Virginia absentee and mail ballot guide
Virginia absentee ballot overview
Absentee ballots and mail ballots are the same thing, and the process for getting one is straight forward.
- Request your ballot by the deadline
- Receive your in ballot in the mail
- Return your ballot by the deadline
Virginia absentee deadlines
- Earliest day to apply: 365 days before Election Day
- Request deadline (online): 11 days before Election Day
- Request deadline (by mail): Received by 11 days before Election Day
- Request deadline (in person): 11 days before Election Day
- Deadline to return your ballot (by mail): Postmarked by Election Day
- Deadline to return your ballot (in person): Received by Election Day
Virginia absentee ballot rules
Any registered Virginia voter may request an absentee ballot and vote by mail.
Virginia online ballot request (recommended)
- Visit the Virginia absentee ballot website.
- Fill out all of the required information.
- Hit save or submit when you are done.
- The deadline to apply online is 11 days before Election Day.
Virginia by-mail ballot request
- Download the Virginia absentee ballot application.
- Fill out all of the required fields.
- Print the application.
- Sign and date your application. This is very important.
- Mail or hand-deliver your completed application directly to your local election office as soon as possible, but no later than the deadline.
- If it’s close to the deadline, call your local election office and see if they will let you submit your application via email or fax.
- Your application must be received by 11 days before Election Day.
Virginia in-person ballot request
- Visit your local election office.
- Ask the clerk to give you an absentee ballot application.
- Fill out all of the required fields.
- Sign and date your application.
- The deadline to apply in person is 11 days before Election Day.
After you receive your ballot
- Carefully read and follow the instructions, and fill out all required fields.
- Sign and date the outside envelope.
- Mail or hand-deliver your ballot to your local election office. You can also hand-deliver your ballot to a drop box if one is available nearby. You can use our Find Out Where To Vote tool to find an official drop box.
- If you mail your ballot, it must be postmarked by Election Day.
- If you hand-deliver your ballot, it must be received by Election Day.
- If you miss the deadline – or forget to sign the outside envelope – your vote will not be counted.
Virginia absentee ballot ID requirements
- ID required when requesting a mail-in ballot:
You must provide the last 4 digits of your social security number on your absentee ballot application. Additionally, the signature on your absentee ballot application will be compared to the signature on your voter registration card to ensure they match.
- ID required when returning a mail-in ballot:
Your signature on the return envelope will be compared to the signature on your voter registration card to ensure they match. If you forget to sign the return envelope, your ballot might be rejected. Additionally, if you did not submit valid ID when registering to vote by mail then you must include a copy of a non-expired photo ID or a current utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck that shows name and address.
Virginia absentee ballot tracker
Track your ballot here: Virginia absentee ballot tracker
Virginia absentee ballot curing
Ballot curing is the process of resolving any problems with your absentee or mail ballot to ensure that your vote is counted. After tracking your ballot, contact your local election office to fix any issues that have been noted.
- Your ballot will be rejected if you forget to sign it or if the signature does not match the one that the state has on file for you.
- The state might contact you by writing or e-mail to let you know that there are issues with your ballot.
- You must make corrections by noon on the 3rd day after Election Day for your vote to count.
Virginia emergency ballots
Some states have special procedures that allow you to obtain an emergency ballot if a medical or other emergency occurs after the standard absentee ballot application window.Emergency Ballot Rules
You can apply for an emergency absentee ballot if any of the following happen within 3 days of Election Day
- you become very ill or are hopitalized
- a family member becomes very ill, or is hospitalized, or dies
- you are an election officer who was assigned to work in a precinct other than your own precinct
- your have a work assignement, or other work obligation, that will require you to be out of town on Election Day
- Emergency ballot request ends 2PM one day before Election Day completed application must be returned by 5PM
- Emergency ballot return deadline is Election Day
Contact your local election office
Local election office
Contact your local election office if you have questions.
Statewide election office
This is the statewide agency that is ultimately responsible for Virginia elections. You can contact them with questions, but your local election office will probably respond faster.
Virginia State Board of Elections 1100 Bank Street, 1st floor Richmond, VA 23219
- Virginia online voter registration
- Virginia online absentee ballot request
- Virginia voter status lookup
- Virginia absentee ballot tracker
- Virginia polling place locator