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Key Absentee Voting Dates & Deadlines
Here are the key dates and deadlines for the November 3 General Election:
Absentee Voting — By Mail
- The deadline to submit an application to have an absentee ballot mailed to you is Tuesday, October 27 at 5 p.m. Applications must be received at the Voter Registration Office by that time.
- Absentee ballots must be received at the Voter Registration Office by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day (November 3) to be counted.
- The ballot may be mailed or delivered in-person (an absentee ballot dropped off must be delivered personally by the voter).
Virginia's photo ID requirements do not apply to absentee voters who request an absentee ballot by mail.
Absentee Voting — In Person
Virginia's photo ID requirements apply to absentee voters who cast their absentee ballot in person. Voters who do not have acceptable ID may apply for an ID (and receive a temporary ID) at the same time they come to cast their in-person absentee ballot.
Office of Voter Registration & Elections
132 North Royal Street, Suite 100 (beginning Friday, September 18)
In-person absentee voting at the Voter Registration Office begins on Friday, September 18 at 8 a.m. and ends on Saturday, October 31 at 5:00 p.m.
5005 Duke Street (beginning Saturday, October 24)
In-person absentee voting at Beatley Library begins on Saturday, October 24 and ends on Saturday, October 31. Hours will be posted this fall.
You May Vote Absentee if You Are:
- A student or spouse at an academic institution
- Absent on business
- Absent for personal business or vacation
- Working and commuting 11 of the 13 hours the polls are open
- Unable to get to the polls due to a physical disability or illness
- A caretaker of a confined family member
- Awaiting trial in confinement
- Serving time for a misdemeanor conviction
- A Precinct Election Officer
- Have a religious obligation or conflict
- Active duty uniformed service or merchant marine or a dependent
- Regularly employed outside the U.S. or a dependent
- Designated by a Party or Candidate as an Authorized Representative (inside poll watcher)
When Can I Apply for an Absentee Ballot?
You can apply using a Virginia Absentee Ballot Application, as soon as you know you will not be able to go to the polls on Election Day, but no earlier than 12 months before the election date (exception for overseas voters). If you want your ballot mailed, we must receive your application by no later than 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, one week before the election. In-person absentee voting is available in our office beginning approximately 45 days before the election and ends the Saturday before Election Day. Please see the applications links below.
Virginia law requires that all absentee ballots must either be voted in person, at our office, or sent directly to the voter by mail. Ballots cannot be sent “in care of” another individual. Ballots are mailed by first class U.S. mail within the United States and by a special pre-paid U.S. postage permit to overseas citizens. At the voter’s request and pre-paid expense, we can mail ballots overseas via Express Mail. Please contact our office for details at 703.746.4050.
Certain individuals who are physically disabled or ill may submit one annual absentee ballot application that will be used for all elections within the calendar year. The first application submitted by a voter must include a statement by a doctor or religious practitioner. Thereafter, we will mail you a new application each December for use in the next calendar year. Please see the applications links below.
What if I’m Currently Living Abroad or in the Military?
- If you are temporarily abroad and maintain residence and place of abode at an address in the City of Alexandria you are eligible to receive a full ballot by mail for all elections. Please complete the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). This application must be received by our office or postmarked no later than 22 days before election date if you need to register and no less than 7 days before Election Day if you have already registered.
- If you are an active duty member of the uniformed services with a domicile address in Alexandria, you are eligible to receive a full ballot by mail for all elections. Please complete the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). This application must be received by our office or postmarked no later than 22 days before election date if you need to register and no less than 7 days before Election Day if you have already registered. Military personnel can also be eligible for “late registration” up to and including Election Day.
- If you are overseas by virtue of employment but no longer maintain domicile and place of abode in Alexandria, you and any dependents residing with you may be eligible to receive a full ballot in all elections, provided you and dependents registered to vote in your former precinct prior to your departure, and your move overseas occurred after July 1, 1999. Please complete the Federal Post Card Application. Your application must be received by our office or postmarked no later than 22 days before the election if you need to register and no less than seven days before Election Day if you have already registered. It is important to note on your application that you are “overseas due to employment.”
- If you are residing abroad for other reasons and do not maintain domicile and place of abode at an Alexandria address, as a U.S. citizen you are still eligible for a Federal ballot — all U.S. citizens are entitled to vote in federal elections (the office of President, Vice-President, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives). Please complete the Federal Post Card Application. The application must be received or postmarked 22 days prior to the election if you need to register and no less than seven days before Election Day if you have already registered.
A single FPCA is valid for all elections that occur from the time the application is submitted through December 31 of the following year. You must reapply for military/overseas absentee ballots after that time, or whenever your overseas address changes.
You will find very useful information on overseas voting at Overseas Vote Foundation and Federal Voting Assistance Program
Please see the applications links below.
Email Absentee Ballot Program
Military and overseas citizen absentee voters may receive their ballots by email.
