About Virginia Elections

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June 11, 2019 Commonwealth Primary 

November 5, 2019 Commonwealth General Election

Offices on the ballot:  State Senate and House of Delegates and Virginia City and County officeholders

The Virginia Department of Elections based in the capital city of Richmond is responsible for overseeing elections in Virginia.  Christopher E. “Chris” Piper has been appointed as the Commissioner.

Web elections.virginia.gov
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Email:   info@elections.virginia.gov
Address:  Washington Building, First Floor
1100 Bank Street, Richmond 23219
Number:  (804) 864-8901  Toll Free: (800) 552-9745
Office Hours:  8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.   Monday through Friday

How to become a candidate for office

Candidates for office must meet certain qualifications and are required to file specific documents in order to qualify to appear on the ballot. These qualifications and requirements may vary slightly depending on whether the office sought is a local office, a general assembly seat, a statewide office, or a federal office. Generally, all candidates must meet the following minimum qualifications:

  • Be qualified to vote for and hold the office sought, and
  • Be a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia for one year immediately preceding the election.

The board has developed and published candidate informational bulletins specific to each office type. In addition to the qualifications, forms and filing requirements, candidate information bulletins provide candidates with information he/she will need to run for office.

Excellent summary of “Ballot Access Requirements” here in this Ballotpedia post.

This post from the Virginia Dept. of Elections outlines the requirements on how to access registered voter names and their voting history in state of Virginia. If qualified, here is some of the information one can obtain… “full name, residence address, mailing address, gender, date of birth, registration date, date last registration form received, registration status, locality, precinct, voting districts and voter identification number”.

Instructions for Potential Candidates

  1. Read the candidate bulletin for the office sought.
  2. Complete the Certificate of Candidate Qualification form for the office sought. This form may be filed any time after January 1 of the election year and before the filing deadline of the election. It must be filed before a candidate can purchase a registered voter’s list.
  3. Complete the necessary Campaign Finance documents and review the laws and policies for Campaign Committees.
  4. Complete the appropriate Statement of Economic Interest form, if required.  Effective April 26, 2017, non-incumbent candidates for Statewide and General Assembly offices are required to file a SOEI with the Department of Elections. Also effective April 26, 2017, candidates for constitutional and local offices are required to file a SOEI with their local General Registrar.Candidates for General Assembly offices should complete this form. Candidate for all other offices should completethis form.Candidates for Statewide and General Assembly offices should log in here to upload and submit the completed SOEI form to the Department of Elections.
  5. Complete the Declaration of Candidacy form and Petition of Qualified Voter form ( petition is not required if candidate is participating in non-primary party nomination process ). These forms must be filed together on or before the filing deadline for the election.
  1. Submit all qualifying forms by deadline specified in the Candidate Bulletin.

For more information, go this Virginia Elections web page.

To learn more about running for office in a city or county, go their city or county Board of Elections webpage.

Voting Eligibility

To be eligible to vote, you must be:

  1. A U.S. citizen
  2. A resident of Virginia
  3. At least 18 years old by the next general election

If you have been convicted of a felony, you must have your voting rights restored.
If you were declared mentally incapacitated, you must have your capacity restored by court order.

Student Voters

You must register to vote before you may vote in Virginia.

If you are a student living at school in Virginia, you can choose whether to register at home or at school. But you may not register at both! Decide which location you consider to be your primary home, and register to vote there.

When you move, be sure to update your voter registration with your new address.

For more information, go this Virginia Elections web page.

Voter Photo ID

You will need to show one acceptable photo identification card (photo ID) whenever you vote in person. This is Virginia law for all voters.

Many types of photo ID are acceptable for voting in Virginia. You only need to show ONE acceptable photo ID to vote.

Photo IDs can be used to vote up to one year after the ID has expired.

Need a Photo ID?

If you don’t have an ID, simply go to your nearest voter registration office to get a free Voter Photo ID, even on Election Day! You will be required to complete an photo ID application, have your photo taken and to sign a digital signature pad.

Forgot your photo ID on Election Day?

If you get to your polling place without acceptable photo ID, you can vote a provisional ballot. You will be given instructions on what to do so your vote can count.

Acceptable forms of valid identification

  • Virginia driver’s license
  • Virginia DMV-issued photo ID
  • United States passport
  • Employer-issued photo ID
  • Student photo ID issued by a school, college, or university located in Virginia
  • Other U.S. or Virginia government-issued photo ID
  • Tribal enrollment or other tribal photo ID
  • Virginia Voter Photo ID card

Voter Registration

To register to vote

Go to this page at the Virginia Department of Elections website.

Published Feb. 28, 2017 by the Dept. of Elections

Update/Check Registration

Go to this page at the Virginia Department of Elections website to:

  • Access your Virginia Voter Record to update registration
  • Apply to vote absentee
  • View your voter-related information

3rd Party Registration Training 201

Published July 29, 2018 by the Dept. of Elections

Email Department of Elections

General questions: info@elections.virginia.gov

Campaign Finance: cfda@elections.virginia.gov

Media inquiries: media@elections.virginia.gov

We are constantly updating our media list to insure our contacts receive the latest news. Please ensure we have your current contact information. To update your media contacts or to add new media contacts please email Andrea Gaines at andrea.gaines@elections.virginia.gov or by telephone at (804) 864-8928.

State Board of Elections

The State Board of Elections is authorized to supervise, coordinate, and adopt regulations governing the work of local electoral boards, registrars, and officers of election; to provide electronic application for voter registration and delivery of absentee ballots to eligible military and overseas voters; to establish and maintain a statewide automated voter registration system to include procedures for ascertaining current addresses of registrants; to prescribe standard forms for registration, transfer and identification of voters; and to require cancellation of records for registrants no longer qualified. Code of VirginiaTitle 24.2, Chapters 14 and 4.1. The Department of Elections conducts the board’s administrative and programmatic operations and discharges the board’s duties consistent with delegated authority.


Commissioner, Virginia Department of Elections
Deputy Commissioner, Virginia Department of Elections

Notes from Post Curator

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