RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The upcoming general election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 8, giving Virginia voters a chance to cast their votes for state representatives in the House of Representatives, as well as several state and local issues.
If you are not able to make it out to the polls on Nov. 8, early voting and absentee ballots will be available before Election Day, starting on Friday, Sept. 23. If you are interested in one of those options, check out the guidelines for registering and casting your vote early where you live.
I can’t vote in person on Election Day. What should I do?
If you cannot make it to vote in person on Election Day, you have other options. Whether you will be busy, out of town or physically unable to make it to a polling place, one of these options should work for you.
- Absentee in person or by mail: You can submit an absentee ballot 45 days prior to Election Day. You will have to apply for an absentee ballot ahead of time and make sure you are dropping it off or mailing it in properly and on time. You can check out the voting deadlines below.
- In Person: You can vote in person or physically drop off an absentee ballot at any time during the 45-day absentee voting period, or at your designated polling place on Election Day. Locations for early in-person voting differ from Election Day polling places. Early voting locations can be found below in this guide.
- Accessible: Accessible voting can be a good option for voters with physical or cognitive disabilities. Assisted voting that allows a designated person to cast your vote for you is also available as an accessible option.
- Curbside: Anyone older than 65 or anyone with a disability has the option to vote outside a polling location rather than inside. This is available at many polling places on Election Day or for early in-person voting.
How do I vote early?
The Virginia Department of Elections has complete instructions for absentee and early voting here.
Early voting is available 45 days before each election, and if you do not want to request an absentee ballot, you can vote early in person. Instead of designated polling places, this is usually limited to one or a few select locations, typically governmental offices. The exact location will vary by where you live. Our complete list of in-person voting locations can be found below.
When you are ready to vote early, simply bring your ID to the early voting location and request a ballot as you would do on Election Day.
What kind of ID do I need to vote in Virginia?
You have many options for the type of ID you can bring for in-person early or Election Day voting. These options are consistent across Virginia. When you’re ready to vote, you can bring:
- Virginia driver’s license, current or expired
- Virginia DMV issued ID card, current or expired
- Current, valid employee ID card with a photo
- U.S. Military ID
- Valid student ID from any higher education institute in the U.S.
- Valid student ID from a Virginia high school
- Valid U.S. passport or passport card
- Government-issued ID card from a federal, Virginia, local political subdivision
- Voter ID card from the U.S. Department of Elections
- Voter confirmation documents
- Valid tribal enrollment or tribal ID from one of the 11 recognized tribes in Virginia
- Nursing home resident ID issued by a government facility
- Utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck with the voter’s name or address and that is not more than 12 months old.
- Any current government document containing the name and address of the voter
- Signed ID confirmation statement
While many forms of ID are valid in Virginia elections, some are not. Be aware you cannot bring any of these options as a form of valid ID when you are ready to vote:
- Out of state driver’s license
- Membership card from a private organization or business
- Credit card with a photo
- Virginia Driver’s Privilege Card
If you forget your ID when you go to vote, you have two choices. You can sign an ID confirmation statement that will allow you to vote with a regular ballot. An ID confirmation statement requires your name, signature, birthday and last four digits of your Social Security number.
If you do not have an ID and do not want to sign an ID confirmation statement, you can vote with a provisional ballot. A provisional ballot allows someone to vote on election day, and their voter registration status is determined after their ballot is turned in. Their vote is only counted if their voter registration is able to be confirmed.
How do I apply for an absentee ballot?
If voting in person is not a good option for you, you can also request an absentee ballot. This is available to any registered Virginia voter.
Absentee ballots are exactly the same as in-person ballots, they are just sent to you through the mail. Once you fill out your ballot, you can return it through the mail or drop it off in person at a designated drop-off location. You can read absentee ballot drop-off locations for where you live below.
How long do I have to vote?
Simply put, you have between Sept. 23 and Nov. 8 to cast your vote using the method that works best for you. But there are deadlines to keep in mind, especially for those looking to vote absentee or adjust their voting information before Election Day.
Here are the most important deadlines and days during election season in Virginia:
- Friday, Sept. 23: Absentee voting begins. It will be available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Monday, Oct. 17: The deadline to register to vote or update an existing registration. Deadline is 5 p.m.
- Friday, Oct. 28: Last day for receipt of absentee ballot applications by mail. Deadline at 5 p.m.
- Saturday, Oct. 29, and Saturday, Nov. 5: Saturday hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at early voting locations
- Saturday, Nov. 5: Last day to cast an absentee ballot in person or vote early. Deadline is 5 p.m.
- Tuesday, Nov. 8: Election Day. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Monday, Nov. 14: Deadline to correct mistakes on your absentee ballot. Cut off time is noon.
I’m not sure if my voter information is correct. How do I check?
If you have recently moved, need to update your registration information or don’t know if you are eligible to vote, you can check your voter information on the Virginia Department of Elections Citizen Portal.
You can also use the Citizen Portal to apply to vote absentee by mail or to view your local polling place.
