Virginia Voter Rights & Responsibilities

Voter Rights

  • Register to vote with your current address up to 22 days before Election Day, if you are a Virginia resident and otherwise legally qualified.
  • Be notified if your voter registration application has been accepted or denied.
  • Vote if you are registered and otherwise legally qualified to vote.
  • Vote absentee if you are registered to vote in Virginia.
  • Vote absentee in Virginia if you are a U.S. citizen overseas and your last residence in the U.S. was in Virginia, or you are a Virginia resident away in the military (or their qualifying spouse or dependent).
  • Vote if you are in line by the close of polls. Polls close at 7 pm on Election Day.
  • Be treated with courtesy and respect by election officials.
  • Ask any election officer for help.
  • Receive help from your own assistant or an election officer if you need help to read, complete forms, or to vote. The person who helps you may not be your employer or union representative. The person who helps you must follow your instructions, without trying to influence your vote, and may not tell or signal how you voted on any office or question.
  • Be shown how to mark and cast your ballot.
  • Bring your child (age 15 or younger) into the voting booth.
  • Have a ballot brought to your vehicle instead of entering the polling place or early voting location if you are 65 years of age or older, or have a disability.
  • Request to receive your absentee ballot electronically to mark your ballot using an electronic ballot-marking tool, if you are print disabled.
  • Use an accessible voting machine when voting in person at your polling place or early voting site, if you have a disability and prefer that option.
  • Write in the full name of a candidate if the candidate of your choice is not listed on the ballot (except in party primaries).
  • Ask for a new ballot if you want to change your vote before you cast it.
  • Vote a regular ballot if you arrive at your polling place without acceptable ID, but sign an ID Confirmation Statement affirming your identity. Exception: Voters who registered by mail for the first time in Virginia on or after January 1, 2003, and who did not mail in a copy of their acceptable ID at that time.
  • Vote a provisional ballot if your name does not appear on the voter list and you believe it should, or you forgot to bring an acceptable ID and refuse to sign an ID Confirmation Statement.
  • Be present when the Electoral Board meets to determine if your provisional ballot will be counted.

Voter Responsibilities

  • To treat the election officials with courtesy and respect.
  • To keep your voter registration information up-to-date with your current address. (If not, you may be eligible to vote at your prior precinct for a limited time under a legal exception. You must tell the election officials when and where you moved. Contact your voter registration office or the State Board of Elections if you have questions about your eligibility to vote.)
  • To show your identification (ID) at the polls. If you do not have an ID with you at the polling place, you may still vote if you sign an "Affirmation of Identity" statement, depending on your registration status. See "Provisional Ballots" below.
  • If party nominating primaries are being held, to tell the officials which primary you want to vote in. You may vote in either primary, but not both primaries held on the same day.
  • To request assistance if you do not know how to use the voting equipment or have other questions about the voting process, or need assistance preparing your ballot because of a physical disability or inability to read or write.
  • To follow the instructions on how to mark your ballot.
  • To understand that once your ballot is cast, you cannot be given another ballot.
  • To ask the election official to call the General Registrar's office before you leave the polling place if you have problems regarding your eligibility to vote or the casting of your ballot.

These statements are only a summary of U.S. and Virginia voting laws. Please read the "Voters' Rights and Responsibilities" poster at your polling place or go to the Department of Elections website.