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Virginia Voting Quick Facts

Who Can Register to vote in Virginia

To be eligible to register to vote in Virginia a person must:

  • 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

Learn more about Who Can Register To Vote In Virginia?

How Do I Register To Vote in Virginia

Voting At The Polls On Election Day


Virginia law requires all voters to provide an acceptable form of photo identification (photo ID) when voting in person at their polling place.

There are many different types of photo IDs that voters can use when they vote. All of the acceptable forms of photo ID can be used up to a year after ID has expired. These photo IDs include:

  • Valid Virginia Driver’s License or Identification Card
  • Valid Virginia DMV issued Veteran’s ID card
  • Valid United States Passport
  • Other government-issued photo identification cards (must be issued by US Government, the Commonwealth of Virginia, or a political subdivision of the Commonwealth)
  • Tribal enrollment or other tribal ID issued by one of 11 tribes recognized by the Commonwealth of Virginia
  • Valid college or university student photo identification card (must be from an institution of higher education located in Virginia)
  • Employee identification card containing a photograph of the voter and issued by an employer of the voter in the ordinary course of the employer’s business

If you don’t have one of these photo IDs, or you do but it’s expired, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

  • Simply go to your nearest Voter Registration Office ( and apply for a free Virginia Voter Photo ID Card.
  • You can apply for a Virginia Voter Photo ID Card throughout the year from any local voter registration office, even on Election Day. Once you have completed the Virginia Voter Photo Identification Card Application (English | Español) in the presence of a designated Virginia Election Official, they will take your picture and have you sign a digital signature pad. Your Virginia Voter Photo ID Card will be printed and mailed to your address on file in the Voter Registration System.

Learn more about Voting at the Polls on Election Day

Who Can Vote in Primary Elections in Virginia

Both Democrats and Republicans hold Open Primaries

Any registered voter is eligible to vote in Presidential Primary. Parties may choose to nominate by convention rather than by primary election.

Click here for additional information

Who Can Vote Absentee in Virginia

Absentee Voting

  • Absentee voting provides a means for qualified voters to participate in upcoming elections even though they may not be able to go to the polls on election day. Absentee voting in person begins at least 45 days before most elections and ends for in-person absentee voters o n the Saturday before the election


  • Before visiting your local registrar’s office, check your registration status or call your registrar’s office (phone numbers available on Virginia voter registration application). Also review the application to insure you have all of the information necessary to complete the process. If you are not already registered, you will have to wait five days after registration before you can be issued an absentee ballot (exception for military and overseas voters only). If you have a Virginia DMV license or ID card, you can register online.
  • Within 45 days prior to the election in which you wish to vote, visit your local registrar’s office to vote absentee in-person.
  • At the registrar’s office, fill out an Absentee Application. You must show an acceptable form of photo ID. To view a complete list of acceptable IDs, please visit our Voting In-Person page.
  • After completing the application, you will be allowed to vote absentee in-person using a voting machine in the registrar’s office. Accessible equipment and/or curbside voting is available upon request.

By Mail, Fax or Email

  • Return the completed and signed form to your local registrar’s office by mail, fax or scanned attachment to an email. Contact information for your local general registrar’s office is available from the home page at "Contact Local Office."
  • After the registrar processes your application, you will receive your ballot in the mail.
  • Carefully review the instructions to complete and return your ballot to your local registrar by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.
  • Please note that a family caregiver voting for the first time in your locality is required to vote in person; this first-time vote in person requirement does not apply to persons with disabilities.

