Virginia’s early voting turnout continues at a record pace, meaning voters and the media will need patience on Election Night to receive results in close races. Over 1.4 million absentee ballots have been cast—812,990 in person and 531,955 by mail. Another over 500,000 ballots are still in the hands of voters, waiting to be returned. Numbers should continue to soar as Election Day approaches and additional early voting locations have opened around the Commonwealth this week.
“Virginia voters continue to show up to vote early, safely, and securely because they know being a voter is an important action for standing up for our communities. Election results should be determined by the voters, which means we should all be skeptical of any organization or candidate declaring a winner before all votes are counted,” said Anna Scholl, executive director of Progress Virginia. “When we don’t get full results on Election Night it simply means elections officials are working carefully to ensure that every valid ballot is counted.”
Ballots postmarked on or before Election Day, Nov. 3 and that arrive at the local registrar’s office by noon on Friday, Nov. 6 will be valid and counted. Because of the high volume of valid absentee ballots that may come in through the November 6th deadline, results in close races could be delayed while all the votes are counted.
New legislation went into effect July 1, 2020, that allows Virginia voters to vote absentee without giving an excuse. Any registered voter may request an absentee ballot or vote early in person. Registered voters can also use the Department of Elections site to request an absentee by mail, find their polling place, and track their ballot.
Local elections offices and satellite locations are open for in-person voting in all localities throughout the Commonwealth through Oct. 31, 2020. Voters can also return absentee ballots to a secure drop box at the local registrar’s office or satellite polling location. On Election Day, ballots can also be returned to a dropbox at a local polling place.
Election Protection, a national, nonpartisan coalition, provides comprehensive information and assistance at all stages of voting–from registration, to absentee and early voting, to casting a vote at the polls, to overcoming obstacles to their participation. Voters may call 1-866-OUR-VOTE if they encounter any problems exercising their right to vote.
- Friday, Oct. 23: Last day to request an absentee ballot by mail.
- Saturday, Oct. 31: Last day to request an absentee ballot in person.
- Tuesday, Nov. 3: Election Day. Polls are open from 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. (if you are in line by 7 p.m. you can vote). Last day to postmark a mail-in ballot.
To verify registration status, visit voteva.us or call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.
For more information, visit the Virginia State Board of Elections website.