Absentee voting in Virginia is available, and no excuse is required. The last day to request an absentee ballot is by 5pm 11 days before an election.
Your marked absentee ballot must be postmarked by Election Day and received by noon three days after the election in order to be counted. It can also be returned in person to your local registrar’s office or to a secure ballot drop box by 7pm on Election Day.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO VOTE ABSENTEE?
Any registered voter in Virginia.
HOW DO I REQUEST AN ABSENTEE BALLOT?
You can request an absentee ballot in a few different ways, including:
- Applying online
- Calling your local registrar’s office to have an absentee ballot application sent to you, or
- Printing and completing the “Vote by Mail” application form and submitting it to your local registrar’s office by mail, fax, or scanned attachment to an email.
Contact information for your local registrar's office is available using our online lookup tool.
You can request your absentee ballot at any time during the year; the form permits a permanent request ensuring that you continue receiving an absentee ballot without additional requests.
WHAT IS THE DEADLINE TO REQUEST AN ABSENTEE BALLOT?
The last day to request an absentee ballot is by 5pm 11 days before an election.
WHAT IS THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING AN ABSENTEE BALLOT?
Your marked absentee ballot must be postmarked by Election Day and be received by your local registrar by noon on the third day after the election in order to be counted. It can also be returned in person to your local registrar’s office or a ballot drop box by 7pm on Election Day. Absentee ballot envelopes submitted by mail or drop box no longer require a witness signature. Instead, voters must include their birthdate and the last four digits of their social security number.
WHEN ARE ABSENTEE BALLOTS MAILED OUT TO VOTERS WHO HAVE REQUESTED THEM?
Ballots can be mailed out to applicants starting 45 days before Election Day.
HOW DO I RETURN MY ABSENTEE BALLOT IN PERSON?
You can hand-deliver their marked absentee ballot to your local registrar’s office, to a secure ballot drop box, or at any polling place in your city or county by 7pm on Election Day.
CAN I TRACK MY MAILED ABSENTEE BALLOT AND/OR ABSENTEE APPLICATION?
You can sign up to track your absentee ballot on Virginia’s Department of Elections website. Absentee ballots must be processed but results cannot be announced before the polls close on Election Day.
If you have any issues with your state’s online tracker, please contact your local elections official.
WHAT IF I REQUESTED AN ABSENTEE BALLOT BUT WANT TO VOTE IN PERSON?
To vote a regular ballot in person, you need to bring your absentee ballot to your polling place to be voided.
If you do not bring your absentee ballot to the polls, you can still vote a regular ballot during Early Voting by signing a Gold Form, but if it’s Election Day, you will have to vote a provisional ballot. If the pollbook indicates that you were not only issued an absentee ballot but also that the ballot was returned, the voter can only vote a provisional ballot that will be reviewed by the local Electoral Board to ensure that you only vote once.
Do not mail a ballot and vote in person. For specifics, you can find your local county registrar contact info here.
HOW CAN I APPLY FOR AN EMERGENCY ABSENTEE BALLOT?
You can apply for an emergency absentee ballot if you at:
- Hospitalized or have an illness
- Dealing with a hospitalization, illness or death of a spouse, child or parent
- Have another emergency found to justify an emergency absentee ballot
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 2 pm the day before the election. Voted ballots must be returned before the polls close on Election Day.
ARE THERE ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR FIRST-TIME ABSENTEE BALLOT VOTERS?
For federal elections only, first-time voters in their county or city who registered by mail are qualified to vote by absentee ballot if a copy of a qualified ID is included with the completed ballot. These voters will be sent a notice with their absentee ballot explaining the requirements.
Voters who receive the notice will need to include a copy of one of these types of IDs with their voted ballot:
- A current and valid photo ID (for example a driver’s license);
- A current utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck that shows name and address; or
- Another government document that shows name and address (for example a voter card).
If the voter returns an absentee ballot by mail without a copy of one of these forms of ID, the absentee ballot will be treated as a provisional ballot and counted only if the voter provides a copy of their ID to the electoral board by the Friday at noon following Election Day.
Non-federal elections do not require a copy of an ID.
HOW DO I REQUEST AN ABSENTEE BALLOT AS AN OVERSEAS OR U.S. MILITARY VOTER?
Overseas citizens and U.S. military personnel can find information on how to register to vote and request an absentee ballot at the Overseas Vote Foundation.
Request your Ballot