Voting and Registering to Vote
Empower Your Voice, Cast Your Choice
Voting is a very important part of any democracy. By voting, citizens are participating in the democratic process and electing leaders to represent them and their ideas in government. View the 10 tips to enhance your voting experience (PDF).
View the Virginia Department of Elections Voter Education: Mythbusters and learn the facts about voting in Virginia.
General Election Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023
View the list of 2023 General Assembly and local office candidates.
View Sample Ballots
Returning Ballots by Mail or Drop Boxes
Voters who receive their ballot by mail can return it by mail or by drop box. Drop boxes, which are a secure, no-contact way to return an absentee ballot, are available at:
- Early voting sites during their dates and hours of operation
- Registrar's Office only, the day before Election Day, Monday, Nov. 6, 2023, from 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
- Each Chesterfield County polling place on Election Day from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Register to Vote
Ready to take action? Follow our simple steps to register to vote and ensure your participation in the upcoming elections
Virginia Voter Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible to vote in Virginia, a voter must:
- Be a resident of Virginia (a person who has come to Virginia for temporary purposes and intends to return to another state is not considered a resident for voting purposes)
- Be a U.S. Citizen
- Be 18 years old (any person who is 17 years old and will be 18 years of age at the next general election shall be permitted to register in advance and vote in any intervening primary or special election)
- Not be registered and plan to vote in another state
- Not currently be declared mentally incompetent by a court of law
- Have his/her/their right to vote restored if ever convicted of a felony
There are several ways to register to vote:
- Register online
- Download registration application (PDF)
- Obtain a registration form from one of the following places:
Submitting an Application
Registration applications must be received or postmarked no later than the registration deadline. Applications that are received or postmarked after the deadline will be held and processed after the election.
Please answer every question and sign the application for it to be valid. To submit, please send by mail to:
P.O. Box 1690
Chesterfield VA 23832-1690
Or deliver in-person (either by the applicant or a third party) to the Office of the General Registrar, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. The office is open the two Saturdays preceding each election from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Once submitted, please allow at least two weeks for your application to be processed. A voter registration card will be mailed to your residence address.
Update Voter Registration Information
Keeping your registration information up to date will ensure you are eligible to vote in the next election. Visit the Virginia Department of Elections Citizen Portal to review or change your voter registration information.
For existing Virginia voters only, there are several ways for you to update your voter registration record:
- Online with the Virginia Department of Elections.
- In person at the Office of the General Registrar.
- Complete the change of address form on the back of your voter registration card and mail it or bring it in person to the Office of the General Registrar. The request must include your signature to be valid.
- Download and complete a Virginia Voter Registration Form (PDF), or, if you are military or overseas, download a Federal Post Card Application. The request must include your signature to be valid.
- Download the Cancel Your Voter Registration (PDF). This completed form can be returned via email, fax or mail.
After the update is processed, a new voter registration card will be mailed to your residence address, if applicable.
Report the Death of a Registered Voter
Vote Absentee by Mail and Early Voting In-Person
Absentee/Early voting begins 45 days prior to each election. Voters have the option to vote by mail or vote early in person. Should voters want to vote by mail, the voter may submit an application to receive an absentee ballot for one election or all future elections (Permanent Absentee List). Find out more information regarding absentee/early voting from the Virginia Department of Elections.
Witness Signature Requirement Removed
The General Assembly of Virginia passed HB1948, which removes the witness signature requirement for absentee ballots and replaces it with the requirement that a voter provide the last four digits of their social security number and their birth year (§ 24.2-707). HB1948 became effective July 1, 2023.
Approved Early Voting Sites and Availability
In-person voting at the Registrar's Office (9848 Lori Road, Chesterfield, VA 23832).
Select Library Satellite Sites
Select library satellite sites open during general elections only. Locations:
- Clover Hill Library, 6701 Deer Run Drive, Midlothian, VA 23112
- Ettrick-Matoaca Library, 4501 River Road, South Chesterfield, VA 23803
- LaPrade Library, 9000 Hull Street Road, North Chesterfield, VA 23236
- Meadowdale Library, 4301 Meadowdale Boulevard, North Chesterfield, VA 23234
- North Courthouse Road Library, 325 Courthouse Road, North Chesterfield, VA 23236
Accessible and Curbside Voting
Accessible and curbside voting for those with a disability or age 65 and older is available during early voting § 24.2-649.1.
Voters who receive their ballot by mail can return it by mail or by drop box. Drop boxes, which are a secure, no-contact way to return an absentee ballot, are available at early voting sites during their dates and hours of operation. It will also be available at the Registrar's Office only, the day before Election Day from 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Absentee Voting by Mail
Absentee by mail voters now may choose to receive an absentee ballot for one election or all future elections. Absentee voting begins 45 days prior to the election.
Apply to Vote Absentee by Mail
- Apply online at the Virignia Department of Elections
- Submit a paper Virginia Absentee Ballot Application Form by:
Track the receipt of the application by visiting the Virginia Department of Elections Citizen Portal.
