The Virginia primaries mark the beginning of what’s sure to be an epic face-off for Congressional control come November. Here’s what you need to know to cast your ballot.

If you’ve been unhappy with Congress since 2016, here’s your chance to change the status quo. The Virginia primary elections take place on Tuesday, June 12, when residents statewide will cast their ballots and weigh in with their hopes for November’s race. The primary results determine which names will appear on party tickets for the critical November midterms.

Virginia has 11 Congressional districts, seven of which are currently led by Republicans, and three by Democrats. A whopping ten out of eleven Congressional districts are being contested. A contested election means that there are more candidates running than there are open seats. This means your vote matters!

What is a primary election?

In case you’re unfamiliar with the finer points of our electoral process (which, let’s be honest, most of us are), a primary election does not actually elect anyone to office. A primary election decides who gets to run in the upcoming election, and which candidates will represent each party.

Unlike major elections, primary elections are held by party. This means the ballot for Democrats is different than the ballot for Republicans. The primary you vote in is your choice. You may vote in either the Republican primary or the Democratic primary, but only one.

You should vote in the primary that most closely reflects your personal beliefs. Once you get to your dedicated polling station, you can let the attendant know whether you’d like a Republican or Democratic ballot.

Where do I vote?

Don’t know where your polling station is? Find out where to vote here via Headcount.

Headcount offers an awesome tool to locate your polling station immediately. Headcount can also check if your voter registration is up to date.

Don’t forget to bring your ID.  This election, per Virginia law, every voter is required to bring a state-issued ID.  You won’t need to bring anything else.

When can I vote?

The polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Show up to your polling station anytime. If you are in line by 7 p.m., you’ll get to vote.

What’s on my ballot?

You can find a sample of your ballot right here on Ballotpedia. Once you enter your street address, Ballotpedia will show you the candidates up for election in your area. Even better, you can click on each of these candidates to read more about them and the issues they stand for.

If Ballotpedia’s not available in your area, don’t worry: the information is still out there!

To find out what’s on your ballot, first find your district.

Find Your District

To find out what will be on your ballot, you need to know two things: your party, and your district. You probably already know your party. So to find out what you’ll be voting on, first find your district.

You can find your district via this interactive map by fivethirtyeight.

Map of Virginia Congressional districts, 2018. Courtesy of Virginia Maps.

Find Your Candidates

Once you find your district, you can find your candidate names here.

The only thing that’s left? Well, you have to Pokemon Go to the polls, my friends.

Happy voting.

 

Are you registered to vote? Do you plan to vote in the Virginia primary elections on Tuesday? Tell us in the comments below!

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