(WFXR) – Early voting is still ongoing, and the last day to request a mail-in ballot is Friday. However, if you’re waiting until Election Day to go cast your vote, now is the time to start preparing.

Andrew Cochran, director of elections and general registrar for Roanoke City, says the number one thing on your checklist should be valid identification. Virginia updated the list of acceptable ID’s in 2020.

Next, look up your precinct. Because of redistricting, it may not be the same place you voted in the last election.

And finally, study up. Cochran says the Roanoke city ballot has a long list of candidates.

“There are eleven candidates for four seats for city council, so I would do your homework before you come, because if you’re seeing that for the first time that may be a bit of a surprise,” he said.

Political analyst at Virginia Tech, Dr. Karen Hult agrees that you need to educate yourself on your local council race.

“Lynchburg has a very competitive city council race, as does the City of Roanoke,” she said.

You can often find sample ballots on your locality’s website.

Congressional races are also on the ballot, which could help decide who has control of the house:

  • In the 6th district, republican Rep. Ben Cline is facing off with democrat Jennifer Lewis.
  • In the 5th, republican Rep. Bob Good is up against democrat Josh Throneburg.
  • In the 9th district, republican Rep. Morgan Griffith is running against democrat Taysha DeVaughan.

“At this point, it’s a turnout game,” says Dr. Hult, adding that it’s imperative that voters know when and where to cast their ballot.