Voting in the November 2020 General Election

by Tom Harkins, President of the Sunnyside Resident Council

"In light of the COVID-19 national health crisis, the Virginia State Department of Elections has made Absentee Voting by mail available to those who wish to practice social distancing.”

In light of what the Virginia Governor announcement said earlier this year (shown above), there is no reason for the senior population on the Sunnyside Campus to risk their health by standing in line at our designated Polling Station (“Massanutten Presbyterian Church”) during this COVID-19 pandemic. We now have two (2) other safer options available to cast our votes in the Tuesday, November 3rd General Election:  1) Absentee Voting; and 2) In-Person “Early” Voting.

Absentee Voting.  In order to vote by Absentee Ballot, you must first be a registered voter in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  If you are a registered voter in the Commonwealth of Virginia you can apply for an Absentee Ballot by either going to the state website at or fill out a paper request for an Absentee Ballot (available in the Corson and Highlands “Breezeways”) and mail (or hand deliver) it to the Rockingham County Registrar’s Office at 20 East Gay Street Harrisonburg.  If the request is approved, an Absentee Ballot will be mailed to your Sunnyside residence on (or after) Friday, September 18, 2020.

In-Person “Early” Voting.  If you are a registered voter in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and your registration is up to date (including with your Sunnyside address), starting Friday, September 18th you can go to the Rockingham County Registrar’s Office at 20 East Gay Street Harrisonburg and vote “early” during “office hours” (8:00am-to-5:00pm, Monday through Friday. {On Saturday October 24th and 31st the Registrar’s office will also be open 8:00am-to-4:00pm}, but on Monday, October 12th the Registrar’s office will be closed for “Columbus Day”).  You will be required to show proper identification and then you will be given a ballot to fill out and hand in.  The Registrar’s Office offers “curbside service” if you do not want to go into the office to vote.  When you pull up to the County office building on 20 East Gay Street, park in the parking lot and call (540) 564-3055.  Someone from the Registrar’s office will come to your vehicle and assist you to vote from your vehicle.

Concern About the USPS. There has been some concern lately about whether the US Postal Service can handle the increase in the use of Absentee Ballots in a timely manner to ensure your vote will be received in time and counted.  If this possibility is a concern of yours, you can “hand carry” your Absentee Ballot to the County Registrar’s office at 20 East Gay Street in Harrisonburg during the days and times they are open.  You will then be able to take advantage of the “curbside services” offered as described above.

Please tune into Channel 971 on Friday, September 25th for a presentation by Resident Council President, Tom Harkins, covering the details of voting by Absentee Ballot and In Person at the Registrar’s Office and our Polling Site, plus specifics on the deadlines and procedures to be followed to ensure your vote is cast and counted.