Ballots will not be mailed until 45 days before each election.
Permanent Absentee Application Changes
- The Virginia Permanent Absentee Voter Single Election Change form should be submitted to change where the ballot is mailed for one election and/or change the political party primary ballot you receive for all primary elections.
- The Request to be Removed from the Permanent Absentee List form should be submitted to stop automatically receiving ballots by mail for each election.
Returning the Absentee Voted Ballot
Voters who receive their ballot by mail can return it by mail or by drop box:
Upon receiving the ballot, carefully review the Instructions for Voting an Absentee Ballot (PDF). Code of Virginia § 24.2-707, requires the voter to completely fill out the Statement of Voter on the Ballot Envelope B.
Track the ballot by logging into Ballot Scout.
By Drop Box
Drop boxes, which are a secure, no-contact way to return an absentee ballot, are available the same dates, times, and locations listed for early voting, as well as on the day before Election Day at the Registrar's Office from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Drop boxes will also be available at each Chesterfield County polling place on Election Day from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Contact the General Registrar’s Office with any questions by calling 804-748-1471.
Military and Overseas Voting
View the official notice on the Military and Overseas page on the Virginia Department of Elections website of the General and Special Elections to be conducted in the Commonwealth of Virginia for the upcoming election.
Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) for voting assistance for Uniformed Service members, their families and citizens residing outside the U.S.
- Answer every question and sign the application. An omission may cause a delay in meeting the deadline to receive a ballot by mail.
- Return the completed application by the deadline (11 days preceding the election by 5 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, at the Registrar's Office).
- After the Registrar’s Office receives the application and processes it, a ballot will be mailed to the mailing address provided on the application no more than 45 days before the election.
Vote on Election Day
Be prepared to cast your vote by knowing when to vote and what to bring to your voting location. This will ensure your active participation in this democratic process.
When and What to Bring
Where to Vote and Voting Locations
To cast your vote on Election Day, you must visit your registered polling place, which you can confirm by logging into the Virginia Department of Elections Citizen Portal.
To cast your vote by absentee/early voting or accessible voting options, visit the designated early voting locations.
Returning Ballots via Drop Box Locations
Voters who receive their ballot by mail can return it by mail or by drop box. On Election Day, drop boxes, which are a secure, no-contact way to return an absentee ballot, are available at all precincts and at the Registrar's Office during hours of operation.
Accessible and Curbside Voting
Learn more about accessible and curbside voting. An Officer of Election will be available at each polling place to assist voters at curbside who are 65 years of age or older, or any voter with a physical disability.
The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) addresses improvements to voting systems and voter access. One main requirements is that every polling location in Virginia must be equipped with at least one accessible voting system.
The ExpressVote Universal Voting System is available at each polling place to assist voters with disabilities to vote in the same private and independent manner as a voter without a disability.
The ExpressVote Universal Voting System does not store votes. It uses touch-screen technology that produces a paper record which can then be taken to the DS200 Optical Scanner to scan and cast the vote.
A provisional ballot is a ballot used to record the vote of an individual whose eligibility to vote cannot be confirmed at the polling location on election day by election officials.
If the Officers of Election cannot find your name in the pollbook or there is some other question regarding your eligibility to vote (such as you received an absentee/vote-by-mail ballot). A provisional ballot is designed to protect your right to vote by allowing you to submit a ballot that will be counted if the underlying question of your eligibility can be resolved.
Additionally, if you go to your polling place and do not have proper ID, you will have to vote a provisional ballot. Follow the instructions given to you by the Officers of Election so that you can provide your ID by the deadline, and your vote will be counted.
ES&S DS200 Optical Scanner
- Use the marking device in the voting booth to blacken the oval next to the candidate of your choice.
- Fill in the oval and stay within the lines of the oval.
- To vote for a person not on the ballot, completely fill in the oval to the left of the "Write-in" line provided. Write the name of the person in the space provided.
Note: Write-in votes are not allowed in a primary election.
Once you have marked the ballot:
- Turn the ballot face-down for privacy or place the ballot in a privacy folder (available upon request).
- Take it to the DS200 Optical Scanner.
- Insert the ballot face down into the DS200 Optical Scanner for privacy (though the scanner will read the ballot in any configuration lengthwise).
- Your vote has been cast.
ES&S Express Vote
View the ExpressVote Security Bulletin (PDF).
- Insert a blank paper ballot card the voting system. This is the ballot.
- Use the touchscreen display or the movable keypad equipped with braille and printed text labels provided to make candidate selections.
- Use headphones to listen to a recorded list of instructions and candidates for each contest.
- Once selections are final, the voting system marks the ballot.
- Take the marked ballot to the DS200 Optical Scanner.
- Insert the ballot face down into the Optical Scanner for privacy.
- Your vote has been cast.
If you change your mind or make a mistake on the ballot at any time before the ballot is inserted into the DS200 Optical Scanner, please let an election official know. The ballot you do not want to cast will be spoiled and you will be issued another ballot.