The Virginia Department of Elections website is chock full of information about the electoral process, but there are some interesting tidbits that you might not know about Virginia’s electoral process in particular!

A screenshot from the Virginia Department of Elections website featuring “Virginia Votes by the Numbers.”

On the Voter Education part of the Department of Elections website, you can find some cool statistics about how Virginia votes, broken down by the numbers. Did you know that there are 470 pages of code that have to be followed by election officials to help make things run smoothly?

Do you know your voter rights?

On the Virginia Department of Elections site, they have all of your voter rights laid out. Here are some interesting voter rights in Virginia:

  • Be notified if your voter registration application has been accepted or denied.
  • Be treated with courtesy and respect by election officials.
  • Ask any election officer for help.
  • Receive help from your own assistant or an election officer if you need help to read, complete forms, or to vote.
    • The person who helps you may not be your employer or union representative. The person who helps you must follow your instructions, without trying to influence your vote, and may not tell or signal how you voted on any office or question.
  • Bring your child into the voting booth. They must be 15-years-old or younger.
  • Have a ballot brought to your vehicle instead of entering the polling place or early voting location if you are 65 years of age or older, or if you have a disability. 
  • Request to receive your absentee ballot electronically to mark your ballot using an electronic ballot-marking tool, if you are print disabled. 
  • Use an accessible voting machine when voting in person at your polling place or early voting site, if you have a disability and prefer that option. 
  • Write in the full name of a candidate if the candidate of your choice is not listed on the ballot (except in party primaries).
  • Ask for a new ballot if you want to change your vote before you cast it.

Do you know what election terms mean?

The Department of Elections website also features a fun “election-ary,” that breaks down what various election terms mean, and is a great guide to break down the ABCs of elections, from absentee ballots to zero tape.

A screenshot from the Virginia Department of Elections website featuring their “Election-ary.”

By the way, if you didn’t know what zero tape was, it’s related to the voting machines themselves. Zero tape is the first printout upon starting a voting machine (Virginia uses Optical Scan units). The tape lists all races, candidates, and issues with results equal to zero indicating the machine is set to begin voting.

Have you heard these common myths (that have been busted)?

The Department of Elections site also has their own version of “Mythbusters.” Sadly, there aren’t cool science experiments to see if things (literally) blow up, but the site does a great job of breaking down what’s a myth and what’s a fact when it comes to elections and the electoral process.

A screenshot from the Virginia Department of Elections website featuring their “Mythbusters” series.

Did you know that Virginia takes election security very seriously?

There’s an entire “Democracy Defended” section on the Department of Elections website that even breaks down the history of voting machines in the commonwealth. Election workers in Virginia are absolutely committed to protecting its citizens voter rights and their votes. The commonwealth makes sure that workers and the electoral process are put through ongoing risk assessments and workers undergo training. The commonwealth also makes sure to keep technology and infrastructure up-to-date, and uses strategic partnerships to make sure the election process remains safe and secure.

Do you know what poll workers do?

Officers of elections are also known as poll workers. You can sign up online to be placed on a list of potential election officers. Officers of elections have many duties leading up to and on Election Day, and are truly the folks who help things run smoothly behind the scenes. You can learn more about the full details of what officers of elections fully do in the commonwealth right here.