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Are You Ready to Vote in the March 1 Primary? Archived Discussion Room

Fairfax County, Virginia

Are You Ready to Vote in the March 1 Primary?

Join General Registrar Cameron Sasnett online Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 11 a.m. as he answers questions about voter registration, absentee voting and our need for election officers.

Cameron Sasnett : Good morning!

I am excited for the opportunity to chat with everyone today.

It looks to be another historic election year and we are looking forward to providing everyone in Fairfax County with a great election experience.

Republican Primary : Will Republic primary voters still have to sign an affirmation form? Or has that been changed?

Cameron Sasnett : The Republican statement of affiliation (the pledge) is still in effect. The State Board of Elections is meeting tomorrow (Thursday) to consider the Republican Party of Virginia's request to rescind this requirement. We will keep you updated as soon as we have information about their decision. Until then, all requirements remain in effect.

Mary : Can an individual that is 17 now and will be 17 for the Primary vote in this Primary if they will be 18 and eligible to vote in the General Election in November? If so, how does this individual register to vote for the Primary?

Cameron Sasnett : Yes. Any citizen who will be 18 on or before the November general election is eligible to vote for all of the intervening elections. Interested 17 years olds simply need to complete and submit a Virginia voter registration application, by the registration deadline--Monday, February 8.

David : Why are candidate representatives allowed so close to polling places? I've often felt overwhelmed by some in previous elections. I would think most people have made up their minds as they enter the building. Seems silly to think a volunteer will change someone's mind at the last minute. Just let me enter in peace!

Cameron Sasnett : Virginia law permits political activity to occur at least 40 feet from the entrance of a polling place.

Anonymous User : i'm a first time voter in this state. can I bring my kids to vote?

Cameron Sasnett : Yes, as long as your children are 15 years or younger.  We love having kids and teenagers view the voting process.

We are excited for you and your kids to participate in this election, welcome.

Anonymous User : Has anything been done to address the long lines from the 2012 presidential election? Will schools be closed that day?

Cameron Sasnett : A lot has happened since 2012. We listened to voters and have replaced our entire voting system with cutting edge technology, added new precincts, moved several polling places to more efficient and accessible locations, and have added more locations and longer hours for in person absentee voting.

Schools will be closed on November 8th for the General Election, and are currently opening on a 2 hour delay for the March 1st primaries.

M. Layne : I submitted my name to work the elections, I have done so previously, in all elections, when will I have an answer if I am needed

Cameron Sasnett : We are still working on poll worker assignments. If you have any questions regarding your status, call us at 703-324-4735.

Anonymous User : Do you get paid to work as an election officer? How do you apply?

Cameron Sasnett : Yes, you do get paid. We provide a stipend of $175 when you work the election.  You must be a registered voter in Virginia and available to attend a training. For more information and to apply, go to:

Anonymous User : I just moved here and I'm a little confused - I heard you had early voting, but then my friend told me you need an excuse. Ugh, what's the deal?

Cameron Sasnett : Welcome to Fairfax County, and Virginia.

We do not have "early voting," however, should you meet one of 19 acceptable reasons that will keep you from being able to go to your polling place on Election Day, you may vote absentee either in person or by mail. Absentee voting is currently underway for the March 1st primary. In person absentee voting ends February 27th at 5pm, and applications to receive a ballot by mail must be received in my office by 5pm on February 23rd. Absentee voting information and the application can be found at

Marcus : Can you explain how the votes are actually tallied? Is it a report from each machine that's sent to a large database? How do you secure that information? can anyone tamper or adjust vote totals? We've had some close elections here in recent years and the conspiracy side of my brain sometimes kicks in...

Cameron Sasnett : The tabulation of vote totals starts with our Virginia state and federally certified digital tabulators.  After all votes are cast on Election Day, each machine produces a paper results report.  My office will consolidate each of our 242 reports and provide unofficial results on election night.  The next day, the Fairfax County Electoral Board will canvass the 242 reports and verify the accuracy of the reported results in a public meeting.

Anonymous User : Will voters in the Republican primary be required to sign statements that they are Republicans or is the Republican primary now open to independent voters as well?

Cameron Sasnett : In Virginia, voters do not register by political party. When both parties hold a primary on the same day, such as on March 1st, each voter must select in which primary they would like to participate.  Once they arrive at their polling place, each voter is allowed to vote in only one primary on March 1st.

Anonymous User : How can I notify people inside if I need voting assistance at my car? I have a hard time walking.

Cameron Sasnett : There should be a sign posted close to the handicap parking at every voting place that has a phone number to call to have an election officer come out to assist you. If you have additional questions or have other specific needs for assistance, please call our office at 703-222-0776.

Please note, you may be eligible to cast an absentee ballot if you so wish

Anonymous User : Why are there party representatives taking down my name when I check in to vote? I found that awkward and uncomfortable. I am a very private person.

Cameron Sasnett : Virginia law allows for party representatives to be present inside the polling place on election day.  So long as those representatives do not hinder or delay you from voting, or see how you are voting, they have the right to observe the process. 

Most party representatives use this opportunity to confirm the voter turn out in each precinct.

Susan : What happens if you are a voter who has lived overseas and returns to vote. If one has not updated their registration information with your office, will one still be able to vote at their precinct on primary day? Thank you!

Cameron Sasnett : There are many variables to your question, please call our office at 703-222-0776 or email so that we may give you the best guidance for your specific situation.

Cameron Sasnett : Thank you for joining us today. I am sorry that I did not have time to answer all of your questions. 

For information on all things related to voting, please visit our website . You can also contact my office directly at 703-222-0776 (TTY 711) or email us at