Help Get Out The Vote
As PTAs we are dedicated to bringing positive change to our communities in a way that is nonpartisan, nonsectarian and noncommercial. As advocates, we help raise awareness about issues that impact our communities and speak with local, state and federal lawmakers about policies, legislation or budget priorities that support our schools. As a trusted community voice our PTAs/PTSAs can help educate our communities about the voting process and help 'Get Out the Vote' to close participation gaps. As parents, we can show our children the power of their voice by helping them register to vote, making voting a family outing and showing our children that community engagement has the power to drive change.
Ways YOUR PTA Can Help
As a nonprofit, you can spend as much time as you want on voter education and encouraging people to vote as long as it remains nonpartisan and does not support or oppose a candidate for elected office. Here are ideas for how your PTA can get started.
- Educate voters about the voting process including where, when, and how to vote
- Share nonpartisan information about who and what is on the ballot.
- Support or provide voter registration options
- Promote early voting and vote-by-mail opportunities and provide election day reminders
- Host a pledge campaign (Pledge that you'll vote and remind 3 friends)
- Schedule a spirit event at a local business as a post voting celebration for families
- Host a morning coffee and pastry pick-up for families that show their voting stickers
- Organize rides to the polls
- Host or co-sponsor a candidate forum (ALL candidates must have equal opportunity)
PLEASE DO NOT!!
As a PTA/PTSA you should refrain from activities that are directly partisan. While you may do these on your own as an engaged citizen, please be mindful of how you are seen and known in the community and refrain from wearing PTA spirit wear while participating in campaign activities.
- Endorse a candidate
- Make a campaign contribution to, or an expenditure for, a candidate.
- Rate or rank candidates based on who is most favorable to your issue(s)
- Let candidates use the organization’s facilities or resources, unless they are equally available to all candidates.
ADDITIONAL GUIDELINE RESOURCES:
- Full PTA Election Participation Guidelines | Espanol
- NonProfit Vote Webinar Series
- Vote.org COVID 19 Information
- Resources from National PTA
How To Register To Vote
- REGISTER ONLINE TO VOTE!; or
- Print and mail a paper form; or
- Register in person at your local registrars office; or
- Pick-up a paper application from public libraries, the Department of Motor Vehicles and some local and state government offices.
- Register/Update Address by: Tuesday, October 13, 2020
- Request Absentee Ballot by mail by: 5:00 p.m. Friday, October 23, 2020.
- Request Absentee Ballot in person by: 5:00 p.m. Saturday, October 31, 2020
When To Vote
On Election Day, polling places are open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Anyone in line at 7:00 p.m. will be allowed to vote.
For the 2020 election you may also absentee vote in person (early voting) starting on Friday Sept 18th and ending Saturday Oct 31st.
In Virginia each primary election has a separate ballot listing different candidates. You do NOT need to be registered with a political party to vote in their primary election. To participate, simply tell the primary election poll worker which party's ballot you would like to receive.
Where To Vote
College students who are registered to vote but attend school outside of thier home area are eligible to vote absentee. Please check additional information for college students.
How to Vote
In Person On Election Day
Virginia law requires all voters to provide an acceptable form of identification at the polls when you check-in. Who you vote for is always private. When you check-in, the poll worker is simply validating that you are a registered voter and at the correct location.
If you are 65 or older, or have a physical disability, you may vote on Election Day without leaving your vehicle using 'curbside voting'. Remember to bring a helper with you who can enter the polling place to ask an election officer for curbside assistance.
If you require assistance in reading or completing forms, please ask an election official to provide help.
Early Voting In Person
You do not need a reason to vote early in person. Beginning 45 days before Election Day and ending the Saturday before Election Day you can visit your local registrar’s office or a satellite voting location in your county or city to vote early. For the 2020 Presidental election voting starts Friday Sept 18th and ends Saturday Oct 31st.
Vote by Mail Before Election Day
Ballots will be mailed to applicants starting 45 days prior to the election. For the 2020 General Election ballots will start being mailed on Sept 18th. There are special considerations for Military and overseas citizens to vote absentee.
If you are returning your ballot by mail, it must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your registrar by noon on the third day after the election (Friday).
Legislation signed on September 4, 2020 will make Ballot Drop Boxes available at some local registrar and satellite voting locations for those that do not want to mail-in thier absentee ballot, but would prefer a drop-off option. Please contact your local registrar office for more information.
See the Election Results
Contact Vice President of Advocacy