KNOW YOUR VOTING RIGHTS
Election Day Hotlines
Am I registered to vote?
Check to see if you are registered before October 16, 2017. Call your local registrar (“Voter Registration” in the city/ county government pages of the White Pages) or the Department of Elections at (800) 552-9745. You can also check online at www.elections.virginia.gov.
Registering to Vote
The deadline to register to vote in the November 2017 election is October 16. Register online (www.elections.virginia.gov), or find applications at all local voter registration offices, public libraries, and DMV offices.
When do I vote?
Election Day is Tuesday, November 7, 2017. Polling places are open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Where do I vote?
Call your local voter registration office before Election Day, or look on your most recently issued voter registration card. You may also find your polling place online at www.elections.virginia.gov.
Top Questions Asked by Voters
- If I’m in line when the polls close, can I still vote? Yes! You have the right to vote if you are in line by 7 p.m. when the polls close. (Va. Code §24.2-603)
- Can I wear campaign apparel when going to vote? Yes! You are allowed to wear apparel and buttons or stickers that contain a candidate’s name or a political slogan to the polls. (Va. Code §24.2-604(K))
- What if I need instructions on how to use the voting equipment? Ask a poll wor ker for help. Poll workers are required to assist you at any time you ask, even if you have entered the voting booth. (Va. Code §24.2-647)
- What if I believe I am registered but a poll worker says I am not? Ask the poll wor ker to contact the local registrar . If the registrar is unavailable or cannot find your name, ask for a provisional ballot. You have the right to cast a provisional ballot even if your name is not on the voter list. However, know that your ballot may not be counted if the Board of Elections finds no record of your registration. (Va. Code §24.2-652, -653)
- What if someone challenges my eligibility to vote even though I am on the list of registered voters? Ask for the Affirmation of Eligibility form. You have the right to vote if you sign this form. (Va. Code §24.2-651, -651.1)
- What should I do if I make a mistake on a paper ballot, or the machine malfunctions? Do not cast your ballot! Ask for a replacement ballot immediately. You have a right to as many replacement ballots as you need. (Va. Code §24.2-645). If your machine malfunctions, inform a poll worker who will direct you to a different machine or give you a paper ballot. (Va. Code §24.2-642, §24.2-646.1)
What if I need help in the voting booth because of a physical disability or I have trouble reading or writing? Ask a poll worker for a Request for Assistance form. You have the right to have a poll worker, friend, or relative help you in thevoting booth if you sign this form. (Va. Code §24.2-649 (B)). If you think it will be difficult to vote inside the polling place,you have the right to vote curbside. On Election Day, you can send someone into the polling place to request curbside votingon your behalf. Poll workers will bring a ballot or voting machine outside so you can vote. (Va. Code §24.2-649 (A))
What if I need language assistance? You have the right to bring someone who can translate the ballot and help you communicate with poll workers. (Va. Code §24.2-649 (C)) (Note: Fairfax County is required to provide ballots, election materials and assistance in Spanish. Ask the poll worker for help in Spanish.)
Can I vote absentee? If you expect to be unable to go to your polling place on Election Day because of a long commute, work, school, religious, medical, or other reasons, you may be able to vote by absentee ballot via mail or in person (must show Photo ID for in-person). (Va. Code §24.2-700). The absentee ballot application and procedures are available online at www.elections.virginia.gov or your local registrar’s office. (Va. Code §24.2-701-702.1, §24.2-707-709)
How do I make a complaint? Ask for an officer of election at your polling place. The officer can handle most routine complaints. Candidates, political parties, and nonprofit groups may also have poll watchers at your polling place who may be able to assist you. If any of those people ask you who you voted for, or if they can’t resolve your complaint, call the Virginia Dept. of Elections (800-552-9745) or the Election Day hotline at the ACLU of Virginia (804-644-8080). You can file a complaint online at www.elections.virginia.gov.
Virginia’s Voter ID Law
All voters must show an approved photo id to vote Va. Code §24.2-643(B)
- Acceptable IDs: Valid Virginia DMV-Issued Photo ID*; Valid U.S. Passport*; Employee Photo ID; Valid Student Photo ID from Virginia College/University*; Military Photo ID; Any other Photo ID issued by the U.S., Virginia, or a political or local subdivision in Virginia; Virginia Voter Photo ID. *Valid: Photo ID is NOT expired for more than 12 months.
- What if I Don’t Have an ID? If you do not have an approved photo ID, you can get a FREE voter photo ID at any general registrar’s office. You must be a registered voter to apply for the Virginia Voter Photo ID Card. If you are not registered, you can register and sign up for the ID in the same trip. You will have to complete the Virginia Voter Photo Identification Card Application and have your picture taken. Once the application is processed, the card will be mailed directly to you.
- What if I forget my photo ID? If you for get your ID and you have time, it is usually better to go back and get it. Voters without identification must cast an “ID-only” provisional ballot. You must submit a copy of your ID to your local electoral board no later than noon on Monday, November 13 by fax, e-mail, mail, or in-person. (Va. Code §24.2-653)
Restoration of Voting Rights
If you have lost your right to vote due to a felony conviction, in order to vote on Nov. 7, you must have your voting rights restored and THEN register to vote. Those with felony convictions from Virginia must (a) receive a letter from the Governor individually restoring their voting rights, then (b) register to vote. To check if your civil rights have been restored go to:
https://solutions.virginia.gov/RestorationOfRights/search or call 804-692-0104.
Still have questions? Contact the ACLU of Virginia at 804-644-8080