Casting In-Person Absentee Ballot:

  • An application completed in person can be made up to three days before the election in which the applicant wishes to vote and completed in the office of the local registrar. The applicant signs the application in the presence of a registrar or the secretary of the electoral board. Some large localities offer satellite locations for in-person absentee voting. Check with your local registrar for locations and times.
  • An applicant generally cannot both register to vote in person and vote absentee in person at the same time. If you register to vote in person, your absentee ballot cannot be issued until five days after you are registered. The only exception is absent military and overseas voters eligible under a federal law.
  • Registered voters who vote absentee in person are subject to the same rules that apply to voting at the polls. If acceptable identification is not provided, a provisional ballot will be offered and the voter is allowed until Friday noon after the election to provide a copy of acceptable identification to the electoral board. Provisional voters receive a notice to remind them of the deadline and right to attend the electoral board meeting.

By Mail, fax or email

  • Applications can be sent by mail to the office of the local registrar. The signed and completed application must be received by the local registrar located in the city or county that you are registered to vote by 5:00 p.m. eastern standard time on the Tuesday prior to the election in which the applicant wishes to vote. A completed and signed application can also be transmitted electronically by fax or as scanned attachment to an email. Contact information for your local general registrar’s office is available from the home page at "Contact Local Office."
  • Some first-time voters, including one under age 65 caring for a family member confined by illness, cannot vote absentee by mail. Check with your registrar to confirm absentee by mail eligibility. If your absentee ballot never arrives or there is not enough time to make another request, you can vote curbside on or before Election Day if you have a physical disability or are over age 65. You may experience delays.

Learn more about Voting By Absentee Ballot in Virginia

What If My Address Has Changed

How do I register to vote in Virginia?

  • A college student registers to vote in Virginia the same as any other applicant: every prospective voter must submit a voter registration application. Remember, you must update your voter registration information whenever you change your residence.
  • Every voter in Virginia must submit their residential address when registering to vote (a mailbox cannot serve as a residential address). If you are unable to receive mail at your address, you must also submit a local mailing address. A dormitory or college address can be an acceptable residential address and does not disqualify you from voting.
  • How do I vote?
  • A college student votes in the same manner as any other registered voter: you may vote in person on Election Day or, if eligible, by absentee.
  • Students who will be absent from the locality where they are registered to vote because they attend school in another locality are eligible to vote absentee. For example, a student registered to vote in Charlottesville but attending school in Blacksburg may vote absentee in Charlottesville. However, a student registered to vote in Charlottesville and attending school in Charlottesville could not vote by absentee.

Moving within the Commonwealth

  • If you moved your residence from one precinct to another within the Commonwealth, you may vote in the precinct from which you have moved in the following November general election and any intervening election unless your registration has been transferred or cancelled. You may continue to vote in the precinct from which you have moved, for federal offices only, through the second general and intervening elections for federal office, provided that (i) you have moved your residence from one precinct to another in the same jurisdiction and the same congressional district; (ii) you have failed to respond to the confirmation of address notice mailed to you by the Department of Elections or your local registration office (as provided in § 24.2-428 of the Code of Virginia); (iii) your registration has not been transferred or cancelled; and (iv) you have affirmed orally or in writing your new address before an officer of election at the polling place.
  • Moving Outside of the Commonwealth
  • Persons moving from the state within 30 days of a presidential election are entitled to vote in the precinct in which they were previously registered (immediately prior to moving) for presidential electors only. You must mark your absentee ballot application with the words “APPLY FOR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION ONLY” and indicate the date you moved from the precinct. If returning to your old precinct to vote in person, you must tell the election official, before voting, that you have moved out of state within the 30 days prior to the election. Whether voting by absentee ballot or in person, you will only be given the ballot for presidential and vice-presidential electors.

Learn more about Movers/college students Voting

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When Is The Next Election?

Upcoming Elections Calendar - Election dates and deadlines - Check Virginia upcoming elections schedule

Poll Hours: 6:00 AM-7:00 PM

Virginia Polls are open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.

Can I Register At The Polls On Election Day?

NO: Virginia does not provide Same Day Voter Registration. You must register to vote by the voter registration deadline in order to vote in an election. If you miss the voter registration deadline for an election you should contact your local election office.

Can I Take Time Off For Voting?

No specific law requiring time off to vote.

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