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Yes, Virginia mail in ballots must have a witness signature

Virginia’s General Election is a few weeks away and some on social media say an easy mistake could cost you your vote

VIRGINIA, USA — Early voting in Virginia has started for the November 2021 elections. Registered voters have until Saturday, Oct. 30 to vote at early voting locations across the commonwealth.

In the past, Virginia voters had to have a reason for voting early or by mail, but a new law got rid of the requirement. But mail in voting this year will look different than it did in 2020—there's an extra step you'll need to take.

THE QUESTION

For the upcoming election on November 2nd, do you need a witness signature on an absentee mail in ballot in Virginia? 

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

Yes. With no state of emergency in effect, the Board of Elections says mail in ballots must once again have a witness signature. 

THE PROCESS

Voters in the Commonwealth will be casting their ballots for Virginia governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, house of delegates and certain local representatives.  

Unlike D.C., Virginia voters must request a ballot online from the Virginia Department of Elections. Do not expect to just get a ballot in the mail. Click here to apply online to vote by mail.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 22 at 5 p.m. and mail-in ballots must be postmarked by Election Day.

Tweets like this one say “Remember if your using an absentee ballot get a witness to sign or it won’t count” 

 

Now you may remember, the witness signature requirement for mail in ballots for the Presidential election was suspended because of the pandemic and the state of emergency in the Commonwealth.

But, according to the Governor’s office, the state of emergency ended back in July 2021.

So we can verify that, yes, with no state of emergency in effect, the Board of Elections says mail in ballots must once again have a witness signature.

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