Absentee ballots are made available to registered voters who have filled out an absentee ballot application form. Registered voters vote using a voting machine in the registrar's office immediately after completing an in-person absentee application at a local registrar's office. Absentee ballot applications sent via mail, email, or fax are sent absentee ballots in the mail. You must fill out the absentee ballot and return it to the registrar's office by 7 p.m. on election day.
Virginia offers excuse-based in-person absentee voting, meaning absentee voters must provide an approved reason for absentee voting such as having a religious obligation, pregnancy, temporarily residing outside the United States, or a student attending a college or university outside of locality of residence in Virginia. Virginia has a 45 day absentee voting period prior to election day. Unregistered voters must wait five days after they have registered to receive an absentee ballot. Only absent military and overseas voters receive exceptions. Absentee applications sent via mail must be received by the local registrar's office by 5 p.m. Eastern standard time on the Tuesday prior to election day.
Federal law requires first time absentee voters by mail to show acceptable identification. A copy of a valid and current photo ID, current utility bill, bank statement, government check or another government document that shows name and address must be submitted with the absentee application or absentee ballot. Until an acceptable form of identification is submitted, the absentee ballot is treated as a provisional ballot.