Most years Virginians circle Election Day on their calendars to remind themselves to go out and exercise their civic duty. While in-person voting on November 3rd is still going to be an option, as most of you know, this is not a normal election year. My rotation at Virginia’s Department of Elections has been an awesome journey, and it has put me in a position to help educate others who might not be up to date with the changes to Virginia’s election process. So in case any readers are not familiar with how to vote this year or want a simple layout to show someone else, I took the liberty of compiling some key dates and options for you. Enjoy, and do not hesitate to reach out with questions.
October 13: Last day to register to vote/update your voting address
October 23: Last day to request an absentee ballot by mail
October 31: Last day to vote in-person absentee
November 3: ELECTION DAY
Ways to Vote:
- By mail before Election Day (per recent legislation, everybody can request an absentee ballot, no matter the reason!)
- Request a ballot at elections.virginia.gov/absentee by 5pm October 23. You can return your voted ballot by mail, by dropping it off at your local registrar/drop off location, or to your polling place on Election Day (11/3)
- In person before Election Day
- From September 18 to October 31 you can go vote in person at your local General Registrar or satellite location.
- In person on Election Day
- Polls will be open 6am to 7pm
- Find your polling place: elections.virginia.gov/VoterInformation
- Bring acceptable ID: elections.virginia.gov/VoterID
For more information, call your local registrar’s office, and check out the Department of Election’s “Pocket Voter Guide” at the following link: https://www.elections.virginia.gov/media/formswarehouse/2020-voter-outreach/pocket-guides/Pocket-Guide-digital_3Nov2020.pdf
Also, for those interested, check out the recent marketing campaigns that ELECT has done to increase awareness and knowledge of elections in the Commonwealth:
- Defending democracy: https://www.elections.virginia.gov/defend-democracy/
- “Free to Vote Absentee”: https://www.elections.virginia.gov/vote-absentee-by-mail/index.html
John Cronin is a Virginia Management Fellow currently working at the Virginia Department of Elections (ELECT).