Voting in Virginia

Voting in Virginia 1

Summary

2021 ballot: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and 100 delegates.

Ballot measures: None as yet

The State Board of Elections administers elections and campaign finance laws, including the preparation of ballots and implementation of state and federal election laws (such as the Help America Vote Act).

> All city and county elections will also occur on Nov. 2, 2021.

News

Virginia’s bipartisan Redistricting Commission put work on House of Delegates and state Senate districts behind it Thursday and moved on to redrawing congressional district boundaries.

In taking up the state’s 11 U.S. House boundaries, the bipartisan commission punted on its duty to remap state legislative districts to the Virginia Supreme Court.

Without comment on partisan rifts that scuttled their work on the 40 state Senate districts and 100 House of Delegates seats, commissioners got their first glimpse of tentative competing congressional drafts from Democratic and Republican consultants advising the panel. And within minutes, partisan differences emerged anew alongside related concerns about geography, demography and topography.

Del. Marcus Simon, D-Fairfax, one of eight state legislators (four from each party) on the evenly split 16-member panel, questioned a proposal from GOP consultants that grafts a small sliver of an affluent Henrico County suburb bounding the James River west of Richmond onto the massive 5th Congressional District, which elected U.S. Rep. Bob Good, R-Campbell, last year.

“The thing that sort of stands out … is you take out a little bit of Henrico County (and) put it all the way in with Southside,” Simon said. “That is what starts to feel like a gerrymander to the extent that it’s cracking suburbs that were trending blue.

“I can’t imagine someone in Henrico feels like they have any congressional representation under that map; that they have anything in common with District 5” he said. “For all the folks on public comment who say we need to put our differences behind us, this is the kind of a move that makes me feel a little suspicious of where these lines really go.”

Another Democratic legislative member of the panel, Sen. George Barker of Fairfax, voiced a similar concern, noting that the 5th district pushes significantly into another increasingly Democratic Richmond suburb, Chesterfield County. Large parts of neighboring Henrico and Chesterfield are currently part of the 7th District, which is represented by Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger.

Richard Harrell III, a 5th District resident and Republican citizen member of the commission from South Boston, disputed the Democrats’ suggestion that partisan gamesmanship was driving the earliest drafts of the congressional maps. He said he believed the map was responsibly redrawn to center the 5th geographically in his region, an improvement over its elongated present configuration that stretches from the North Carolina border to “near the Maryland line” in Fauquier County, a drive of more than four hours.

“I think the characterization that there’s something underhanded about him taking the less northerly route – it’s better for us to leave the characterization alone,” Harrell said.

Later, Simon found it untenable that, by his count, both new maps create six Republican-majority districts and only five Democratic-voting ones in a state where the GOP has not won a statewide election since 2009.

“I want to be the bad guy and everyone online can yell at me,” he said, noting the partisan imbalance favoring the GOP, which now controls four of Virginia’s U.S. House seats. “It’s not competitive. You’ve got five very safe Democratic districts and six very safe Republican ones. …I don’t think either of these maps is a good place to start.”

3-judge panel appointed to decide Virginia election dispute
Associated Press, Matthew BarakatOctober 13, 2021 (Short)

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — A federal judge on Wednesday appointed a three-judge panel to hear arguments on whether candidates who win election this year to Virginia’s House of Delegates should be forced to run again next year.

All 100 seats in the House are up for election in November; delegates typically run for a two-year term.

In a normal year, November’s elections would be the first conducted under constitutionally required redistricting under the 2020 census. But the census result s were badly delayed this year, and the state has been forced to run elections under the existing legislative boundaries because new ones still have not been drawn.

A lawsuit filed in Richmond by former Democratic Party Chairman Paul Goldman acknowledges that little can be done this year but conduct November’s balloting under the existing lines. His lawsuit, though, argues that new elections must be held in 2022 under newly drawn lines that properly align legislative districts with population shifts that have occurred in the state.

The Wason Center for Civic Leadership at Christopher Newport University released a new survey Friday that showed Democratic candidates for Virginia governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general still hold leads for the 2021 election.

