee, “so I think it’ll be a great contest to sort of get a sense of where the Democratic party is going in the future.”
The primary is March 3, which is Super Tuesday.
Of the 16 primaries and caucuses that day, Virginia’s is the third biggest prize for Democrats running for president.
Many candidates who have dropped out of the race are still on the ballot.
According to Gibbons, the ballot is two pages long. She recommends checking the second page if you don’t see your preferred candidate listed.