The deadline for absentee voting in person for next week’s election is Saturday, so city and county registrars’ offices will be open both today and tomorrow. But as WFIR’s Evan Jones reports, not everyone who wants to vote early is permitted by law to do so.
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Click here for full State Board of Elections absentee voter information or continue reading for the qualifying reasons to vote early in person.
From the State Board of Elections:
The Code of Virginia authorizes the following registered voters to 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.
- 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 person serving as a designated representative of a political party, independent candidate or candidate in a political party;
- 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).
- Certain first responders who meet code definitions for law-enforcement officers, firefighters, search and rescue personnel and emergency medical services personnel.
- 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.