Absentee Voting - FAQs

Do you count absentee ballots?

Yes! Virginia counts all valid absentee ballots in every election. The results are reported through the Central Absentee Precinct (CAP) on election night.

Does Virginia have Early Voting?

Virginia alllows "excuse-based in-person absentee voting" beginning 45 days prior to elections for voters who are eligible to vote absentee.

Do I qualify to vote using an absentee ballot?

Only voters who are unable to go in person to the polls on Election Day for specific reasons may vote absentee, whether in person or using a mailed ballot.

I'm a college student at George Mason University and registered to vote in Fairfax County. Can I vote absentee?

Only students attending schools outside of Fairfax County are eligible to vote absentee due to their student classification. However, there may be another reason that you might be eligible. You should review all of the acceptable reasons for voting absentee.

How do I apply for an absentee ballot?

Fill out, print and sign the absentee ballot application, then mail, fax, or email it to the Office of Elections, or apply online at the Virginia Department of Elections

Is there a deadline to apply for an absentee ballot? 

Yes. The office must receive your absentee ballot application by 5:00 p.m. on the Tuesday before the election. View deadlines here.

If a medical or business emergency occurs just before Election Day, you may be eligible for an emergency absentee ballot. If this applies to you, call 703-222-0776 or read the information online.

When will I receive my absentee ballot? 

Ballots are mailed within three days of receiving an approved application, beginning 45 days prior to the day of the election.

What is the status of my absentee ballot application?

You can track your absentee ballot application online on the Virginia Department of Elections website.

What is the deadline for returning my absentee ballot?

Your absentee ballot must be received by this office no later than 7 p.m. on the day of the election. Ballots received after the deadline will not be counted.

It's too late to mail my ballot, what should I do?

Deliver your ballot in person to the Office of Elections, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 323, Fairfax, VA 22035. You must deliver your ballot before 7 p.m. on Election Day. Only the voter or a regularly scheduled delivery service (UPS, Fedex, etc.) may return the ballot.

Where do I return my ballot? 

The ballot should be returned to the Office of Elections, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 323, Fairfax, VA 22035.

I applied for an absentee ballot by mail but did not receive it. What should I do? 

 You have three options:

  • Vote by provisional ballot at your polling place on Election Day. The Fairfax County Electoral Board will meet after the election to determine if your ballot will be counted. Or
  • Visit the Office of Elections and request a replacement ballot. You may vote the ballot and turn it in before you leave. Or
  • Call the Office of Elections at 703-222-0776 to learn how to request a replacement ballot.

I applied for an absentee ballot, but my plans changed. What should I do?

 You have two options:

  • Vote the absentee ballot and return it as normal. Or
  • Bring the unmarked absentee ballot to your polling place. There you will void your ballot, exchange it for a new ballot, and vote in person.

Must I provide a photo ID if I vote an absentee ballot by mail?

In most cases, no. However, first-time voters voing in federal elections who registered to vote by mail may have to provide a federally specified voter ID. In which case, the voter's absentee ballot packet will contain a notice explaining the requirement.

Must I provide a photo ID if I vote absentee in person?

Yes. Click here for acceptable IDs.

Can I still vote absentee in-person if I requested a mail-in absentee ballot?

Bring the unmarked absentee ballot to the polling place. There you will void your ballot, exchange it for a new ballot, and vote in person.

If you did not receive your ballot, you may be able to vote absentee in-person using a provisional ballot.  

When can I vote absentee in-person?

In-person absentee voting begins 45 days prior to the election. Click here for dates and times.






Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
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