The survey revealed that former current Democratic candidate and former Governor Terry McAuliffe leads Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin 49%-45% for the race for governor. McAuliffe led by five points in the last survey released by the Wason Center on August 26.

“The abortion issue has been tricky for Youngkin,” said Wason Center Research Director Dr. Rebecca Bromley-Trujillo. “Trying to navigate between moderate voters who oppose further restrictions while simultaneously appealing to the Republican base who would like a strong pro-life stance, Youngkin has said he would not have voted for the Texas law, but he’s been unclear about how far he would go to restrict abortions in Virginia.”

For lieutenant governor, Democratic Del. Hala Ayala leads former Republican Del. Winsome Sears, 48%-44%, with 8% undecided. The August 26 survey showed Ayala leading by 10 points, 52%-42%. Among Sears has gained 10 points (from 40% to 50%) among independent voters, while Ayala’s support has dropped from 49% to 41%.

Current Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring leads Republican candidate Del. Jason Miyares, 49%-43%, with 7% undecided. Herring led 53%-41% in the August 26 survey. Miyares increased his support 11 points over the last month among independents from 38% to 49%, while Herring has lost support among independents, from 49% to 41%.

Early voting for Virginia’s November election to begin this week
WTVR, Jake BurnsSeptember 15, 2021 (Short)

RICHMOND, Va. — Early, in-person voting for the November election in Virginia begins on Friday. Registered voters can begin casting ballots at their local registrar’s office, according to the Virginia Department of Elections.

The race for Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General and House of Delegates districts will be in the hands of voters.

Topping the ticket for Virginia Democrats are former Governor Terry McAuliffe, Delegate Hala Ayala and current Attorney General Mark Herring. McAuliffe is seeking a second term four years after leaving office because Virginia law does not allow the governor to hold office for consecutive terms.


You can find your local registrar’s office here.

More information on voting early or registering to vote this November can be found here.

Revised voting rights bill rolled out in U.S. Senate, with Manchin on board
Virginia Mercury, Ariana FigueroaSeptember 15, 2021 (Medium)

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a revamped voting rights bill that would expand voter registration as well as create nonpartisan redistricting committees, but the measure is still likely to face an uphill battle in an evenly divided Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he will bring the legislation to the floor of the Senate “as soon as next week,” but supporters will need the backing of 10 Republicans to advance beyond a GOP filibuster.

The 592-page bill, spearheaded by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the Minnesota Democrat who chairs the Senate Rules Committee, is the product of months-long negotiations with moderate Sen. Joe Manchin III, (D-W.Va.).

Manchin wavered on an earlier package of sweeping elections reforms and voting rights initiatives, the For the People Act, that passed the House in March but stalled in the Senate. This new version has been dubbed the Freedom to Vote Act.

“I applaud Sen. Manchin for his work here,” Schumer said. “He has always said that he wants to try and bring Republicans on, and now, with the support of Democrats and this compromise bill—which Sen. Manchin had great input into — he can go forward in that regard.”

Mapping alliances in the Democratic primary
Virginia Mercury, Ned Oliver June 1, 2021 (Short)

Endorsements don’t necessarily mean a whole lot when it comes to determining who’s going to win an election. But they can illustrate alliances, partnerships and factions that develop over time. To that end, the chart below traces 70 endorsements by sitting state and federal elected officials in Virginia in next month’s Democratic primary for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.

Manipulate the visualization by clicking and dragging candidates (big circles) or their supporters (small circles); select or deselect races by clicking the legend. For best results, view on a desktop or tablet.

For years, local officials have been complaining that Virginia’s all-encompassing election software — which powers everything from voter registration to absentee ballots to list maintenance to transmission of results — is slow and hard to use.

A 2018 report from state auditors verified those frustrations, concluding the Virginia Election and Registration Information System, or VERIS, was “not sufficiently functional or reliable.”

Election administrators are planning to fix that by by replacing the IT system, a project estimated to cost between $20 million and $29 million.

Though voters may not notice a major change, officials said, the workers assisting them will hopefully have a much smoother time calling up information in the new system and making changes to a voter’s status.

