Most registered voters in Mecklenburg County received new voter cards that were sent out by the state. Jason Corwin, Mecklenburg’s Registrar, shared that many of those cards contained incorrect information such as where to voted, incorrect names, and excluded middle names; his office has been hard at work correcting all of the inaccuracies.

Corwin emphasized that polling places for this year’s election—Tuesday, November 8—have not changed. You will vote at the same place you voted last year. He clarified that although some of the schools have closed, he and Superintendent Paul Nichols have spoken and the schools will be open for this election.

“This will be the last time some of them will be used,” Corwin noted.

Early and absentee voting for the November election has begun. While it is slow-going right now  Corwin expects that it will pick up more the closer we come to the election date.

This years ballot will consist of a Congressional Election between incumbent Bob Good (R) and newcomer Josh Throneburg (D); a special election for District 6 School Board in which voters must write-in a candidate as no one qualified; and town elections.

The elections by town are:

       Boydton

-             Mayor

-             Town Council

       Chase City

-             Mayor

-             Town Council

       Clarksville

-             Mayor

-             Town Council

       LaCrosse

-             Town Council

       South Hill

-             Mayor

-             Town Council

The voter registration deadline for the election is Monday, October 17. The absentee/mail-in request deadline is Friday, October 28. Early voting ends Saturday, November 5.

In-person voting can be done at the Registrars Office located at 316 Washington Street in Boydton. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Additional dates will include Saturday, October 29, and Saturday, November 5, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Ballot drop boxes will also be available at all regular polling places on Election Day, November 8, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

This year, Mecklenburg will have 41 different ballot styles in the county as opposed to the normal 5. Each precinct will have no more than 4 different ballot styles. This drastic increase comes from a rules change made by the Commonwealth.

Deputy County Administrator Gottschalk explained why this change was adopted.

Till now all early voting and absentee votes have been tabulated into one central precinct which is typically counted later at night. Due to the rising amounts of early and absentee voters—for example during the 2020 November General Election—it appeared as if large numbers of votes had been brought in which dramatically changed the results as they had appeared beforehand.

However, as more voters chose to vote early or absentee than ever before, the initial figures reflected a smaller percentage of the vote than it normally did.

The new change, signed into law by Governor Youngkin in April 2022, will now reflect which precincts the early and absentee votes came from for transparency’s sake. They will still show as absentee ballots, but instead of showing up as one large block of absentee votes, it will show which districts the absentee votes were cast.

All in all, this change won’t affect the totals; it will just give a breakdown of the absentee and early votes precinct-by-precinct.”

“The only way to do that is to have special—well, there’s a couple ways of doing it—but in our case we have these special ballot styles that way you can assign every absentee ballot back to where they were supposed to be,” Gottschalk concluded.

Wayne Carter mentioned that this change will also benefit local politicians, as it will help them plan a campaign path.

The other big change Corwin shared with the board is that campaign finances can no longer be filed at the Mecklenburg Registrar’s office; they must be done online. However Tammy Alexander, the head of Virginia’s Campaign Finance—will come to the county and host a class for anyone interested on either December 12th or 13th. She will be able to explain the rules, provide a walkthrough of the system, and answer any questions.

As was determined last month, the Board of Supervisors held a public hearing for the Transient Occupancy Tax Amendment.

The Virginia General Assembly has made several changes to Transient Occupancy Tax since 2020. The law now allows counties the ability to apply the occupancy tax to the charges applied by third party vendors such as Priceline and Expedia.

Previously, if a customer were to book a hotel room through the hotel, the county would collect occupancy tax on the full amount. However, if a customer were to book through a third-party vendor, they would only be able to collect occupancy tax on the amount that was charged to the vendor.

With the amendment in place, the county would be able to collect that tax on the full amount that a third-party vendor charges. Gottschalk also pointed out that this law hasn’t been changed since 2013. This amendment would just put Mecklenburg County in accordance with the new laws enacted by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Board member Charles Jones put forth the motion to adopt this amendment; the board voted unanimously in favor.