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Read more VPM News coverage of the historic 2023 elections in Virginia.

Casting your ballot: Answers to frequent questions about voting in Virginia

A voting booth that reads ÒVOTEÓ
Shaban Athuman
VPM News
A voting booth is seen in the Office of Elections on Tuesday, October 3, 2023 in Richmond, Virginia.

And what to do if you're turned away at the polls.

Election Day is Tuesday, so as Virginia voters prepare to head to the polls, here are answers to some common questions to ensure a smooth experience. There might be long lines or registration issues, but that shouldn’t deter voters from fulfilling their fundamental right.

What's on the ballot?

This year’s election will decide who controls the General Assembly. All 140 Virginia legislative seats are on the ballot as Republicans aim to retain a majority in the House of Delegates. Democrats hope to hold on to the Senate to keep Republicans from controlling the Legislature and the governor's office. The General Assembly is back in session Jan. 10, 2024.

What are the important dates to know?

Nov. 4: The last day of early in-person voting ends at 5 p.m. This is also the final day to apply for an absentee ballot in-person, as well as to obtain a replacement absentee ballot.

A list of early voting locations by county and city is here.

Nov. 6: Last day to request an emergency absentee ballot.

Nov. 7: Election Day. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

What happens if I am in line when the polls close?

Do not get out of line. If you are in line by 7 p.m., you are allowed to vote.

How do I know if I am registered to vote?

To check registration status online, head to this Virginia Department of Elections portal. If you believe you registered to vote but do not appear in the system, contact your local registrar’s office.

What do I need to bring to my polling location?

Virginia law requires all registered voters to show one acceptable form of ID to vote in person. The Virginia Department of Elections has compiled a list of acceptable IDs here.

Do mail-in ballots count differently than voting at the polls?

No, absentee and mail-in ballots are counted just like a ballot that's cast in person on Election Day. Results aren’t official until every ballot is counted.

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What do I do if I am turned away from a polling location on Election Day?

The Virginia Department of Elections advises that if you are turned away for any reason, ask to vote with a provisional ballot.

If you were turned away because you were at the wrong polling location, find the location associated with your registration address here.

How can I file a complaint during Election Day?

You can send a letter to the Virginia Department of Elections or file an informal complaint form online. To do that, visit the department’s website or send an email to [email protected].