Here’s How To Make Sure Your 2020 Ballot Gets Counted In Virginia

Have no fear! The Commonwealth has a number of new laws and procedures on the books, some passed as recently as last month, that ensure unimpeded access to voting and all votes get counted.

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First things first: if you have not yet voted, just a reminder that time is running out. Election day is next Tuesday, November 3, but you can still vote early through this Saturday.

First things first: our online resource for all things voting is the Virginia Department of Elections web site. Here you can make check your registration. You can also find your polling place and local registrars office. All of the information presented below can found here as well.

Bookmark it. Carry on.

    • IT’S TOO LATE TO REQUEST A BALLOT BE MAILED TO YOU. T
        • The deadline to request a ballot by mail was Friday, October 23, 2020. However, if you received an absentee ballot but have not yet completed it, it’s imperative that you do so and hand deliver it to your local polling location by Election Day.
        • You can still apply in person for an absentee ballot. The deadline is Saturday, October 31, 2020 to apply in person for an absentee ballot. You must compete your application at the General Registrar’s office. You should request your ballot as far in advance of the election as possible.
        • If you mail in your ballot, you will be able to track it as it moves through the mail system using a barcode provided in the envelope your ballot arrives in. Check your ballot’s progress on the state’s citizen portal.
    • VOTE IN PERSON. Voters registered in Virginia can look up where to vote on Virginia’s site. Polls are open on November 3 from 6 am until 7 pm.
    • VOTE EARLY. You can vote early at your local registrar’s office or satellite locations beginning 45 days before Election Day (September 18) and ending on October 31. Before visiting your local registrar’s office, you may wish to check your registration status or call your registrar’s office. You can find your registrar’s phone number here. Find your nearest polling location here.
    • To vote early in-person or at the polls, do the following:
      • At the registrar’s office or satellite voting location, you must provide your name and address and show an acceptable form of ID or sign an ID Confirmation Statement. To view a complete list of acceptable IDs, please visit our Voting In-Person page.
      • If acceptable identification is not provided, you must sign an ID Confirmation Statement or a provisional ballot will be offered and you are allowed until the Friday at noon following the election to provide a copy of acceptable identification to the electoral board or sign an ID Confirmation Statement. Provisional voters receive a notice to remind them of the deadline and right to attend the electoral board meeting.

Finally, be meticulous in filling out your ballot.

While there’s not much data to suggest a significant number of ballots are getting lost in the mail, there is evidence that thousands of ballots were not counted due to voter errors, namely clerical mistakes or tardiness.

In the 2020 presidential primaries, Virginia had more rejected ballots than any other state, with almost 4,000 votes getting disqualified because they were mailed in past the deadline. The Postal Service recommends mailing in your ballot no later than one week before the election to ensure it is counted.

Besides tardiness, other mistakes like mismatched or missing signatures can also lead to a vote not being counted.

Census 2020