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Elections for the Danville City Council and the Danville School Board will be held on May 19 after Governor Ralph Northam on Friday ordered a two-week postponement for all May elections due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The elections were scheduled for May 5.
Only people eligible to vote May 5 may participate in the City Council and School Board elections on May 19, and no new candidates are eligible to participate in the postponed elections. The deadline to register to vote or update an existing registration has passed. The deadline does not change for the elections scheduled for May 19.
However, deadlines have changed for absentee ballots.
The Danville Registrar’s office must receive mailed-in requests for absentee ballots for the May 19 election by 5 p.m. on May 12. Absentee ballots returned by mail by 7 p.m. on Election Day, May 19.
The Danville Electoral Board encourages voters to use absentee voting by mail because of the virus. Absentee voting is a two-step process. Voters first must complete an application for a ballot. Voters can request an application for an absentee ballot be mailed to them by calling the local office at (434) 799-6560 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Also, voters can complete an application for an absentee ballot online at elections.virginia.gov by using reason code “2A – My disability or illness.”
After the application is received and approved, the actual ballot will be mailed to the voter. Voters who choose the absentee option should do so as soon as possible so they can get their ballots in time to return them by mail by Election Day.
For voters who want to cast ballots in-person on Election Day, a plan will be in place to maintain social distancing and sanitization standards at polling locations.
Nine candidates are vying for five seats on the City Council. The candidates are Sheila Baynes, Larry Campbell, Gordon Lyles, Barry Mayo, Thomas Motley, Sherman Saunders, Fred Shanks, Lee Vogler and Madison Whittle. Campbell, Saunders, Shanks, Vogler and Whittle currently hold the five seats.
Five candidates are seeking the four seats on the School Board. The candidates are Philip Campbell, Tedd Goldean, Renee Hughes, Tyrell Payne and Charles McWilliams III.
Using his authority as governor, Northam issued the order for a two-week postponement for May elections, saying he wanted elections to be as late in the year as possible since social distancing guidelines could get in the way of normal voting. May elections are scheduled in 56 jurisdictions across the Commonwealth.
Earlier this month, Northam recommended moving the May elections to November, which required action by the General Assembly. While the House of Delegates approved the measure last week, the Senate declined.