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League of Women Voters

Virginia Voting Guide

Registration Deadlines
In Person:
Monday, October 15, 2018
By Mail:
Postmarked by Monday, October 15, 2018
Election Dates:
Tuesday, November 6, 2018 (General Election)
Department of Elections
Washington Building
1100 Bank Street, First Floor
Richmond , VA 23219
Phone:
800-552-9745
Fax:
804-371-0194

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to register and vote in Virgina, you must be:

  • A resident of Virginia (A person who has come to Virginia for temporary purposes and intends to return to another state is not considered a resident for voting purposes)
  • A U.S. Citizen
  • 18 years old (Any person who is 17 years old and will be 18 years of age at the next general election shall be permitted to register in advance and also vote in any intervening primary or special election)
  • Not claiming the right to vote in any other state
  • Not currently be declared mentally incompetent by a court of law
  • Not a convicted felon, unless you have had your right to vote restored

 

ID Needed for Voter Registration

When submitting your voter registration by mail for the first time, you must provide your Social Security number on the application and a copy of one of the following with your application:

  • A valid photo identification
  • A copy of a utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address
  • another government document that shows your name and address (for example a voter card)

Note: If no ID is sent, you must produce ID the first time you vote and it must be in person (not a mailed-in absentee ballot). Click here to download your state's registration form

ID Needed for Voting?

Voters must show one of the following forms of photo ID at the polls:

  • Virginia Driver's License or other photo ID issued by Virginia
  • US Passport
  • Any government-issued photo ID card (issued by the US Government, Commonwealth of Virginia, or a political subdivision of the Commonwealth)
  • Student ID that has a photograph and that was issued by any institution of higher learning in Virginia
  • Student ID issued by a public or private school in VA displaying a photo
  • Employee ID card that has a photograph and that was issued by the employer in the ordinary course of business
  • Valid Virginia DMV issued Veteran's ID card
  • Tribal enrollment or other tribal ID issued by one of the 11 tribes recognized by the Commonwealth of Virginia

For a more detailed list of acceptable IDs, click here.

If you do not have a photo ID you can get a free voter identification card from any county registrar, whichever is most convenient for you. You will need to fill out the Voter Photo Identification Application, get your photo taken and give the registrar your electronic signature. Your photo ID card will be mailed within 7-10 days.

If you apply for a photo ID card less than 21 days before the next election, you will receive a temporary ID in the registrar's office that is valid for 30 days. You will still receive your permanent ID through the mail. 

Registration Deadline

Not registered? Use our registration tool to fill out your application!

The registration deadline to vote in the general election is 22 days before the election. If there is a special election the registration deadline is 13 days before the election and if the Governor calls an election the deadline is 7 days.

You can now register to vote online! Complete the registration application to begin the process.

To verify your voter registration status please use your state's voter verification tool.

 

 

Verify Voter Registration

To verify your voter registration status please use your state's voter verification tool.

Absentee Ballot Process

You may now request an absentee ballot online! Just fill out and submit this form before the deadline.

You are eligible for absentee voting if you:

  • In the regular and orderly course of your business, profession, or occupation or while on personal business or vacation, will be absent from the county or city in which you are entitled to vote.
  • Are a student attending a school or institution of learning, or a student's spouse, who will be absent on the day of election from the county or city in which you are entitled to vote.
  • Are unable to go in person to the polls on the day of election because of a physical disability, physical illness, or pregnancy.
  • Are confined while awaiting trial or for having been convicted of a misdemeanor, provided that the trial or release date is scheduled on or after the third day preceding the election. If you are awaiting trial and are a resident of the county or city where you are confined, you may be taken to the polls to vote on election day if your trial date is postponed and you did not have an opportunity to vote absentee.
  • Are a member of an electoral board, registrar, an officer of election, or custodian of voting equipment.
  • Are registered but unable to go in person to the polls on the day of the election because you are primarily and personally responsible for the care of an ill or disabled family member who is confined at home.
  • Are a duly registered person who is unable to go in person to the polls on the day of the election because of an obligation occasioned by your religion.
  • Will be at your place of work and commuting to and from your home to your place of work for 11 or more hours of the 13 that the polls are open (6:00 am to 7:00 pm).
  • Any person who is (i) a member of a uniformed service of the United States, as defined in 42 USC 1973ff-6(7), on active duty, or (ii) a member of the merchant marine of the Unites States, or (iii) who temporarily resides outside of the United States, or (iv) the spouse or dependent residing with any person listed in (i), (ii), or (iii), and who will be absent on the day of the election from the county or city in which he is entitled to vote. Find out more about Military and Overseas voting here.
  • Any person serving as a designated representative of a political party, independent candidate or candidate in a political party.
  • Any person serving as a designated representative of a political party, independent candidate or candidate in a political party

