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.

Registration

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

Voting on Election Day

Voter identification

See also: Voter identification laws by state

Every voter must present identification at the polls or else cast a provisional ballot. Valid identification includes the following: Virginia voter registration card, Virginia driver's license, military ID, any federal, state or local government-issued ID, employer-issued photo ID card, concealed handgun permit, student ID from any higher education institution in Virginia or a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or government check indicating the name and address of the voter. The identification must be current or expired only within the last year.[3]

On May 20, 2012, Gov. Bob McDonnell signed legislation to require a voter without identification to vote provisionally. This eliminated the Affirmation of Identity that had been used previously. Before it could be implemented, the new legislation had to be approved by the United States Department of Justice. On August 20, 2012, the changes were approved.[4] On February 20, 2013, the Virginia House of Representatives approved a strict photo identification bill by a vote of 65-30. The bill required all voters to present photo identification to cast a ballot. Voters without photo identification would be required to cast a provisional ballot that would only be counted if proper identification was displayed by noon on the Friday following the election.[5] On March 26, 2013, McDonnell signed the bill into law. The new law went into effect on July 1, 2014.[6][7]

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.[8]

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.[9]

Absentee voting

See also: Absentee voting

Eligibility

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:[10]

  • 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"

Deadlines

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.[11]

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."[12]

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.[12]

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.[13][14]

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

References