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Early voting begins today in Virginia. Here's what you need to know

Commonwealth residents may vote in-person early from Sept. 23 through Nov. 5 for the general election. Polling places will be open until 5 p.m.

VIRGINIA, USA — The general elections are almost upon us and voters in Virginia can prepare to cast their ballot whether that be through early voting, on Election Day, or by absentee.

Election Day is on Nov. 8, but before that early voting is set to begin on Sept. 23 and will end on Saturday, Nov. 5. On the ballot, in addition to voters being able to cast their vote for local officials running for office, they will also have a say on candidates in the race for the U.S. House of Representatives. The candidates for the House will cover 11 districts.

According to the Virginia Redistricting Commission, certain boundaries of the commonwealth’s U.S. congressional districts may have been affected by a new redistricting plan, which may change which candidates appear on people’s ballots. 

Here is everything you need to know to vote in Virginia in 2022. 

Registering to Vote

The first step to preparing for voting in the general election is making sure you are registered to vote. There are three ways residents can register: online, by mail or in person by Oct. 17.

When registering online residents will need to visit the election department’s citizen portal with their Virginia driver’s license or state ID. Residents will also need to provide their social security number. The deadline to register to vote online or update voter information. 

If registering by mail, residents must download and complete a registration form and send it to their local registrar’s office. Residents can also request the form by mail to them by the registrar’s office. The form must be postmarked by Oct. 17. 

When registering in person, residents must visit their local registrar’s office and update their information by 5 p.m. on Oct. 17 for the general election. 

If you are unsure about the status of your voter registration, visit the department of election’s citizen portal. 

How to get a mail-in or absentee ballot

Any registered voter in Virginia can request a “no-excuse” absentee ballot and vote from home in the general election. Ballots can be requested one of three ways: online, by mail or in person by Oct. 28.

When requesting a ballot online, voters need to visit the election department’s citizen portal, email or fax a completed application form to the local registrar’s office.

If requesting a ballot through the mail, voters must complete an application form and send it to the local registrar’s office. The application can be downloaded or voters can call the registrar’s office to request a form be sent to them. 

When requesting a ballot in person, voters simply need to submit a completed application to the local registrar’s office

Completed ballots must include a witness's signature before they are returned by mail or in person. 

Where to find your local polling place and when you can vote

Commonwealth residents may vote in-person early from Sept. 23 through Nov. 5 for the general election. Polling places will be open until 5 p.m. 

The first day of in-person early voting will be held at your local registrar's office.

To find a polling place near you, visit the Virginia Department of Elections website.

What you need to bring to the polls

A form of identification is needed to vote in the commonwealth. 

The list of approved IDs includes:

  • Virginia driver’s license - current or expired
  • Virginia DMV-issued ID card - current or expired
  • Valid employee ID card 
  • U.S. Military ID
  • Valid student ID by a public or private school located in Virginia
  • Valid student ID with a photograph from a public or private school located in the U.S. 
  • Valid U.S. passport or passport card
  • Government-issued ID card from federal, Virginia or local political subdivision
  • Voter ID card issued by Dept. of Elections
  • Voter confirmation documents
  • Valid tribal enrollment or other tribal ID
  • Nursing home resident ID
  • Current utility bill, bank statement, gov. Check or paycheck containing the name and address of the voter
  • Current government document containing the name and address of the voter
  • Signed ID confirmation statement

ID’s that will not be accepted include:

  • Out-of-state driver’s license
  • Membership card from a private organization displaying a photograph
  • Credit card displaying a photograph
  • Virginia driver’s privilege card

If you do not have an approved form of identification, you can still vote but will have to sign an ID confirmation statement. If the statement is not signed, voters will receive a provisional ballot and will have until Nov. 11 to fax, email, mail or deliver an acceptable form of ID to the election’s office in order for their vote to count. 

Watch Next: Virginia election officials witnessing ‘incredible’ voter turnout

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