As lawmakers prepare to study the prospects for campaign finance reform in Virginia, the sheer size of some checks flowing to Democratic candidates for statewide office has renewed debate about the boosts offered by a wealthy Charlottesville couple topping charts as the biggest donors in state politics.

Though they backed opposing candidates in the 2017 Democratic primary for governor, donations connected to Michael Bills, a hedge fund manager and primary backer of the advocacy group Clean Virginia, and Sonjia Smith, a philanthropist and former lawyer married to Bills, are working in tandem this year in a big way.

Smith and Clean Virginia have given a combined $1.1 million, $600,000 from Clean Virginia and $500,000 from Smith, to former delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy, whom they believe has the best shot at challenging former Gov. Terry McAuliffe in a five-person Democratic primary field. That’s almost a third of the roughly $3.6 million in cash contributions Carroll Foy reported raising as of March 31.

Despite the early efforts to paint the Republicans’ 2021 ticket as an overwhelming lurch to the right, the slate isn’t nearly as extreme as it might’ve been. Instead of Chase, a self-described “Trump in heels,” becoming the party’s standard-bearer in a state former President Donald Trump lost twice, she logged off and went to the beach.

After failing to win a statewide election since 2009, some Republicans say they feel surprisingly good about where the party stands coming out of a chaotic unassembled convention marked by procedural confusion, mysterious attack ads and infighting.

“I think some of the ebullience you see in Republicans right now is that this could’ve been very bad. And it turned into the exact opposite,” said Shaun Kenney, a former Republican Party of Virginia executive director who has criticized fringe elements in the party. “But it’s more than just a sigh of relief. It’s like we finally know where we’re headed.”

Virginia voters identify as moderate but support progressive policies, poll finds
Capital News Service , Cameron JonesMay 12, 2021 (Short)

Virginia voters in a recent poll ranked themselves as moderate, with a slightly conservative lean, but indicated support of more progressive legislation.

The poll, released last week by Christopher Newport’s Wason Center for Civic Leadership, could be a thermometer for the upcoming November election.

Virginia voters ranked themselves an average of 5.83 on a zero to 10 scale (liberal to conservative). Republicans ranked themselves 8.11 on average, while Democrats rated themselves 3.57 on average. Independents ranked themselves 5.72.

“In this upcoming election, it is especially possible that it could be competitive,” said Rebecca Bromley-Trujillo, research director at the Wason Center.

Those surveyed support Democrat proposals on health care, immigration, environmental policy and the economy. The policy proposal with the strongest support was Medicare for all with 76 percent support among voters. A majority of Virginians support providing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants (73 percent). Almost all Virginians support a pathway to citizenship for children brought to this country illegally by their parents (94 percent).

More than half of Virginians agree with implementing an environmentally friendly redesign of the state’s economy and infrastructure (65 percent); that the economic system favors the wealthy (61 percent); and that the federal minimum wage should be $15 per hour (53 percent).

VA Redistricting Commission
lowkellApril 27, 2021 (01:05:08)
Virginia Redistricting Commission
DeafJennyWittyApril 12, 2021
It was past time for the Virginia Board of Elections to crack down on lax candidates
Virginia Mercury, Roger Chesley April 8, 2021 (Short)

To hear some candidates tell it, a decision last week by the State Board of Elections is heavy-handed and reeks of political chicanery. The board’s move prevents a few Democratic Party challengers from getting on the primary ballot in contests for the House of Delegates this year.

The three-member board, these candidates claim, won’t provide the usual extension it has allowed previously to people who file late or incomplete reports. Three Black candidates, all facing Democratic incumbents in the primary, are the people most affected. They say the board won’t give them a “do-over” customarily granted to politicos in the past.

Two of the Democratic incumbents benefiting from this ruling are White, and one is Black.

(Five other candidates with paperwork problems — Democrats and Republicans alike — are the only people seeking their party’s nominations in their district, allowing them to be nominated for the November ballot.)