You may request a mail ballot for presidential and vice-presidential electors only by writing across the top of your absentee application request ballot for presidential electors only. If you vote a presidential only ballot, you may not later decide to vote the rest of the ballot. The same procedures and deadlines apply as for other absentee applications and ballots.

How to Vote Absentee

You can contact your local voter registration office to request an absentee ballot application. You can either return the completed application to your local voter registration office by mail or fax. To receive a ballot by mail, your absentee ballot application must be received in your local voter registration office by Tuesday before the general election. If you send it by fax the original must also be mailed and received by the registrar before returned ballot is requested on Election Day. Alternatively, you can download the Virginia absentee ballot application (pdf format) at your state's website. You must complete a separate absentee ballot application for each election in which you intend to vote absentee. The absentee ballot application must be received in your voter registrar's office by 5 p.m. on the Tuesday prior to Election Day.

You can check the status of your absentee ballot with the Absentee Ballot Status Look Up tool.

Emergency Absentee Voting

You can apply for an emergency absentee ballot if you:

  • Become ill or incapacitated on or after the 7th day before an election
  • Are hospitalized on or after the 14th day before an election, but still in the hospital and unable to request an absentee ballot before 7 days before an election
  • Bereaved by a "family member"
  • Other comparably incapacitating emergency found by the Electoral Board to justify providing an emergency ballot application.

If you meet these requirements, you can have a designated representative request an absentee ballot through the day before the election. You must complete the application and deliver it to the local registrar's office by 5pm the day before the election. Voted ballots must be returned before the polls close on Election Day.

 

Overseas and Military Voters

You are a Military or Overseas voter if you are in uniformed services, living overseas OR a spouse or dependant of a uniformed services voter. To get registered and vote, you can utilize Overseas Vote Foundation.

If you have additional questions about elections and voting overseas you can use our state specific elections official directory or contact the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Early Voting

For more information on times and locations please contact your local registrar.

To qualify for absentee in-person voting you must be:

  • Any person who, in the regular and orderly course of his business, profession, or occupation or while on personal business or vacation, will be absent from the county or city in which he is entitled to vote;

  • Any person who is (i) a member of a uniformed service of the United States, as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 1973ff-6(7), on active duty, or (ii) a member of the merchant marine of the United States, or (iii) who temporarily resides outside of the United States, or (iv) the spouse or dependent residing with any person listed in (i), (ii), or (iii), and who will be absent on the day of the election from the county or city in which he is entitled to vote. See Absentee Voting Procedures for Overseas Personnel (Military & Non-Military)

  • Any student attending a school or institution of learning, or his spouse, who will be absent on the day of election from the county or city in which he is entitled to vote;

  • Any person who is unable to go in person to the polls on the day of election because of a disability, illness or pregnancy ;

  • Any person who is confined while awaiting trial or for having been convicted of a misdemeanor, provided that the trial or release date is scheduled on or after the third day preceding the election. Any person who is awaiting trial and is a resident of the county or city where he is confined shall, on his request, be taken to the polls to vote on election day if his trial date is postponed and he did not have an opportunity to vote absentee;

  • Any person who is a member of an electoral board, registrar, officer of election, or custodian of voting equipment;

  • Any person serving as a designated representative of a political party, independent candidate or candidate in a political party;

  • Any duly registered person who is unable to go in person to the polls on the day of the election because he is primarily and personally responsible for the care of an ill or disabled family member who is confined at home.

