Election season might seem like a far away thought, but York County’s General Registrar’s office is making sure residents are prepared in advance.
On Thursday, locals can attend a campaign finance class at the Stryker Center in Williamsburg from 7 to 8:45 p.m. York County partnered with other localities in the area to offer the course to residents on the Peninsula. There will also be two classes offered in Virginia Beach.
The class will help those interested in running for general election or local office understand campaign finance, provide information on training, political action committees and more, according to the event’s information online.
“A lot of people are starting their campaigns for general assembly and local office,” said Walt Latham, York County registrar. “Better they have questions answered now than at the end.”
There isn’t one thing that tends to confuse candidates when going through an election, he said.
“Candidates tend to be well-informed and aware about paperwork,” he said. “But we want to make sure it’s in as early as possible so if there are issues, they can be corrected.”
Latham said this is the first time in approximately four years this class has been offered in the area. He said localities wanted to offer the class after learning representatives from the Virginia Department of Elections started offering courses around the state.
While the class will cover a variety of topics, a large focus will be on campaign finance. Latham said that’s because financing a campaign can be confusing sometimes since Virginia does not have limits on campaign contributions.
However, Virginia is a disclosure state, meaning candidates must report any contributions and expenditures they make during a campaign, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. So, Latham said, candidates have to understand how to file their disclosure information in a timely manner.
The primary instructor for the course will be Tammy Alexander, campaign finance compliance and training specialist for the Virginia Department of Elections.
Latham said he expects there to be about 20 to 30 people attending the course. To attend, participants must register beforehand. This can be done online and there is no cost to register.