Frequently Asked Questions

How does COVID-19 affect elections?
The Virginia Department of Elections encourages voters to protect their health during this COVID-19 outbreak. Voting absentee in the May and June elections is strongly encouraged. All voters qualify for absentee voting with Reason 2A. Voters who choose to vote absentee should do so as soon as possible in order to receive their ballots in time to return them by Election Day.

How does this site work?
This easy-to-complete Absentee Ballot Application is authorized by the Virginia Board of Elections Your completed application will be sent electronically to your county/city registrar. A copy of your application can be sent as validation to the email address you provide.

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, any registered voter can request a mail-in ballot. Because of Covid-19, Virginia has authorized anyone to qualify for an absentee ballot by using reason 2A, so every voter can vote from the safely of their residence.

What changes have been made to the absentee voting process?
In 2020, the Virginia General Assembly passed several laws relating to voting, including HB 1, which allows all registered Virginia voters to vote absentee without an excuse. Additionally, the registration deadlines have been extended and absentee ballots will be counted as long as they are postmarked by Election Day. As a result of these changes, our form design has changed a bit from prior implementations.

How long will it take to receive an absentee ballot?
Mail-in ballots are sent as early as 45 days before the election day. Thereafter, they are usually sent 7 days after the registrar approves the application.

What if I don’t receive my absentee ballot?
You can check the status of your absentee by visiting the state elections website.

Can I submit this application on behalf of someone else?
No. It is acceptable for the voter to receive help from someone, but the voter must give final approval for submission.

What if I get an absentee ballot, then later decide to vote in person?
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. After it is determined that you voted only one time in the election, your vote will be automatically counted.

Is there a risk of voter fraud here?
We only submit applications for absentee ballots. We do not cast the ballots themselves. eAbsentee also only asks for the last 4 digits of your social security number (unlike the Virginia elections website). Falsely requesting an absentee ballot is a felony. eAbsentee is more secure as it is electronically tracable unlike paper 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 request much 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: your local County/City registrar and this website’s sponsor, Vote Absentee Virginia. We maintain your application only until the end of the day, to verify its receipt by your registrar. Then we destroy it.

Additionally, if you learned of this site from a link sent by another organization, then that organization receives your name, contact info, and application date (but not your last 4 SSN digits or reason for absentee voting).

Which organization? You can determine which organization by viewing the extension on the url you linked from. Sometimes it is obvious. If not, simply email and we’ll be happy to let you know.

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).

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).

Where can I find your privacy policy?
Our privacy policy can be found here.