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. Of the over 1.6 million absentee ballots cast and applications received, 578,990 have been returned in person and 479,955 have been returned via mail. More than 600,000 ballots are still in the hands of voters, waiting to be returned.
Ballots postmarked on or before Election Day, Nov. 3 and that arrive at the local registrar’s office before 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 Nov. 6 deadline, results in close races could be delayed while all the votes are counted.
“Virginia voters are casting ballots in record numbers 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. “Taking the time to count every vote is a sign that election officials are doing their job and making sure every vote is heard.”
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.
- Thursday, Oct. 15: 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 voteva.us or call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.
For more information, visit the Virginia State Board of Elections website.