Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Anyone who was closely watching last November’s election got a demonstration about what difference one vote can make. Control of the Virginia General Assembly came down to a single race that was deemed to be tied, and was decided by a random drawing. Republicans won.
Vote. It’s so important to vote. Your vote could actually be the deciding vote.
Your best shot at ensuring you can vote is to vote early.
How To Vote
Every year is election year in Virginia; mechanics and details of voting require attention to detail.
If you want to be sure you get to vote, voting early if you qualify is a good choice. Early voting, called absentee voting in person in Virginia, is already underway for the primary.
There are many valid reasons to vote absentee in Virginia, including working and commuting to and from home for 11 or more hours between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Election Day. Check the Virginia Department of Elections list to see if you are eligible: elections.virginia.gov/casting-a-ballot/absentee-voting/index.html
There are two ways to vote absentee, in-person and by mail. To do either, you should first check your voter registration status to make sure it is up-to-date. Then you will need to apply for an absentee ballot. If you vote absentee in-person you will fill out the application when you arrive at the in-person absentee location.
Voting absentee by mail? You can now apply for an absentee ballot online with the state's new Citizen Portal. You will need your Social Security Number and information on your Virginia Driver's License to complete the application. Information is also provided on how to apply if you do not have a driver's license.
In Person Absentee Locations, Fairfax County
In-person satellite locations are only open on June 9 for the June 12 primaries, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.:
- Fairfax County Government Center
- Franconia Governmental Center
- Lorton Library
- Mason Governmental Center
- McLean Governmental Center
- Mount Vernon Governmental Center
- North County Governmental Center
- Providence Community Center
- Sully Governmental Center
- West Springfield Governmental Center
703-222-0776 TTY 711
12000 Government Center Parkway Suite 323
Fairfax, VA 22035
In Person Absentee Locations, Arlington County
You can vote absentee in-person at the Office of Elections! Weekdays 8-5 starting April 28 (closed May 29) and Saturday, June 10 8:30-5. In-person absentee ends June 10 at 5 pm.
Office of Elections
2100 Clarendon Blvd Ste 320
Arlington, VA 22201
In Person Absentee Voting in City of Alexandria
In-person absentee voting hours and locations are as follows:
Office of Voter Registration & Elections,
132 N. Royal Street, Suite 100
Alexandria, VA 22314
Opens for absentee voting on Friday, April 27.
Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (closed Monday, May 28)
Tuesday, May 29 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday, June 2 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday, June 5 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Wednesday, June 6 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Thursday, June 7 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday, June 9 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Virginia Voter ID
Virginia has voter identification requirements; plan to bring photo identification with you to vote, whether that is absentee or on Primary Election Day.
Among accepted ID: valid Virginia Driver’s License or Identification Card; valid Virginia DMV issued Veteran’s ID card; valid U.S. Passport; other government-issued photo identification cards issued by the U.S. Government, the Commonwealth of Virginia, or a political subdivision of the Commonwealth; Tribal enrollment or other tribal ID issued by one of 11 tribes recognized by the Commonwealth of Virginia; valid college or university student photo identification card from an institution of higher education located in Virginia; valid student ID issued by a public school or private school in Virginia displaying a photo; employee identification card containing a photograph of the voter and issued by an employer of the voter in the ordinary course of the employer’s business.
Any registered voter who does not have one of the required forms of identification can apply for a free Virginia Voter Photo Identification from any general registrar’s office in the Commonwealth. Voters applying for the Virginia Voter Photo ID complete the Virginia Voter Photo Identification Card Application, have their picture taken, and sign the digital signature pad. Once the application is processed, the card will be mailed directly to the voter.
A voter who does not bring an acceptable photo ID to the polls will be offered a provisional ballot.
Provisional Ballot Process for Voters Who Arrive Without Identification
If you arrive at your polling place on Election Day without an acceptable form of photo identification, don’t panic or give up.
You will be given the opportunity to vote a provisional ballot. After completing the provisional ballot, the individual voting will be given written instructions from the election officials on how to submit a copy of his/her identification so that his/her vote can be counted.
A voter will have until noon on the Friday following the election to deliver a copy of the identification to the local electoral board or to appear in person to apply for a Virginia Voter Photo ID Card. Voters may submit a copy of their ID via fax, email, in-person submission, or through USPS or commercial delivery service. Please note that the copy of the ID must be delivered to the electoral board by noon on Friday, or the provisional ballot cannot be counted.
Also by noon on Friday following the election, the voter may appear in-person in the office of the general registrar, in the locality in which the provisional ballot was cast, and apply for a Virginia Voter Photo ID Card. At the completion of the application process, the voter may request a Temporary Identification Document. This document may be provided to the electoral board to meet the identification requirement.