September 23, 2011
The deadline to apply to vote by absentee ballot for the November election is Nov. 1 by mail and Nov. 5 for in-person absentee voting. In order to vote by absentee ballot, voters must submit an application to their local general registrar.
The upcoming election is scheduled for November 8 and the Virginia State Board of Elections wants to ensure registered voters are aware of the more than 18 different categories by which they may qualify to vote by absentee ballot. Under Virginia law a registered voter who answers ‘yes’ to one of the following questions may qualify to vote by absentee ballot.
o Does your work day, including your commute time, keep you away from home for 11 hours or more?
o Are you the primary caregiver for a family member confined at home?
o Are you disabled or suffering from an illness?
o Are you a student away at school or a spouse of a student?
o Are you pregnant?
o Will you be away for business reasons?
o Are you temporarily residing outside of the United States?
o Do you have a religious obligation?
o Will you be away on vacation or personal business?
o Are you a member of the Merchant Marines or U.S. Uniformed Services on active duty or are you the spouse of an active duty service member?
o Will you be serving as an election official?
o Will you be confined either awaiting trial or already convicted of a misdemeanor?
o A first responder (member of law enforcement, fire fighter, emergency technician, search and rescue)
Applications to vote absentee are available online to print at the State Board of Elections website. To vote absentee by mail, the application is due by 5:00 p.m. on November 1. The last day to apply and vote absentee in-person at your local registrar’s office is November 5. All absentee ballots must be submitted to the local registrar’s office or assigned precinct by the time the polls close at 7:00 p.m. on Election Day, November 8. All absentee ballots, properly cast, will be counted.
“We want to make sure all registered voters have access to the election process and that those voters who qualify to vote by absentee ballot are aware of this option,” said Donald Palmer, Secretary of the State Board of Elections. “It is part of a larger effort to make sure Virginians are election ready.”
To obtain a Virginia Absentee Ballot Application or check to see if you are registered to vote, go to the Virginia State Board of Elections website.