Absentee Voting Resources

Learn more about Absentee Voting.

Absentee Information

Deployed Military & Overseas Citizens

Absentee Voting Myths

1. Absentee ballots are not counted unless it is a close election?  

False - Absentee Ballots are tabulated in the Central Absentee Precinct on Election Day.

2. I have to mail back my absentee ballot through the U.S. Postal Service?

False - Voters may return their absentee ballots by USPS mail, courier delivery (DHL, Federal Express, UPS, etc.) or in person to our office (City Hall Building) during office hours.  Each polling place also has a drop box available on Election Day for voters to return their absentee ballots.

3. Someone else may return my absentee ballot to the Registrar's Office?

False - Voters must return their own ballot in person.  

4. Virginia has early voting

True - Virginia offers early voting beginning 45 days prior a General Election or Primary Election.  In addition to our regular office hours, the Registrar's office is open the two Saturdays preceding each election for early voting.

5. Mail Voting and Absentee Voting are the same thing

False - Some states offer mail voting which requires the Registrar's office to automatically mail a ballot to each registered voter. Typically, in these states voters will register by Party so that they may receive the correct Primary ballot when Primary Elections occur.  Absentee Voting by mail requires the voter to submit an absentee ballot application form to request a ballot to be sent to them.

6.  A Witness is not required when voting an absentee ballot

True - Effective July 1, 2023, a witness is no longer required when voting an absentee ballot by mail.  In lieu of witness signature, voter's must provide the last four digits of their Social Security Number and Year of Birth on Envelope B, along with their voter name, signature, and current Norfolk registered residence address. 

7. My absentee ballot must be delivered by Election Day to be counted

False - Absentee ballots must either returned in person by the voter by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day -OR- postmarked by Election Day and received by the local Registrar Office by noon on the third business day after the election in order to be counted.

8. I have to complete an absentee ballot application for every election I want to vote by mail for

False - You may indicate on the absentee ballot application form that you want to receive absentee ballots for all future elections. Please be sure to indicate Party preference if you would like to receive a ballot for a Primary Election as Virginians do not register by party. 

Effective July 1, 2021, voters who were on the Annual Absentee Ballot Form were moved to the Permanent Absentee Ballot List. This means that ballots will automatically be sent for each election unless the voter "opts out" or has a change in status (such as change of address to another locality).  Primary Election ballots are included if the voter has indicated a Party preference on the previous annual absentee ballot application form.