Absentee and Early Voting
Witness signature required on all mail-in ballots cast in Nov. 2, 2021 elections
A witness signature is required on all mail-in ballots cast in the Nov. 2, 2021 elections. If a ballot is missing a witness signature, the voter will be contacted within three days of receipt by the local voter registration office and asked to correct it. The ballot must be corrected by noon on Friday, Nov. 5 in order to be counted.
Applying to Vote Absentee By Mail
- Apply online to vote by mail
- All PAPER absentee application forms can be found on our forms page.
- Military and overseas voters can find specific information regarding absentee voting on our military and overseas voting page.
After applying, you can check to see if your absentee application was received, and whether your ballot was sent and received by going to our Citizen Portal.
If you have submitted an absentee ballot application for a ballot to be sent by mail, you can track your ballot by logging into Ballot Scout.
If you are a voter in Fairfax County and submitted an application to vote absentee, please track your ballot here.
You Can Also Submit Your "Vote By Mail" Application Form By Mail, Fax, Or Email
- Download and complete the Absentee Application Form (En Español) (Tiếng Việt) (한 국어)
- 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 using our online lookup tool.
- After the registrar processes your application, you will receive your ballot in the mail. Please note: ballots can be mailed out to applicants starting 45 days prior to the relevant election date.
- Carefully review the instructions to complete and return your ballot to your local registrar by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day. If you are returning your ballot by-mail, it must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your registrar by noon on the third day after the election.
- You may also return your absentee ballot to a drop-off location. For more information on drop-off locations in your locality, review your absentee ballot instructions.
- For federal elections see section titled "**Special Federal ID Requirements for Certain First Time Absentee By Mail Voters."
** Special Federal ID Requirements For Certain First Time Absentee By Mail Voters
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 this special requirements need to include a copy of any of the following types of ID with the voted ballot:
- A current and valid photo ID (for example a driver’s license);
- or a current utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck that shows name and address;
- 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.
Emergency Absentee Voting (Code of Virginia 24.2-705)
There are two basic types of emergency absentee voting with different procedures for each. You can print a copy of the emergency absentee ballot application using the link here:
1. Emergency Absentee Voting Due to Hospitalization, Illness, or other Emergency
You may cast an emergency absentee ballot if one of the following situations applies to you:
- You were unable to apply for an absentee ballot by the deadline due to your hospitalization or illness, or the hospitalization, illness, or death of a spouse, child, or parent, or other emergency found to justify receipt of an emergency absentee ballot; or
- You will be unable to vote on Election Day due to your hospitalization or illness, the hospitalization, illness or death of a spouse, child, or parent, or other emergency found to justify receipt of an emergency absentee ballot that occurred after the deadline for applying for an absentee ballot.
- You may request to vote emergency absentee at any time prior to 2:00 pm on the day preceding the election
- If you are approved for an emergency ballot, your general registrar shall provide the absentee ballot to your designated representative for delivery to you
- You shall mark the ballot in the presence of your designated representative
- The ballot shall be counted only if the ballot is received by the general registrar prior to the close of polls
2. Emergency Absentee Voting Due to Unexpected Obligation
- You may cast an emergency absentee ballot if you are either an officer of election who was assigned after 12:00pm on the Saturday before the election to work in a precinct other than your own; or
- You had an obligation arise after 12:00 pm on the Saturday before the election due either to; 1) your business, profession, or occupation; 2) the hospitalization of you or a member of your immediate family; or 3) the death of a member of your immediate family.
- You must apply and vote in person by 2:00pm on the day preceding the election.
Early Voting In-Person
You can vote early at your local registrar’s office beginning 45 days before Election Day and ending the Saturday before Election Day. Before visiting your local registrar’s office, you may wish to check your registration status or call your registrar’s office. You can find your registrar’s phone number here. To vote early in-person, do the following:
- Starting 45 days before Election Day, visit your local registrar’s office or a satellite voting location in your county or city to vote early. Remember, the Saturday before Election Day is the last day to vote early.
- You do not have to have a reason or fill out an application to vote early.
- At the registrar’s office or satellite voting location, you must provide your name and address and show an acceptable form of ID or sign an ID Confirmation Statement. To view a complete list of acceptable IDs, please visit our page. If acceptable identification is not provided, you must sign an ID Confirmation Statement or a provisional ballot will be offered and you are allowed until the Friday at noon following the election to provide a copy of acceptable identification to the electoral board or sign
an ID Confirmation Statement. Provisional voters receive a notice to remind them of the deadline and right to attend the electoral board meeting.
- Accessible equipment and/or curbside voting is available upon request.