Apparently fed up with paperwork coming in late, Virginia’s State Board of Elections has refused to extend a key campaign filing deadline this year, potentially affecting eight candidates running for the House of Delegates.

Three are Democrats looking to challenge incumbent lawmakers, meaning, if the decision stands, Dels. Luke Torian, D-Prince William, Betsy Carr, D-Richmond, and Patrick Hope, D-Arlington, may not face primary challengers after all. Because they represent strongly Democratic districts, their primary opponents being disqualified on technical grounds all but guarantees the incumbents will win re-election.

The decision to insist on meaningful deadlines comes after years of officials wrestling with how to handle paperwork errors, reflecting a growing feeling on the board that candidates must take responsibility for their own campaigns and follow through to ensure their documents get to the right place.

Audit overwhelmingly confirms Virginia’s election results
Virginia Mercury, Graham MoomawMarch 31, 2021 (Short)

statewide audit of Virginia’s 2020 election results verified President Joe Biden’s victory in the state, finding only a 0.00000065117 percent chance the state’s voting system could have produced an inaccurate outcome.

“Election officials are over 99 percent confident in the reported outcome,” Karen Hoyt-Stewart, voting technology manager at the Virginia Department of Elections, told the State Board of Elections as she presented the audit report Wednesday.

The only way to reach 100 percent certainty would be for officials to manually review every ballot cast in the state. In other words, the audit found there’s almost zero chance a full recount would show a different outcome.

The risk-limiting audit, more of a mathematical exercise than an expansive investigation into how ballots were cast and counted, involved checking a random sample of paper ballots against the results reported by scanner machines.

It’s already too late for Virginia to redraw political districts in time for the 2021 House of Delegates races, but the U.S. Census Bureau’s decision to speed up its delivery of new population data means Virginia lawmakers could be voting on future maps right before the November elections.

Census officials had told states to expect to get the data by late September, but Virginia officials say they now expect to receive it by the second week of August.

Under the newly created Virginia Redistricting Commission’s constitutional timeline, receipt of the data starts a 45-day clock for the commission to submit new legislative maps to the General Assembly for an up-or-down vote. Once the legislature received the proposed maps, it has 15 days to vote on them.

When the federal Voting Rights Act passed in 1965, Virginia was one of nine states that drew special attention due to its history of racist election laws. That burden was lifted in 2013, when the U.S. Supreme Court decided enough time had passed that Virginia and other states could stop following an old rule requiring federal permission for changes that might affect minority voters.

With the future of federal voting protections now in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority, Democrats in the General Assembly have passed their own version of a voting rights act, making Virginia the first state in the South to do so.

The proposed law, now awaiting Gov. Ralph Northam’s signature, creates broad new protections against voter discrimination based on race, color or language. With Republicans in dozens of states looking to restrict voting access after former President Donald Trump’s loss, supporters of the Virginia legislation see it as a decisive move in the other direction.

About

Source: Vote411.org

General Rules: Absentee voting is available and no excuse is required. The last day to request an absentee ballot is 11 days before an election. You can return your absentee ballot request form through mail, in person at your local elections office, or online. Voted ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and received by 12pm 3 days after the election in order to be counted. You can sign up to track your absentee ballot on your Department of Elections website.  Absentee ballots may be processed but not tabulated before Election Day. 

Those who requested an absentee ballot but end up voting in person: Voters must surrender their absentee ballots before receiving a regular ballot in person. If the voter does not bring their Vote by Mail ballot to the polls, they can still vote a regular ballot during the Early Voting by signing a Gold Form, but they will vote a Provisional Ballot on Election Day. However, if the pollbook indicates that the voter was not only issued a Vote by Mail 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 the individual only votes once. Do not mail a ballot and vote in person. For specifics, you can find your local county registrar contact info here.

You may now request an absentee ballot online! Just fill out and submit this form before the deadline (5pm 11 days before the election).

All voters are eligible for absentee voting either in-person or by mail for 45 days before the election. You can request your absentee ballot at any time during the year.

Voted mail ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day and be received by your local registrar by noon on the third day after the election in order to be counted.

