Voting in Virginia

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Virginia permits online voter registration. Virginia does not, however, allow no-excuse absentee voting or early voting. All voters in Virginia are required to present photo identification at the polls on Election Day.

For full information about voting in Virginia, contact your state election agency.


To vote in Virginia, you must meet the following requirements:[1]

  • 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)
  • Be a U. S. Citizen
  • Be 18 years old (Any person who is 17 years old and will be eighteen 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 be registered and plan to vote in another state
  • Not currently declared mentally incompetent by a court of law
  • If convicted of a felony, your right to vote must have been restored[2]

—Virginia Department of Elections

When and where

Registration can be completed online, in person at the local voter registration office or by mail. Voters can also register at following locations:[1]

  • State or local government offices when applying or re-certifying for Aid to Dependent Children, Food Stamps, WIC, Medicaid, or Rehabilitation Services
  • Government offices in the State that provide State-funded programs primarily engaged in providing services to person with disabilities
  • Armed forces recruitment offices
  • Public libraries
  • Virginia Department of Elections office
  • Department of Motor Vehicles offices
  • Voter Registration Drives[2]

—Virginia Department of Elections

The deadline for registering is 22 days before any primary or general election or 13 days before any special election.[1]

Online registration

See also: Online voter registration in the 50 states

As of January 2015, Virginia is one of the 20 states that have implemented full online voter registration. Residents can register online at this website.

Voting on Election Day

Virginia law requires all voters to provide photo identification at the polls. Voters without acceptable identification may cast a provisional ballot that is only counted if a copy of proper identification is delivered to the local electoral board by noon on the Friday following the election.[3]

Poll times

See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times

In Virginia, all polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Time.[4]

Primary voting

Virginia is one of 14 states that uses an open primary process, in which registered voters do not have to be members of a party to vote in that party's primary.[5]

Proposed changes

The 2013 Virginia General Assembly passed two bills that required all voters to present photo identification to cast a ballot. The bills eliminated the use of a utility bill, pay stub, bank statement, government check or Social Security card as acceptable identification. Voters without photo identification are required to cast a provisional ballot that is only counted if proper identification is displayed by noon on the Friday following the election. The new requirements went into effect on July 1, 2014.[6][7][8]

Bill Introduced House Vote Senate Vote House Vote Gubernatorial Action
HB 1337 Nov. 20, 2012 in Virginia House of Delegates Approveda on Feb. 5, 2013, 63 to 36 Approveda on Feb. 15, 2013, 21 to 20 Approveda w/amendment on Feb. 19, 2013, 64 to 36 Approveda on March 23, 2013
Bill Introduced Senate Vote House Vote Gubernatorial Action
SB 1256 Jan. 10, 2013 in Virginia Senate Approveda on Feb. 5, 2013, 21 to 20 Approveda on Feb. 20, 2013, 65 to 34 Approveda on March 25, 2013

Absentee voting

See also: Absentee voting


You are eligible to vote absentee in an election if you cannot make it to the polls on Election Day for one of the following reasons:[9]

  • You are a "student attending college or university outside of locality of residence in Virginia"
  • You are a "spouse of student attending college or university outside locality of residence in Virginia"
  • You have "business outside County/City of residence on election day"
  • You have "personal business or vacation outside County/City of residence on election day"
  • You are "working and commuting to/from home for 11 or more hours between 6:00 AM and 7:00 PM on election day"
  • You are a "first responder (law enforcement, fire fighter, emergency technician, etc.)"
  • You have a "disability or illness"
  • You are "primarily and personally responsible for the care of a disabled/ill family member confined at home"
  • You are pregnant
  • You are "confined, awaiting trial"
  • You are "confined, convicted of misdemeanor"
  • You are an "electoral board member, registrar, officer of election, or custodian of voting equipment"
  • You "have a religious obligation"
  • You are an "Active Duty Merchant Marine or Armed Forces"
  • You are a "spouse or dependent living with" an Active Duty Merchant Marine or Armed Forces member
  • You are "temporarily residing outside U.S."
  • You are "temporarily residing outside of U.S. for employment or spouse or dependent residing with employee"
  • You are "requesting a ballot for presidential and vice-presidential electors only"
  • You are an "authorized representative of candidate or party serving inside the polling place"


To vote absentee by mail, the deadline to apply is 5 p.m. (EST) on the Tuesday prior to the election. To vote absentee in person, the deadline to apply is the Saturday before the election. The ballot must then be returned by close of polls on election day.[10]

Military and overseas voting

For full details regarding military and overseas voting, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program.

2013 developments

A House subcommittee rejected a bill that would have allowed citizens to vote absentee without requiring a reason for doing so. The reason stated for rejecting the bill was a lack of resources. Win Sowder of the Williamsburg registrar's office said, "This would be a real burden on our office. Our office is really small and early absentee voting would set us up for failure."[11]

However, a different bill by Delegate Daniel W. Marshall, III which would allow voters 65 and older to cast absentee ballots without an excuse was approved.[11]

Early voting

See also: Early voting

Virginia is one of fourteen states that do not allow early voting. Although it is not technically considered early voting, Virginians may submit an absentee ballot in-person, serving the same purpose as early voting.[12][13]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Virginia + Voting"

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Virginia Voting News Feed

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See also

Elections in Virginia

External links