  • Any duly registered person who is unable to go in person to the polls on the day of the election because of an obligation occasioned by his religion.

  • Any person who, in the regular and orderly course of his business, profession, or occupation, will be at his place of work and commuting to and from his home to his place of work for eleven or more hours of the thirteen that the polls are open (6:00 AM to 7:00 PM).

  • Certain first responders who meet code definitions for law-enforcement officers, firefighters, search and rescue personnel and emergency medical services personnel.

  • Any registered and qualified voter may request a mail ballot for presidential and vice-presidential electors only by writing across the top of their absentee application "request ballot for presidential electors only." A voter who votes a "presidential only" ballot may not later decide to vote the rest of the ballot. The same procedures and deadlines apply as for other absentee applications and ballots. Please note: When completing your absentee ballot application, reason 7A should only be used by voters who have moved to another state (away from Virginia) less than 30 days before the presidential election. This reason code should not be selected by voters that do not intend to move to another state less than 30 days prior to the election.

The electoral board will usually make ballots available for absentee voting 45 days prior to Election Day and ending 3 days before Election Day.

Election Dates

The next election date is Tuesday, November 6, 2018 (General Election). The registration deadline is Monday, October 15, 2018.

Contact your local Board of Elections for information about local elections.

 

Poll Worker Information

In order to be a poll worker in Virginia:

  • You must be registered to vote in Virginia
  • You will be entitled to compensation
  • You must be at least 18 years of age
  • Political affiliation generally required
  • You must complete required training.

To sign up, contact your local board of elections.

Polling Place Hours

Polls are open from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Time Off To Vote

Time off to vote is subject to the employer. Virginia state law does not require employers to grant time off to vote for employees.

Polling Place Locator

You can find your polling place by utilizing your state resource.

If you have further questions on your polling place location, please contact your local election office.

Provisional Voting

There are several reason a voter may vote a provisional ballot:

  • If your name is not on the poll book and you believe you are registered in that precinct and the registrar's office cannot be reached to verify your registration status
  • If you do not show one of the acceptable forms of ID
  • If you registered by mail on or after January 1, 2003 and did not mail a copy of your ID at that time, fails to show one of the federally required forms of ID when voting for the first time in a federal election
  • If you were sent an absentee ballot but did not receive or lost the ballot or had returned the ballot and also appears at the regular polling place on Election Day
  • If the normal voting hours are extended by court order
  • If the poll book shows that you have already cast a ballot in the current election

If you are asked to vote a provisional ballot your ballot will be sealed in a green envelope. You must provide all information requested on both sides of the envelope and sign the Statement of Voter. The election official will tell you when and where the Electoral Board will meet and will give you a phone number to call and find out the states of your provisional ballot.

Your provisional ballot will not be counted on Election Day. Your local Electoral Board will meet the day after the election to begin its determination of provisional votes. The votes of qualified voters will then be counted and included in the results for your area.

You are allowed to be present when the Election Board meets to determine if your vote was valid.

Voters who do not bring a form of ID to the polls will be given the opportunity to vote a provisional ballot. Once you complete the provisional ballot, you will be given written instructions from the election official on how to submit a copy of your ID so that your vote can be counted. All information on how to submit the proper ID will be given at this time.

You will have until noon on the Friday following the election to deliver a copy of the ID to the local election board in order for the provisional ballot to be counted. You can submit your ID through fax, email, in person or through the USPS or a commercial delivery service. The copy of ID must be delivered by noon on Friday, a Friday postmark does not count.

