First responders can vote absentee without a problem - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

First responders can vote absentee without a problem

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - It's that time of year again, election time. The first votes are in as absentee voting got underway today. There's new legislation that allows those who protect us to vote before Election Day.

Spending 24 straight hours at fire or police station can surely prove difficult to find time to vote on Election Day. But, things are going to be a whole lot easier for them now, and for you too.

Combined with the daily rigors of serving and protecting, firefighter Joseph Mattox and his fire and rescue team in Chesterfield County have problems getting to the polls on Election Day.

"The guys who were here before us on the 24 hours were ready to get off and we're asking them to hold over for us," says Joseph. 

But now, under new legislation, firefighters like Mattox can vote absentee. "We can come to work on time and the guys don't have to hold for us on the previous shift," he said. 

Firefighters aren't the only ones who benefit from this change. The law also includes search and rescue personnel, police officers and emergency medical services personnel.

"So they can get on the ball and sign up for the absentee ballots," says Chesterfield County Fire Captain. Keith Chambers. 

"I think it's a win win for everybody," says Mattox.

Also, first responders don't have to have supporting information to vote absentee, according to the absentee ballot application.

The deadline for in-person absentee voting is October 31. So, there is plenty of time for those firefighters and other emergency personnel to head on down and take advantage of this new legislation.

You can vote absentee if you will be away from home or you're unable to go to the polls on Election Day. While the in person absentee voting deadline is October 31, you only have until October 27 to apply for a absentee ballot through mail or online.

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