The Details You Need for Voting on Election Day in Virginia

Voting stickers and clipboards

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By Amie Knowles

October 21, 2021

We vote every single year. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have questions. We explain what ID you need and more.

In Virginia, we vote…Every. Single. Year. We’re only one of two states that elects a governor the year after a presidential election, and one of five states that that has legislative elections on off-years.

Whether you are one of the hundreds of thousands of potential new voters who have never cast a Virginia ballot, welcome. (And there are a lot of you, with approximately 175,000 Virginians who turned 18 since the last election, the 18,300 naturalized citizens welcomed in the state last year, or the over 264,000 people who moved to the commonwealth in 2019.)

And if it’s been awhile since you’ve been to the polls on the day of the election–or you need a reminder of how things work, we’ve got you covered.

What time do the polls open?

Polls open at 6 a.m.

What time do the polls close?

Polls close at 7 p.m.

What if I’m in line, but haven’t voted by 7 p.m.?

As long as you’re in line by 7 p.m., you will be allowed to cast a vote. If you try to get in line at 7:01 p.m., you’re too late and you will not be able to vote.

What form of identification do I need to bring?

You can present any of the following to vote in a Virginia election:

  • Current or expired Virginia driver’s license,
  • Valid DMV-issued ID card,
  • Valid employee ID card containing a photograph and issued by a voter’s employer,
  • US Military ID,
  • Valid student ID issued by a public or private school of higher education located in Virginia,
  • Valid student ID containing a photograph and issued by a public or private school of higher education located in the US,
  • Valid student ID issued by a public or private high school in Virginia,
  • Valid U.S. passport or passport card,
  • Government-issued ID card from a federal, Virginia, or local political subdivision,
  • Voter ID card issued by the Department of Elections,
  • Voter confirmation documents,
  • Valid tribal enrollment or other tribal ID if issued by one of the 11 tribes recognized by Virginia,
  • Nursing home resident ID if issued by a government facility,
  • Current utility bill, bank statement, government check, or paycheck containing the name and address of the voter not exceeding 12 months,
  • Current government document containing the name and address of the voter,
  • Signed ID Confirmation Statement

What forms of identification will NOT allow me to vote?

You can’t prove your identity using an out-of-state driver’s license, a membership card from a private organization displaying a photograph, a credit card displaying a photograph, or a Virginia Driver’s Privilege card.

I forgot my ID. Can I still vote?

Yes, but if your voter registration or qualifications to vote are in question, you’ll need to submit a provisional ballot. As long as you bring or send the necessary proof back to the registrar by noon on Friday, your provisional ballot will count as a vote. 

How do I determine my precinct?

The Virginia Department of Elections set up a Polling Place Lookup online. By entering your address and clicking “search,” you can determine where to go to cast your vote. If you’re not comfortable looking up the information online, you can always call your local registrar to ask about polling locations. 

Who’s on the ballot?

This year, Virginia will vote for the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and delegates. Many local races for city council and schools board members are also up for grabs. 

  • Amie Knowles

    Amie is Dogwood's community editor. She has been in journalism for several years, winning multiple awards from the Virginia Press Association for news and features content. A lifelong Virginia resident, her work has appeared in the Martinsville Bulletin, Danville Register & Bee and NWNC Magazine.

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