Absentee Voting

Due to the COVID-19 situation, voters are strongly encouraged to vote by mail.  

  • By Mail: Have a ballot mailed to you, which you will fill out and mail back.
  • How to Apply: Visit vote.virginia.gov and fill out the online absentee ballot application.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all  voters are authorized to use 2A Illness or Disability as the reason for requesting absentee by mail.

Are You Eligible to Vote Absentee?

Registered voters entitled to vote by absentee ballot normally are:

  • Active duty military, their spouses and dependents
  • Electoral board members, registrars, and election officers
  • People absent on election day for business or vacation
  • People with a physical disability or illness, including pregnancy
  • People working and commuting to and from home for 11 or more hours, between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Students and their spouses away at school
  • First responders who may be absent while they are working on election day
  • People temporarily residing outside of the U.S.
  • People who are the primary caretaker of a confined family member
  • People who are temporarily confined
  • People with a religious obligation

Please note: If you registered to vote by mail and this is your first time voting, you may not vote absentee by mail (exceptions apply for students away at school and disabled persons). You may vote at your normal polling location or vote an absentee ballot in person at the Voter Registration Office or an available satellite absentee voting location.

If you are active duty military, or if you are the spouse or dependent of active duty military personnel, or if you are a United States citizen living abroad, you may fill out the Federal Post Card Application (PDF). Please read the 'Official Election Notice' for military and overseas citizens.

Absentee voting is done through the mail or in person prior to election day. See the web page for the specific election you are interested in for more information about absentee voting dates and deadlines.

People who register to vote for the first time in Virginia (does not apply to address changes or in-state moves) are required to wait five days before being issued an absentee ballot. An absentee ballot application can be completed at the time of registration and the ballot will be mailed at the conclusion of the waiting period.

How Do You Submit the Application to Receive a Ballot by Mail?*

Visit the Virginia Department of Elections absentee voting portal to apply online or print an application to be mailed

If you choose to print and sign your application it can be submitted in the following ways;

When Will You Get A Ballot?

Ballots are mailed beginning approximately 45 days before each election. Ballots are mailed the next business day after the Absentee Ballot Applications are received.

When is Your Ballot Counted?

All absentee ballots, those sent by mail and those cast in-person, are counted on election day in Virginia, as if the ballots were cast in a polling place. Ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on election day in order to be counted. The last day to request a ballot to be mailed is the Tuesday preceding election day.

Notice to voters using the US mail service: The United States Postal Service delivery standards have changed so that first class delivery is now two-to-five days and standard delivery is now two-to-nine days. Please take this into consideration when returning your absentee ballot. Apply early and return your ballot promptly to ensure it arrives in time to get counted!

Other Information About Absentee Ballot Applications

You can send in an Absentee Ballot Application for any election to be held the following year, up to the next November election.

If your ballot doesn't arrive within a reasonable time, please call us at 703-777-0380 or send Elections an email.