Voting Guide


Due to the risk posed to public safety by COVID-19, the state primary election has been rescheduled for June 23, 2020. The registration deadline remains May 26.

  • The Virginia Department of Elections is encouraging voters to vote by mail in the election. It is urging voters to apply for a mail-in ballot as soon as possible. Voters concerned about COVID-19 may choose reason "2A My disability or illness" on their mail-in ballot request form.

  • More information about voting by mail is available at https://www.elections.virginia.gov/casting-a-ballot/absentee-voting/.

  • The deadline to request a mail-in ballot is June 2.

Voter Registration Deadline: 22 days before Election Day



  • Presidential Primary Election Registration Deadline: February 10

  • Presidential Primary Election: March 3

  • Primary Election Deadline: May 18

  • Primary Election: June 23

  • General Election Registration Deadline: October 12

  • General Election: November 3

Students have a choice about where to register to vote.


Students attending college may register at their campus address or choose to remain registered or register at their permanent or home address.


You may only be registered and vote in one location.

Virginia requires voters to list their full Social Security number when registering to vote. However, residents who register online can register using their Virginia-issued driver's license ot ID number.

Beginning July 1, 2020, Virginia voters who do not have acceptable form of ID can vote by signing a statement affirming their identity.

A valid photo ID must be presented when voting in person in Virginia, including:

  • a valid student ID card with a photograph of the voter and issued by any public or private high school, college, or university in Virginia;

  • Virginia driver’s license, or ID card issued by the Virginia DMV, U.S. passport, or any other photo ID issued by Virginia, one of its political subdivisions, or the U.S., including the free photo ID issued by the Department of Elections;

  • a valid employee ID card containing a photograph of the voter; or

  • a tribal ID issued by any of the 11 recognized tribes in Virginia.


“Valid” IDs must not be more than 12 months expired. A voter who does not bring ID must cast a provisional ballot. Voters must provide proof of ID to their local board of elections by noon on the Friday following Election Day for their vote to be counted. Proof of ID can be provided in person, by mail, fax, or email.


A full list of acceptable IDs can be found at: https://www.elections.virginia.gov/registration/photo-ids-required-to-vote/index.html

Beginning July 1, 2020, voters may also present the following, additional forms of ID to vote:

  • Voter confirmation documents

  • A non-photo ID issued by Virginia, a political subdivision of Virginia, or the United States

  • A valid student ID that does not contain the voter’s photograph, issued by any institute of higher education in Virginia, another state, or U.S. territory

  • Current utility bill, bank statement, government check, or government document containing the voter’s name and current address

The expiration date on a Virginia driver’s license will not be considered.

By Mail

  • You can request an absentee ballot online. Go to https://vote.elections.virginia.gov/Voterinformation

  • Virginia requires absentee voters who want to vote by mail to provide an excuse, and sometimes requires supporting information. Virginia residents attending school out of state or in a Virginia locality other than home vote absentee. Other excuses are listed on the application form

  • Voters must make sure that the local board of elections receives their application for an absentee ballot by 5 p.m. on the Tuesday before Election Day.

  • Completed absentee ballots must be received by the board of elections by the close of the polls on Election Day.

  • However, beginning July 1, 2020, all Virginia voters will be able to apply for and cast a mail-in ballot. Voters will be required to submit mail-in ballot request forms by the 11th day before Election Day. Completed mail-in ballots will be counted as long as they are postmarked on or before Election Day and received before noon on the third day after Election Day.


Early In-Person

  • Voters who meet one of the state’s specific excuses to vote absentee can apply for an absentee ballot in person at the local board of elections office, beginning 45 days before an election, and may cast their absentee ballot at the same time (in person absentee voting) up to three days before Election Day.

  • Beginning July 1, 2020, any voter can apply for an in-person absentee ballot at their local board of Elections office and cast their absentee ballot at the same time, beginning 45 days before an election until 5 p.m. on the Saturday before Election Day.


Find your local board of elections and registrar office here: https://vote.elections.virginia.gov/VoterInformation/PublicContactLookup


Election Day

  • Voting sites will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day. If you are in line by the closing time then you must be allowed to vote. Beginning July 1, 2020, polls will remain open until 8:00 pm on Election Day.

Registering to Vote Does Not Affect Your:

  • Federal Financial Aid

  • Where you register to vote will not affect federal financial aid such as Pell Grants, Perkins or Stafford loans, or your dependency status for FAFSA

  • Status as a Dependent on Your Parents’ Taxes

  • Being registered to vote at a different address from your parents does not prevent them from claiming you as a dependent on their taxes

  • Tuition Status

  • Being deemed out-of-state for tuition purposes does not prevent you from choosing to register to vote in your campus community


Will registering to vote in Virginia affect my driver’s license or car registration?

  • With few exceptions, registering to vote in Virginia will have no impact on changing your driver’s license and motor vehicle registration. However, as a full-time student in Virginia, you may have to make changes regardless of whether you register to vote in Virginia. For more information contact the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

Fair Elections Center and Campus Vote Project intend the information contained herein is used only as a general guide. This document should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a licensed North Carolina legal professional.
Last updated March 2019