How to use this site

Does my vote matter?

Frequently Asked Questions

How does this site work?
It places the information you enter onto an official Virginia form, creates a PDF and emails an electronically signed copy to your county/city registrar. You can receive a copy of the PDF if you provide your email address.


The form needs to be signed. Is the electronic signature here adequate?
Yes. According to a decision by the Virginia State Board of Elections made in 2015 at the request of Speaker Bill Howell, registrars can accept emailed applications with such signatures. For more details and news articles on the topic, click here.


Can anyone receive an absentee ballot?
By Virginia law, a voter needs to provide one of 20 reasons, such as being physically present outside of the County/City where you are registered on Election Day, to qualify for an absentee ballot.


How long will it take to receive an absentee ballot?
Typically within 10 business days.


What if I don’t receive my absentee ballot?
Call your local General Registrar, the Virginia Department of Elections toll free number or check the Department of Elections website: elections.virginia.gov.


Can I submit this application on behalf of someone else?
No. It’s acceptable to help someone fill it out data fields, but the voter must give final approval for submission.


What if I get an absentee ballot, then later decide to vote in person? Or what if I forget I submitted an absentee and show up at the polling place?
The registrar keeps good records of these things. If you show up at the polls after having received an absentee ballot, you can either bring your ballot and surrender it at your poll on Election Day or you may be asked to cast a provisional ballot. Your vote will not be counted twice.


Is there a risk of voter fraud here?
This website only submits applications for absentee ballots. It does not cast ballots themselves. If a voter receives an absentee ballot without wanting it, he/she can surrender it at a polling place or cast a provisional ballot. Plus, falsely requesting an absentee ballot is a felony, just like with a traditional paper application, except here it is traceable on-line unlike mailed in absentee ballot applications.


Who sponsors this website?
It is run by Vote Absentee Virginia, a not-for-profit 501(c)4 organization. It was formed to help broaden voter access across all parties in Virginia. Click here for more information.


How do you make money here?
We don’t. We created this site as a public service to Virginians.


Does the state of Virginia have its own website to request absentee ballots?
It does, but it asks for a lot more information like driver’s license number and full social security number. That can be daunting, particularly for people who don’t have driver’s licenses.


Where does my data go?

It goes to two places and partly to a third. The two: your local County/City registrar and this website’s sponsor, Vote Absentee Virginia.

At the end of each day, this website destroys its records of the last-four-digits of your Social Security number from its records. The end-of-the-day gives us enough time to ensure your application PDF was properly sent, then afterwards we don’t need—or really even want—those last four digits.

The third place your data goes: if you landed on this site from a link sent by an organization, then it receives your name and contact information (but not your last-four-of-SSN nor reason- for-absentee-voting).

Which organization? At the end of the url link you clicked is a set of letters. In most cases, the organization will be apparent. However, if you are unsure, email the letter-code to raunak@eAbsentee.org and we’ll be happy to let you know, usually a candidate’s campaign or get-out-the-vote group.

Why is partial information provided to linking organizations? Campaigns and get-out-the-vote groups work hard to reach out potential voters. They want to know which channels are making an impact, plus they want to encourage you afterwards to return your absentee ballot. Your data will never be sold by Vote Absentee Virginia. (See "About Us” for detail on how the site is supported).


How can I check whether my absentee application is in process?
A voter can check his or here voter record, including applications, at the Virginia elections website. Please allow a few days for the local registrar to enter an application into the computer system.


On the website application form, I don't see my county/city on the dropdown list? Where is it?
Some campaign-specific links to the eAbsentee website limit the choices for county/city. You may have clicked on such a link. To see all county/cities, clear the cookies from your browser (usually in the same place you clear history). Note: this won't work for Chrome, so a different browser should be used to solve this problem.


Am I eligible?

Can I get an absentee ballot...

... because I work on Election Day and my job is outside my home city or county?
Yes. Choose the "Business outside County/City" reason.


... because I’m eating lunch on Election Day in a different city or county?
Yes. Choose the "Personal business or vacation" reason.


... because I’m on vacation outside my city or county?
Yes. Choose the "Personal business or vacation" reason.


... because I have trouble walking and it’s hard to stand in line a long time at the polling place?
Yes. Choose "My disability or illness" reason.


... because I work long hours near my home and it’s difficult to get the polls?
If you work in the same county you live in, and will work & commute more than 11 hours between 6AM and 7PM, then yes. Choose the "I am working and commuting to/from home" reason.


... I attend college in a different city or county?
Yes. Choose the "Student attending college" reason.


... I’m pregnant?
Yes. Choose "My pregnancy" reason.


... I need to take care of my sick elderly mother at home?
Yes. Choose the "I am primarily and personally responsible for the care of a disabled/ill family member" reason.