Vote by Mail

Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we recommend absentee voting as the safest way for you to cast your vote this November.

Check with your local General Registrar to confirm your eligibility to vote absentee by mail.
In state and local elections, some first-time voters cannot vote absentee by mail.

If you registered to vote by mailing in your voter registration application, and it is your first time voting in your locality, you cannot vote by mail in a state or local election unless you meet certain conditions. 

You cannot vote by mail in a state or local election unless you meet one of the following conditions:

  • You are a student attending college/university outside of your city/county of residence in Virginia

  • You have a disability or illness that prevents you from voting in person

  • You are pregnant

  • You are confined awaiting trial or you are confined following conviction for a misdemeanor

  • You are active duty merchant marine or in the armed forces or a spouse or dependent of an active duty service member

  • You are temporarily residing outside of the United States

  • You have moved to another state less than thirty days before a Presidential election and you are requesting a ballot for Presidential and Vice-Presidential electors only

  • You are age 65 or older

After applying, you can check to see if your absentee application was received, and whether your ballot was sent and received, by going to the Virginia Department of Elections Citizen Portal. 

G3 Gradient

Identification

For persons who registered to vote in Virginia by mail, federal law requires them to show identification (ID) when voting for the first time in a federal election if they did not send a copy of one of these IDs with their voter registration applications. Recent legislation has eliminated the differences in acceptable identification for in-person voting. Therefore, the special federal ID requirements only apply to certain absentee voters by mail who will be notified by a notice explaining the requirements sent with their absentee ballot. Voters who receive a notice about these special requirements need to include a copy of any of the following types of ID with the voted ballot:

  1. A current and valid photo ID (for example a driver’s license);

  2. or a current utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck that shows name and address;

  3. or another government document that shows name and address (for example a voter card). If the voter returns an absentee ballot by mail without a copy of one of these forms of ID, the absentee ballot will be treated as a provisional ballot and counted only if the voter provides a copy of ID to the electoral board by the deadline applicable to all voters.

If the voter returns an absentee ballot by mail without a copy of one of these forms of ID, the absentee ballot will be treated as a provisional ballot and counted only if the voter provides a copy of ID to the electoral board by the deadline applicable to all voters.

October 12th, 2020 is the deadline for registering to vote in the general election.