As of today, 1,482,583 Virginia voters have applied for absentee ballots—more than two and a half times as many as the total number of requests at this time four years ago. Of the over 1 million absentee ballots, 423,817 have voted in person and 345,891 have been returned via mail. Another over 700,000 ballots are still in the hands of voters, waiting to be returned. Despite an initial slowdown caused by COVID-19, Virginia absentee turnout is at a record high.
“Virginia voters are showing up this year to vote early, safely, and securely. On Election Night, voters will need to have patience—thanks to new laws that give voters more options for voting and more time to return their absentee ballot, it will take longer to count all the votes. Voters should be skeptical of any organization or candidate declaring a winner before all votes are counted,” said Anna Scholl, executive director of Progress Virginia.
New legislation went into effect July 1, 2020, that allows Virginia voters to register for absentee ballots without giving an excuse. Any registered voter may request an absentee ballot or vote early in person. In order to participate in any of the various ways to cast a ballot in Virginia in this November’s election, voters must register by October 13th. Voters with a DMV-issued ID can register and update their voter registration status online at vote.elections.virginia.gov. Registered voters can also use the site to apply to vote absentee by mail, find their polling place, and track their ballot.
Local elections offices are open for in-person voting in all localities throughout the Commonwealth through Oct. 31, 2020. Voters can also return ballots via mail using the supplied, prepaid postage or to a secure drop box at the local registrar’s office or satellite polling location. Ballots may also be returned on election day to a secure drop box at polling places.
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.
- Tuesday, Oct. 13: Deadline to register to vote or update registration address.
- 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 vote.elections.virginia.gov/VoterInformation or call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.
For more information, visit www.voteva.us/.