Where can I vote early?
If you are looking to vote early, or drop off an absentee ballot, the correct place to do this will vary on your address. Below are some of the early voting locations throughout the Richmond metro area and their hours.
Chesterfield early voting will be available through the Registrar’s Office, located at 9848 Lori Road.
Voting hours at the Registrar begin on Friday, Sept. 23, and run Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Weekend voting hours are also available on Saturday, Oct. 29, and Saturday, Nov. 5 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 5 from noon to 4 p.m.
The following locations will serve as satellite locations this year:
- Clover Hill Library, 6701 Deer Run Dr. in Midlothian
- Ettrick-Matoaca Library, 4501 River Road in Petersburg
- LaPrade Library, 9000 Hull Street Road in North Chesterfield
- Meadowdale Library, 4301 Meadowdale Blvd. in North Chesterfield
- North Courthouse Road Library, 325 Courthouse Road in Richmond
Satellite locations will have voting hours Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturdays Oct. 29 and Nov. 5 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Curbside voting for those with a disability or age 65 and older is also available during early voting.
City of Colonial Heights
In-person early voting for Colonial Heights will only be available at the General Registrar’s office, located on the first floor of City Hall at 201 James Ave.
Voting will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting on Friday, Sept. 23, and also open on Saturday, Oct. 29, Sunday, Oct. 30 and Saturday, Nov. 5. It will be closed on Columbus Day, Oct. 10.
Ballot drop boxes will also be available at the General Registrar’s office during the early voting period, and also on Monday, Nov. 7, the day before the election.
Early voting in Dinwiddie is only available at the Voter Registration Office in the Pamplin Administration Building, located at 14016 Boydton Plank Road. Absentee ballot drop off is also available in this location.
Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Sept. 23 to Nov. 4. Weekend voting is available on Saturday, Oct. 29, and Saturday, Nov. 5.
In-person voting and absentee ballot drop off will be available at the Goochland Sports Complex at 1800 Sandy Hook Road during normal office hours, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on Saturday, Oct. 29; Sunday, Oct. 30; and Saturday, Nov. 5.
Early voting and ballot drop boxes are available during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Early voting will also be open on Saturday, Oct. 29, Sunday, Oct. 30 and Saturday, Nov. 5.
In-person absentee and vote-by-mail ballots are available in Hanover County beginning Sept. 23.
You may request your vote by mail ballot or visit the Voter Registration and Elections Office in the Wickham Building at Hanover Courthouse from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Curbside voting is available during early voting hours.
The office will also be open on select days and hours to submit in-person absentee ballots. These days include:
- Sunday, Sept. 25, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Saturday, Oct. 29, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Saturday, Nov. 5 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is the last day to vote using an in-person absentee ballot.
Early voting ballot drop-off stations will be available at the Wickham building of the Hanover County Government Complex, located at 7497 County Complex Road in Hanover. These stations will be available beginning Friday, Sept. 23, through Election Day on Nov. 8 until 7 p.m.
Ballot drop-off stations will be available at all polling locations on Election Day.
In-person voting and absentee ballot drop-off are available at both the Eastern and Western Henrico government centers. Varina Public Library will also become an early voting location starting Monday, Oct. 24.
- Western Government Center, 4301 E. Parham Road
- Eastern Government Center, 3820 Nine Mile Road
- Varina Public Library, 1875 New Market Road
All early-voting locations will have standard 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. hours available to cast ballots.
City of Hopewell
In-person voting will be available at the Hopewell Voter Registration Office on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., as well as Saturday, Oct. 29, and Saturday, Nov. 5, during the same hours.
The Voter Registration Office is located at 106 N. Main St.
New Kent County
In-person early voting in New Kent is available in the Voter Registration Office during normal office hours, as well as Saturday, Oct. 29, and Saturday, Nov. 5.
The New Kent Voter Registration Office can be found in Suite 400 of the Health and Human Services Building, located at 7911 Courthouse Way.
City of Petersburg
Early in-person voting will be available at the Petersburg Voter Registration Main Office, located at 229 N. Market St. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon and then from 1 to 5 p.m. Early voting will also be available on Saturdays Oct. 29 and Nov. 5 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Absentee ballot drop boxes will be available at the same locations and times listed above. Drop boxes will also be inside regular polling locations on Election Day.
In-person early voting in Powhatan is available at the Office of Elections on the lower level of the Village Building at 3910 Old Buckingham Road.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Sept. 23 to Nov. 4. Weekend voting is available on Saturday, Oct. 29, and Saturday, Nov. 5. The office will be closed Monday, Oct. 10, for Columbus Day.
City of Richmond
Early voting is available in three locations in the City of Richmond:
- The Office of Elections, 2134 W. Laburnum Ave.
- City Hall, 900 East Broad St.
- Hickory Hill Community Center, 3000 East Belt Blvd.
Ballot drop boxes for absentee voting will also be available at these locations.
Drop boxes are completely secure, monitored by video surveillance and collected daily by General Registrar staff.