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

As a reminder, first time voters who registered through the mail may vote absentee, but you must mail a copy of one of the below forms of ID with your absentee ballot:

  • Valid photo ID
  • Current utility bill
  • Other government document that confirms name and address

Emergency Absentee Voting

You can apply for an emergency absentee ballot if you:

  • Are hospitalized or have an illness
  • You are 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 2pm the day before the election. Voted ballots must be returned before the polls close on Election Day.

Twitter

Contact

Email: VA Board of Elections

Locations

VA Board of Elections
Washington Building, First Floor
1100 Bank Street, Richmond 23219
Phone: (800) 552-9745

Web

Government website, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook

Videos

Voter Registration Video

Registering to Vote

General Information

Who can register

To register in Virginia you must:

  • be a citizen of the United States;
  • be a resident of Virginia and of the precinct in which you want to vote;
  • be 18 years old by the next general election;
  • not have been convicted of a felony, or have had your civil rights restored; and
  • not currently be declared incapacitated by a court.

How to register

  1. Use our Register to Vote form below to fill out the National Voter Registration Form.
  2. Sign and date your form. This is very important!
  3. Mail or hand-deliver your completed form to the address we provide.
  4. Make sure you register before the voter registration deadline.

Election Day registration
N/A

Voting Rights restoration

If you have been convicted of a felony and have questions about whether you can register to vote, visit Restore Your Vote to determine your eligibility.

Registration status

Registration form

Go to Virginia Department of Elections for instructions for registering by mail or online.

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Voting

General Information

Voting as a Student

Learn more from Campus Vote Project about voting for students.

Overseas and Military Voting

You are a Military or Overseas voter if you are in uniformed services, living overseas OR a spouse or dependent 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.

Voting 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.

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.

Vote by Mail (Absentee)

Absentee ballot process

Absentee voting is available and no excuse is required. The last day to request an absentee ballot is 11 days before the election (October 23rd, 2020). You can return your absentee ballot request form through mail, in person at your local elections office, or online. Voted ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and received by 12pm 3 days after the election in order to be counted.

ALERT: Due to COVID-19 (coronavirus), voters mailing absentee ballots for the November General Election do NOT need a witness. Please contact the Board of Elections for more information.

You may now request an absentee ballot online! Just fill out and submit this form before the deadline (5pm 11 days before the election).

All voters are eligible for absentee voting either in-person or by mail for 45 days before the election. You can request your absentee ballot at any time during the year.

Voted mail ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day and be received by your local registrar by noon on the third day after the election in order to be counted.

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

As a reminder, first time voters who registered through the mail may vote absentee, but you must mail a copy of one of the below forms of ID with your absentee ballot:

  • Valid photo ID
  • Current utility bill
  • Other government document that confirms name and address

Emergency Absentee Voting

You can apply for an emergency absentee ballot if you:

  • Are hospitalized or have an illness
  • You are 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 2pm the day before the election. Voted ballots must be returned before the polls close on Election Day.

How to get Absentee ballot

  1. Use our Absentee Ballot Form below to prepare your application.
  2. Sign and date the form. This is very important!
  3. Return your completed application to your Local Election Office as soon as possible. We’ll provide the mailing address for you.
  4. All Local Election Offices will accept mailed or hand-delivered forms. If it’s close to the deadline, call and see if your Local Election Office will let you fax or email the application.
  5. Make sure your application is received by the deadline. Your application must actually arrive by this time — simply being postmarked by the deadline is insufficient.
  6. Please contact your Local Election Office if you have any further questions about the exact process.

What to do next

  1. Once you receive the ballot, carefully read and follow the instructions.
  2. Sign and date where indicated.
  3. Mail your voted ballot back to the address indicated on the return envelope.
  4. Your voted ballot must arrive by the deadline or it will not be counted.

Absentee ballot application deadline

  • In Person: 3 days before Election Day.
  • By Mail: 7 days before Election Day.
  • Online: 7 days before Election Day.

Absentee ballot submission deadline

Election Day

 

Absentee Ballot (form)

Elections Alert (Form)

Pollling Information

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.

