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Absentee Voting Information

What is an Absentee Ballot?
An Absentee Ballot allows a qualified voter to vote by "Mail", or "In Person" at the Voter Registration and Elections Office, as early as 45 days before a November General Election (times vary by type of election).


Who May Vote an Absentee Ballot?

In accordance with § 24.2-700 Code of Virginia, the following registered voters may vote by absentee ballot in any election in which they are qualified to vote:
  • Any person who, in the regular and orderly course of his business, profession, or occupation or while on personal business or vacation, will be absent from the county or city in which he is entitled to vote;
  • Any person who is (i) a member of a uniformed service of the United States, as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 1973ff-6(7), on active duty, or (ii) a member of the merchant marine of the United States, or (iii) who temporarily resides outside of the United States, or (iv) the spouse or dependent residing with any person listed in (i), (ii), or (iii), and who will be absent on the day of the election from the county or city in which he is entitled to vote (see What if I Am Overseas [Military or Non-Military]?).
  • Any student attending a school or institution of learning, or his spouse, who will be absent on the day of election from the county or city in which he is entitled to vote;
  • Any person who is unable to go in person to the polls on the day of election because of a disability, illness or pregnancy ;
  • Any person who is confined while awaiting trial or for having been convicted of a misdemeanor, provided that the trial or release date is scheduled on or after the third day preceding the election. Any person who is awaiting trial and is a resident of the county or city where he is confined shall, on his request, be taken to the polls to vote on election day if his trial date is postponed and he did not have an opportunity to vote absentee;
  • Any person who is a member of an electoral board, registrar, officer of election, or custodian of voting equipment;
  • Any duly registered person who is unable to go in person to the polls on the day of the election because he is primarily and personally responsible for the care of an ill or disabled family member who is confined at home; or
  • Any duly registered person who is unable to go in person to the polls on the day of the election because of an obligation occasioned by his religion.
  • Any person who, in the regular and orderly course of his business, profession, or occupation, will be at his place of work and commuting to and from his home to his place of work for eleven or more hours of the thirteen that the polls are open (6:00 AM to 7:00 PM).
  • Any registered and qualified voter may request a mail ballot for presidential and vice-presidential electors only by writing across the top of their absentee application "request ballot for presidential electors only." A voter who votes a "presidential only" ballot may not later decide to vote the rest of the ballot. The same procedures and deadlines apply as for other absentee applications and ballots.

New registrants who submitted their voter registration applications by mail must vote in person (either in-person absentee or at the polls on election day) unless the voter is a full time college student, absent active duty military, residing overseas, physically handicapped, age 65 or over (however, they must also list a qualifying reason for voting absentee, as age itself does not qualify a voter for an absentee ballot), or voting a "presidential only" ballot.

How Do I Vote an Absentee Ballot by Mail?
Submit a completed Commonwealth of Virginia Absentee Ballot Application to the Voter Registrar (see What if I am Overseas [Military or Non-Military]? OR What if I Have a Permanent Physical Disability or Illness?).
  • mail or fax or email the completed application to the General Registrar by the Tuesday before election day to receive your ballot by mail
  • one application is required for each election in which you wish to vote
  • After your application is approved, your ballot packet will be mailed to your residence address or the mailing address you specify on the application
  • the packet includes the ballot, instructions, and all necessary envelopes to return your completed ballot
  • your completed ballot WILL BE counted if it is returned by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day
  • your completed ballot MUST be returned by mail (USPS, FedEx or other courier service) or hand-delivered by YOU ONLY.

How Do I Vote an Absentee Ballot In Person?
Complete a Commonwealth of Virginia Absentee Ballot Application in the office of the Voter Registrar located in the Petersburg office at 229 N. Market St., Petersburg, Va 23803
  • an application completed in person shall be made not less than three days prior to the election in which you offer to vote and completed only in the office of the Voter Registrar.
  • sign the application in the presence of the Voter Registrar, an Assistant Registrar, or the Secretary of the Electoral Board.

After your application is approved, you will be provided with specific instructions on how to cast your ballot in the office.

What if I Have a Permanent Physical Disability or Illness?
Submit a completed Commonwealth of Virginia Annual Application for an Absentee Ballot Due to Physical Disability or illness to the Voter Registrar.
  • may be hand delivered to the office of the Voter Registrar located at 229 N. Market St., Petersburg, Va 23803. one application is required for each calendar year
  • the FIRST application requires the signature of your Physician or Religious Practitioner.

You will automatically receive a ballot for each election held in the calendar year in which you are eligible
You must declare a party if you wish to automatically receive ballots for Primary Elections After your application is approved, your ballot packet will be mailed to your residence address or the mailing address you specify on the application
  • the packet includes the ballot, instructions, and all necessary envelopes to return your completed ballot
  • your completed ballot WILL BE counted if it is returned by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day
  • your completed ballot MUST be returned by mail (USPS, FedEx or other courier service) or hand-delivered by YOU ONLY.
What if I Am Overseas [Military or Non-Military]? Complete and submit a Federal Post Card Application to receive ballots for all elections that you are eligible to vote in during the next calendar year, if you are:
  • a member of a uniformed service of the United States, as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 1973ff-6(7), on active duty, or
  • a member of the merchant marine of the United States, or
  • temporarily residing outside of the United States (but eligible for permanent registration in Virginia -- that is, your Virginia place of abode is still available to you whenever you return to Virginia), or
  • the spouse or dependent residing with any person listed in (i), (ii), or (iii) above.
NOTE: Your Federal Post Card Application will serve as your absentee ballot application for all elections that you are eligible to vote in for the next two regularly scheduled general federal elections. This means that you will receive absentee ballots automatically! It also means you are responsible for informing the Voter Registrar of any and all address changes, including mailing addresses.

If you have any questions or require individual assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the General Registrar at (804) 733-8071 or by email at petersburgelections@comcast.net

How Do I Obtain an Absentee Ballot Application? you may request that the desired form be faxed, or mailed to you anywhere in the world or print a copy from this site.
After downloading the application form:
  • print the form
  • read the instructions accompanying the form
  • fill out the requested information on the form carefully
  • sign the form
  • mail or fax the completed application to be received by the Voter Registrar by the Tuesday before election day to receive your ballot by mail
    • Fax: (804) 733-8080
    • Mail: Voter Registration and Elections, P.O. Box 1031, Petersburg, Va 23804-1031
  • Email: petersburgelections@comcast.net