Working every day to ensure every vote is verified, secured and protected. In Virginia, you can count on being counted.
Virginia validates all registered voters to ensure you are who you are
Virginia voting machines are never connected to the internet on election day
Paper ballots are kept secured to provide proof of your vote and keep the count honest
Virginia Votes By The Numbers
Registered voters live in Virginia as of May 31, 2020
Volunteers are needed to conduct general elections in Virginia (become one)
Pages of code are followed in conducting elections in Virginia
Certified registrars serve voters across the Commonwealth
Independent counties make up Virginia
Independent cities make up Virginia
Pages long (the job description of a VA registrar)
Vote (closest margin of victory in a Virginia election—see, your vote matters!)
Voting machines are connected to internet on election day
“Paper ballots and optical scanners are the least vulnerable to cyber-attack.”
SENATE REPORT, JULY 2019
Back To The Future Of Voting
A Brief History of Voting Machines
1892: The first mechanical voting machine debuted. Invented in 1889 by safe maker Jacob H. Myers, it was known as the Myers Ballot Machine or the Automatic Voting Booth, and was the forerunner of lever machines.
1899: Congress approves the use of mechanical voting machines for federal elections.The Atlantic
1950: The first use of voting machines in a Virginia election, in Arlington County. (A mechanical lever machine by Automatic Voting Machine Corp. of Jamestown, NY.)
2002: Under the Help America Vote Act, federal funds allow Virginia to replace old lever machines with new “direct recording electronic” (DRE) voting systems. However, security issues with the DRE system would eventually lead to their replacement.
2016: Russian hackers scan Virginia's voting systems looking for weaknesses. While unable to access the state's election infrastructure, the attempt underscored the need to invest in a more secure system with verification failsafes and backup.
2017: The Virginia State Board of Elections certifies all direct recording electronic (DRE) voting machines and mandates Virginia adopt a new system backed by paper ballots.
2020: Today in Virginia, electronic pollbooks and voting machines are NEVER connected to the internet on Election Day, and our 100 percent voter-verified paper ballots system leaves an auditable trail of proof if needed.
2020+: Through ongoing risk assessment, training, technology and infrastructure advancements, and strategic partnerships, Virginia remains ever vigilant and committed to protecting the rights and votes of its citizens.
“Your vote does matter, and I can assure you as the chief election official in Virginia that your vote will count.”
CHRIS PIPER, VA Elections Commissioner
Virginia Mails It In
Fact: What we now call absentee voting actually
dates back to the Civil War, when soldiers were given the
opportunity to cast ballots from the battlefield and have them
be counted back home. Soon after, states began expanding
absentee voting laws in the late 1800s to accommodate voters
who were away from home or sick on Election Day.
Mail-in votes in the 2016 VA general election
Sources: VA Department of Elections; MIT Election Data + Science Lab
Fact: nearly 1 in 4 votes were cast by mail in 2018
Americans voted by mail in 2018
That's 28.5% of
Since 2000 more than 250 million votes have been cast via mailed-out ballots—and in all 50 states
Virginia's Democracy Defenders Never Rest,
Vowing to keep our elections safe, secure and accessible to all voters. In Virginia, you can count on them to be counted.
“You can't hack a piece of paper.”
Registrar Liaison Supervisor
Garry E. Ellis
“Democracy is a relationship established in trust.”
Director of Elections
“Our margin for error is really small. Actually, it's ZERO.”