Polling Place Hours

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

Poll Worker Information

Visit www.workelections.com to find localized information for becoming a poll worker in your area.

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.
  • Must be a US citizen
  • You cannot hold an elected office or be the employee of an elected official
  • You must be able to speak, read and write English

To sign up, contact your local board of elections.

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.

Commissioners

Christopher E. “Chris” Piper has been appointed as the Commissioner.

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

 

Litigation

Source: Wikipedia

The Virginia State Board of Elections has been a party in a number of lawsuits.

Sarvis v. Judd

In July 2014, The Rutherford Institute supported the Libertarian Party of Virginia and alleged Virginia ballot laws favored “the election chances of Democrat and Republican candidates at the expense of Libertarian Party and independent candidates.”

In Robert C. Sarvis, et al. v. Charles E. Judd, et al, the lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Libertarian Party of Virginia, several Libertarian Party candidates and an independent (non-party) candidate for public office in the November 2014 general election. The lawsuit challenged the Virginia State Board of Elections and the laws which require minor-party candidates to gather signatures on petitions to achieve ballot access as well as the laws which require minor-party and independent candidates’ names to be placed below those of major-party candidates on the ballot.

Libertarian Party of Virginia v. Judd

In 2013, the ACLU supported the Libertarian Party of Virginia, and contended that the Libertarians would suffer “irreparable harm” given Virginia’s ballot access laws.

In Libertarian Party of Virginia v. Judd, the Libertarian Party won the case regarding state residency requirements for petition circulators per the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on May 29, 2013. It was the first time a minor party had won a constitutional election law case in the Fourth Circuit since 1989 and 1988. In response to the Fourth Circuit’s ruling, the State of Virginia via former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli as well as several other states, like Oklahoma, submitted petitions to the Supreme Court of the United States asking to reverse the Fourth Circuit’s decision. On December 2, 2013, the petitions against the Fourth Circuit’s ruling were denied by the Supreme Court, and so the Libertarian Party of Virginia won the case regarding state residency requirements for petition circulators.

Perry v. Judd

In January 2012, Texas Governor Rick Perry, former senator Rick Santorum, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. failed to qualify for the ballot and sued the State Board of Elections. U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney Jr. denied the request to add their names to Virginia’s Republican primary ballot.

Project Vote v. Long

In February 2010, after receiving reports from local community partners regarding large numbers of rejected voter registration applications, Project Vote and its voting partner, Advancement Project, sought to review Norfolk’s rejected registration applications to ascertain if qualified persons were unlawfully kept off the voting rolls. Elisa Long, the general registrar of Norfolk, and Nancy Rodrigues, secretary of the State Board of Elections denied Project Vote and Advancement Project the right to review the records, and both groups filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Norfolk, Virginia.

In July 2011, the Court granted Project Vote’s Motion for Summary Judgment and ordered the Norfolk County Registrar “to permit access to any requesting party for copy and/or inspection of voter registration applications and related records,” in compliance with public disclosure requirements under the National Voter Registration Act.

Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections

In Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections (1966) the U.S. Supreme Court found that Virginia’s poll tax was unconstitutional under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. The 24th Amendment (1964) prohibited poll taxes in federal elections. However, five states continued to impose a poll tax for voters in state elections. By this ruling, the Supreme Court banned the use of a poll tax in state elections.

Ballot access

Source: Wikipedia

Virginia has one of the most restrictive set of ballot access laws in the United States. According to the Code of Virginia subsection 24.2-101, without “major party” status for automatic ballot access in Virginia, minor party and independent candidates have to gather petition signatures to get on the ballot. For example, the requirement for statewide elections is 10,000 signatures, including at least 400 from each of Virginia’s 11 congressional districts. In order for a minor party to gain automatic ballot access as a major party, one of its nominated candidates must receive 10% of the vote in a statewide race. To obtain the signatures necessary to receive statewide ballot access in Virginia, it has been quoted to cost between $45,000 to $90,000 or up to $100,000.

How to run for office

Source: Board of Elections

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.

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