Who can vote by absentee ballot?
Citizens who will be absent from their city or county on Election Day, or who are unable to go to the polls because of illness or disabilities, may apply to have an absentee ballot mailed to them. Valid reasons for voting absentee are citizens who are:
- Students at institutions of higher learning, and their spouses
- Absent for business purposes
- Absent for personal business or vacation
- Scheduled to work at least 11 of the 13 hours the polls are open (includes commute time)
- Unable to get to the polls because of physical disability or illness, including pregnancy
- Caretakers of confined family members
- Awaiting trial and under confinement
- Serving time for misdemeanor convictions
- Active duty uniformed services or merchant marine personnel and their dependents
- Regularly employed outside the U.S. and dependents
- Unable to go to the polls due to religious obligations
- Political party/candidate representative assigned to work inside the polls on Election Day
Download the Virginia Absentee Ballot Application. Using Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can pull up and fill in the application form, print it, sign it, and either mail or fax it to your local voter registration office. Virginia law requires the signature of the absentee applicant on the application. We cannot at this point in time accept electronic submissions. Please see the application instructions for more information.
If you would prefer to have an application form mailed or faxed to you, please contact your local voter registration office.
You can return the application either by mail or fax to your local voter registration office. Be sure the application includes the reason you need to vote absentee; the address you wish the ballot mailed to; your name, address, social security number and signature. A separate application must be completed for each election in which you need to vote absentee.
When can I apply for an absentee ballot?
You can apply for an absentee ballot as early as ten months before an election. If you apply by mail or fax, your registrar must receive your application by the Tuesday before the election date. If you apply in person at the registrar's office, you must complete the application and vote your ballot by 5:00 p.m. on the Saturday before the election.
Certain individuals with physical disabilities or illnesses may be eligible to submit an annual application for absentee ballots. Instead of applying separately for each election in a calendar year, this single application, filed just once a year, will allow us to send you ballots for any election that may occur in your district. A statement from your physician or accredited religious practitioner must accompany your first annual application filed.
How do I vote the absentee ballot?
You will receive specific instructions with your ballot. Vote the ballot as soon as you receive it. Seal your voted ballot in the envelope provided, in the presence of a witness. You may deliver your voted ballot in person, or mail it to your electoral board office using the pre-addressed envelope provided with your ballot. Your ballot must be received by no later than 7:00 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted.
Can I vote my absentee ballot in person?
Yes, all local electoral boards provide in-person absentee voting beginning approximately 45 days before the election, either at the office of the general registrar or other approved locations. Please contact your local electoral board office for specific locations and times for in-person absentee voting.
What do I do if I’m currently living abroad?
All U.S. Citizens are entitled to vote in Federal Elections (the offices of President and Vice President, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives). If you are an active duty member of the uniformed services, or if you are regularly employed abroad but maintain a permanent domiciliary address in Virginia to which you plan to return at some future date, you and any dependents residing with you are eligible to receive a full ballot, including all state and local offices and issues. Please complete the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). Return your application to the registrar's office in the Virginia jurisdiction where you last resided in Virginia.
If you are overseas by virtue of employment but have no longer maintain domicile and place of abode in Virginia, you and any dependents residing with you may be eligible for temporary registration to receive a full ballot. Please compete the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) and return your application to the registrar's office in the Virginia jurisdiction where you last resided.
If you do not have a domiciliary address in Virginia and you are not a member of the uniformed services or a dependent of a member, you are still eligible for a Federal ballot. Please compete the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). Or, you can contact the Voting Assistance Officer at your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate, and request the FPCA, also known as Federal Form 76. Return your application to the registrar's office in the Virginia jurisdiction where you last resided. Your name will be placed on a temporary list for the specific election only, to be removed immediately following the election. This provision applies only to Federal elections.
We do encourage all military and overseas citizen voters to notify us of any mailing address changes so we can assure you receive your ballots.
For more information on voting for overseas citizens and uniformed services personnel, including a downloadable version of the FPCA, please visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program web site.
Download an Absentee Ballot Application
Note: These are PDF files, which require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print them.
Virginia Absentee Ballot Application (for permanent residents of Virginia who will be away from their city or county on Election Day or unable to go to the polls because of illness or disability) Print, complete and sign, and mail or fax the form to your local voter registration office.
Virginia Annual Absentee Ballot Application due to Physical Disability or Illness (for permanent residents of Virginia who are unable to go to the polls because of illness or disability) Print, complete and sign, and mail or fax the form to your local voter registration office.
Federal Post Card Application (for use only by members of the uniformed services and citizens overseas, and dependents residing with them) Print, complete and sign, and mail or fax the form to your local voter registration office.