How it works:
- Download the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). Complete the application and fax it back to us at 703.838.6449. You can also obtain the application from your Voting Assistance Officer at your unit or at your consulate. We can also accept a scanned version of the signed application transmitted via email. Be sure to note that you are requesting the ballot by email and include your email address.
Please note that we must receive your FPCA application seven days before the election if you are already registered to vote in Virginia. If you are not registered to vote, we must receive your FPCA, which also serves as your registration application, by the registration deadline, 22 days before the election.
- Your ballot and accompanying instructions will be transmitted to you by email to the address you provide on your application.
- Following the instructions provided, print and vote your ballot and return it to us by either U.S. mail or commercial courier (UPS, DHL, FedEx, etc.) so we receive your voted ballot no later than 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.
For questions about the above program contact us by phone or at Anna Leider, General Registrar
What Do I Do if I Mark My Ballot Incorrectly or if it Doesn’t Arrive in the Mail?
Please call our office immediately at 703.746.4050 if you destroy or spoil your original ballot. If there is time before the election, we can send you a replacement , but you must first return the spoiled ballot to us. If you destroy or have never received your ballot, we need you to complete a statement to that effect (See Statement of voter who lost or did not receive absentee ballot in the Application Section).
If you are in Alexandria and able to come to our office, we can issue a replacement ballot up until the polls close at 7:00 p.m. on Election Day. You may also go to your regular polling place on Election Day, and vote there in-person. If you have your spoiled ballot with you, you may turn it in, and vote normally. If you do not have it with you, you may vote a Provisional Ballot. Provisional Ballots are not counted on Election Day, but once we verify that we did not receive your absentee ballot, we will accept and count your Provisional Ballot.
If you are out of town, we can only issue a replacement if there is adequate time to receive your spoiled ballot or replacement ballot statement and send a new ballot in time for you to return it to us by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.
Certain ill or disabled voters who have not received or have spoiled their ballot by the Saturday before the election, and are unable to come to our office in person for a replacement, may designate an individual to pick up and return a replacement ballot on their behalf. Please call our office at 703.746.4050.
What if I am Hospitalized or Called out of Town after the Absentee Deadline?
Virginia law has two special emergency provisions.
The first is for medical emergencies, and covers persons who become hospitalized , ill and confined to their homes, or are bereaved by the death of a spouse, child, or parent in the fourteen days prior to an election. The voter can request a ballot up until 2:00 p.m. on the Monday before the election by designating a representative to pick up and return the ballot on the voter’s behalf. The representative must deliver the voter's completed application by 5:00 p.m. on the Monday before the election and return the ballot by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day for it to be counted.
The second is for persons who are called out of town on business or for personal family medical reasons (illness or death of family member) after 12 noon on the Saturday before the election may apply in-person for an emergency absentee ballot on the Monday before the election prior to 2:00 p.m.
Please call our office at 703.746.4050 for more information about emergency absentee ballots.
Where Do I Get An Application? And What Do I Do With It?
The Virginia Absentee Ballot Application (for permanent registrants), the Annual Application for an Absentee Ballot, and the Federal Post Card Application (for military and overseas voters) are available for downloading below. You can print the appropriate application form, complete it, sign it, and either mail it to us at Alexandria Voter Registration Office, 132 North Royal St., Suite 100, Alexandria, VA. 22314, or fax it back to us at 703.838.6449.
The Virginia Absentee Application and the Federal Post Card Application are interactive forms so (if it's more convenient) you may complete these forms online, then print them out and sign them before sending them in. (Virginia Law requires the signature on the absentee application.)
As an alternative, you may scan your signed application and email it as an attachment to VoteAbsentee@alexandriava.gov. Please see the application instructions for more information.
Be sure the application includes the reason you need to vote absentee; the address you wish the ballot mailed to; your name, address, last 4 digits of your social security number, and signature. If using the Virginia Absentee Ballot Application, a separate application must be completed for each election in which you need to vote absentee. (An FPCA is valid for all elections that occur from the time you submit the application through December 31 of the following year.)
You can also call or email the Voter Registration Office at VoteAbsentee@alexandriava.gov and request an application form be mailed or faxed to you. Please be sure to include your complete mailing address or fax number in your message
According to Virginia Election Law effective July 1, 2007, each absentee ballot application must contain the last four digits of the applicant's Social Security Number.
Office of Voter Registration and Elections
132 North Royal Street, Suite 100
Alexandria, VA 22314
Standards of Conduct
Integrity * Neutrality * Transparency * Accuracy
Don't let a long commute put your right to vote at risk. You may be eligible to vote by absentee ballot!
Virginia Law allows voters to absentee vote if they are "working and commuting to/from home for 11 or more hours between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Election Day."
DO THE MATH!
Work Day = 8 hours
Lunch = 1 hour
Commute = 2 hours
TOTAL = 11 hours
Is your total commute to and from work less than 2 hours some days, but more on other days?
Don't take a gamble...
Don't let traffic jams, metro service disruptions, or bad weather cost you your most precious right!
For more details, call 703.746.4050.
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