It's Monday, Virginia! Here are your Virginia Updates for October 18 📬
Here are this week's Virginia Updates. We have news on;
- Early Voting Ends Soon
- It’s FAFSA Time
- Redistricting Maps
- Marijuana Records
- Vaccine Update
- COVID-19 Data
Early Voting Ends Soon
Did you hear? The General Election is now TWO WEEKS away and early voting is open till Saturday, October 30.
As of October 17, VPAP reports that about 406,500 Virginians have already gone out to cast their ballot via early in-person voting and voting by absentee ballot.
About 192,000 people voted early in 2017 for the last Gubernatorial Election.
IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER:
Deadline to apply for a ballot to be mailed to you: Friday, October 22 2021. Request must be received by local voter registration office by 5 pm.
Voter registration offices open Saturday, October 23, 2021 and October 30, 2021 for early voting.
Last day of in-person early voting at local voter registration office: Saturday, October 30, 2021 at 5 pm.
sources: elections.virginia.gov & vpap.org
It's FAFSA Time
Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is one of the most important steps students and their families can take to pay for college
How to Apply for Financial Aid Via the FAFSA:
Students can fill out the online FAFSA application using a computer or mobile phone. Alternatively, the paper version (PDF FAFSA) can be printed and filled out manually or online to printing and mailing.
Who Is Eligible to Receive Federal Student Aid?
U.S. citizens, nationals, legal permanent residents and individuals who have an Arrival-Departure Record from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services showing certain designations, including refugees, are eligible to apply for federal student aid.
What Is the Deadline for the FAFSA?
The FAFSA is available on October 1. While deadlines vary for each school, the federal due date is June 30. But schools often establish priority filing dates, which can be as early as Dec. 1. The 2022-2023 FAFSA opens Oct. 1, 2021, and closes June 30, 2023.
sources: usnews.com & richmond.com
The Virginia Redistricting Commission released proposed maps -- Here is how you can get involved.
The commission released a proposed map on October 15, which includes major changes for the western part of the commonwealth. The commission hasn’t voted on the proposal. Members say it represents a starting point for their discussions.
There are a number of ways members of the public can help shape the maps as they are being developed:
Comment on the map
Speak at a virtual punlic hearing
Speak at a commission meeting
And more -- visit the link in our bio to learn more
UPCOMING COMMISSION MEETINGS
October 20 at 8:00 am -- Register before Noon on 10/19/21
October 22 at 10:00 am -- Register before Noon on 10/21/21
October 25 at 8:00 am -- Register before Noon on 10/24/21
sources: virginiaredistricting.org & vpap.org
Virginia has sealed records documenting more than 64,000 misdemeanor marijuana distribution charges since the state legalized the drug in July.
The state had already sealed 333,000 records detailing charges of simple possession last year after the state reduced the offense to a civil infraction on par with a traffic offense, said Shawn G. Talmadge, the Deputy Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security.
Lawmakers directed the state to expand that effort when they voted to broadly legalize recreational use of marijuana earlier this year. The legislature also agreed to a broader expungement reform that will automatically seal other misdemeanor charges, including underage possession of alcohol, use of a fake ID, petit larceny, trespassing and disorderly conduct. Talmadge said those charges will remain in the system until the state finishes updating the software it uses to track criminal records.
sources: virginiamercury.com & insidenova.com
The Virginia Department of Health said Monday that it is adding an online dashboard of COVID-19 casesamong children ranging in age from under 1 to 17 years old.
The department said the move was in response to an increase in COVID-19 cases among children across the state since the end of the summer due to the spread of the Delta variant. Starting next week, We Vote VA will include this data.
Vaccine Summary: As of Monday, October 18
Total Doses Administered: 11,107,332
People Fully Vaccinated: 5,292,282 or 62%
% of Adults (18+) Fully Vaccinated: 73.7%
People Vaccinated with at least 1 dose: 5,882,459 or 68.9%
% of Adults (18+) Vaccinated with at least 1 dose: 81.8%
For more information on Virginia's vaccination efforts, please visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA
sources : vdh.virginia.gov & vaccines.gov
The Virginia Department of Health reported Monday that the statewide total for COVID-19 cases is 907,882. The 907,882 consists of 675,975 confirmed and 231,907 probable cases. There are 13,486 COVID-19 deaths, and Virginia’s 7-day positivity rate is now at 7.0%.
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⚠️ Learn more about COVID-19 in Virginia @ www.vdh.virginia.gov
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