If you do not have any forms of photo ID, you may appear in-person in the office of the general registrar, in the area in which the provisional ballot was cast, and apply for a Virginia Voter Photo ID Card. After filling out the application, you may request the Temporary Identification Document, which you may then provide to the electoral board to suffice the ID requirement to. You must complete this process before noon on the Friday following the election

 

Voting Machines

The voting machine systems used in Virginia are optical scan, voter assist terminal and paper ballots. Beginning November 2017, Virginia will no longer be using the Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) machines.

Optical Scan: With this system, you will receive a card or sheet of paper, which you take over to a private table or booth. The card has the names of the various candidates and ballot measures printed on it. With a pen or pencil you fill in a little box or circle or the space between two arrows. When you are finished filling out all the cards, you may bring the cards over to a ballot box, where poll workers will show you how to put the cards in the box. Or in some places, you may feed the completed cards or papers into a computer device that checks your card or paper right there at the polling place to make sure you have voted the way you want to and counts the votes.

Paper Ballots: Paper ballots are one of the oldest ways of voting in America. They are still used for mail-in absentee ballots and in a few places on Election Day. When you come to the polling place, you will get a paper ballot from the poll worker. You take it to the voting booth, and use a pen or pencil to mark a box next to your candidate and issue choices. You then drop the marked ballot into a sealed ballot box.

You can learn more about voting systems by checking out the Elections Assistance Commission's (EAC) resource and the voting systems section at www.sbe.virginia.gov.

Candidate and Ballot Measure Information

Information on local, state and federal candidates and ballot measures may be available here.

To see a list of available races, visit the race index.

Provisions for Voters with Disabilities

Any person, regardless disability status, has the right to register to vote at any office or agency that provides such a service. These offices include but are not limited to: Department of Health (VDH), Department of Social Services (DSS), Department of Mental Health (DMHRSAR), Department for Rehabilitation Services (DRS), Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH), and the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI).

Your local registrar's office also has registration forms and should be able to accommodate any special needs. In addition, you can download a voter registration form from the state board of elections website.

  • Curbside voting is still available for people ages 65 and older, or any person with a disability. With the implementation of HAVA (Help America Vote Act), curbside voters may now be able to vote on an electronic voting device in lieu of a paper ballot. However, some cities continue to use paper ballots. To vote curbside you must ask your driver or other individual to inform the election officers that there is a person that wishes to vote curbside. The necessary equipment will then be brought to you in your vehicle. You shall be afforded every opportunity to vote in a private and independent fashion, but voting equipment must remain in the view of the election officers.
  • You have the right to have an election officer or other person help you vote if you are physically disabled, unable to read or unable to write. Blind voters may also have any person assist them.
  • You may have anyone who is not your employer or union representative assist you. The officer of election or other person so designated who helps you prepare your ballot shall do so in accordance with your instructions, without soliciting your vote or in any manner attempting to influence your vote, and shall not in any manner divulge or indicate, by signs or otherwise, how you voted on any office or question. For individuals with vision impairments the state board of elections works to provide large print copies of all voting related material. Your local registrar's office should have large print versions of all materials in circulation at this time.
  • In accordance with the Help America Vote Act, Virginia is in the process of making all of its polling places fully accessible to elderly voters and voters with disabilities. If you find that your polling place is not accessible for any reason please fill out the voter accessibility feedback form. The state board of elections is dedicated to providing the best voting experience possible, and will value your input and will keep any remarks confidential.
  • In accordance with the Help America Vote Act, every polling location in Virginia must be equipped with at least one accessible voting system that will allow all voters with a disability to vote in the same private and independent manner as a voter without a disability. If you require voting assistance due to a physical disability or inability to read or write, you can receive it upon request. Any of the election officers can advise you of your rights in this area. If you have cognitive disabilities, due to any reason, you can be eligible to vote if you are not currently ruled to be mentally incompetent by a court of law.

For more information, you can utilize the American Association of People With Disabilities (AAPD) resource.

Campaign Finance Information

For information on federal campaign contributions, please visit Open Secrets.


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