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Where Woodbridge voter office sits, DMV wants its space back

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — A long-standing relationship between Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles and the Prince William County Voter Registrar could be coming to an end. 

A voter registration office at the Woodbridge DMV Customer Service Center — an office in which the county does not pay rent to use — could be reclaimed by the DMV to make up for lost revenue. 

From Virginia DMV spokeswoman Brandy Brubaker: 

“The decision to end our longstanding relationship with the Prince William County general registrar was not one we made lightly. We are proud to have been able to offer gratis space at our Woodbridge Customer Service Center to our local partners for more than 14 years, at an estimated cost savings to the county of $438,000.  However, in difficult fiscal times, DMV, unfortunately, can no longer afford to continue this practice and needs to make the best use of this premium office space to better serve our customers and increase revenue.

The monthly fee we must now assess the general registrar, effective July 1, 2017, will enable us to recoup a modest portion of our monthly building overhead costs. We are not trying to recover previous costs related to this more-than-a-decade-long partnership. We have kept the monthly fee as low as possible, at $2,600 a month, as we have long valued this partnership and recognize that budget challenges extend beyond state government.

Beginning February 28, 2018, we will need the space the registrar’s office occupies for DMV services. Fortunately, local residents will still be able to apply to register to vote at DMV as they have been since 1996. And, with our new electronic system, these applications are submitted to election officials in real time.”

Many of the voter registration processes are completed at the DMV counter and not at the adjacent voter registration office, an office worker told us. The voter registration office is heavily used during election season for absentee-in-person voting. 

Absentee in-person voting is about to begin soon with the special election to replace the late Michele McQuigg, who served as the Prince Willaim County Clerk of the Circuit Court. The special election is set for April 18, 2017.

We’re asked for and are waiting for an official comment from the Prince William County Voter Registrar’s office.

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