Office of Elections

CONTACT INFORMATION: Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
703-222-0776 TTY 711
12000 Government Center Parkway Suite 323
Fairfax, VA 22035
Eric L. Spicer
General Registrar and Director of Elections

Central Absentee Precinct (CAP)

In the event that Fairfax County Government Offices close due to inclement weather, CAP training will be cancelled. For additional information on operating status, please call the Fairfax County Government Emergency Information Line at 703-817-7771. Information is also available through the County’s website, Twitter, and Facebook
What is CAP?
CAP (Central Absentee Precinct) is responsible for processing mailed-in absentee ballots at the Fairfax County Government Center on Election Day.
How is CAP different from regular polling places?
  • There are no in-person voters at CAP on Election Day.
  • Mailed-in absentee ballot envelopes are reviewed and sorted, then ballots are tallied by machine or by hand.
  • Election officers work in teams of three to check-in voters, and teams of three or more to tally votes on ballots that cannot be scanned by a voting machine.
  • Generally, work is conducted while seated.
  • Opening time is flexible, and based on the volume of ballots received.
How many election officers are needed in CAP?
  • CAP operations require far fewer election officers than are needed to fill all of the polling place positions; about 40-90 election officers are needed for General Elections, and a lower number for smaller elections, based on the number of absentee ballots.
What are my responsibilities on Election Day?
  • Arrive on time and serve your full shift, either full-day or half-day.
  • Serve on a team as the check-in officer, electronic pollbook (EPB) officer, or ballot officer to process absentee ballot envelopes.
  • Assist in preparing ballots for scanning.
  • Serve on a team to hand-count votes on ballots that cannot be electronically scanned.
  • Assist in opening and closing CAP, and other tasks as necessary throughout the day.
When will I be working?
General Elections (November):
  • Full-day shift: 5:30 a.m. - 9 p.m. or when operations are completed.
  • Morning shift: 5:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
  • Afternoon shift: 1:00 p.m. - 9 p.m. or when operations are completed.

Other elections: CAP and EO schedules are based on the volume of absentee ballots received. CAP EOs will be informed.
Will I be trained?
  • The duties of CAP officers differ greatly from the those of polling place officers. Therefore, CAP officers must attend CAP-specific training. The training offered for polling place officers is not required for CAP officers. Training classes last approximately 3 hours.
  • There is training for new CAP officers as well as refresher training for returning officers.
  • Registration is required!
What will I be paid?
  • Chief Election Officer: $250
  • Assistant Chief Election Officer: $250
  • Election Officer full day: $175
  • Election Officer half-day shift: $87.50
Where will I be working?
Fairfax County Government Center
Conference Center
12000 Government Center Pkwy.
Fairfax, VA 22035
How do I apply to be an Election Officer?
  • Be sure to check the box for the Central Absentee Precinct, and select the shift you would like to work.
  • You may be contacted by the local political party to confirm your political party affiliation.
  • Once your eligibility has been verified, we will contact you with additional instructions, including visiting our offices to fill out forms such as the Federal Employment Eligibility Verification form (I-9), and your Election Officer Oath and Appointment form.
I've served as a polling place Election Officer. How do I sign up for CAP instead?
How do I know when you are looking for election officers for upcoming elections?
  • We send an email to all election officers prior to elections asking them to log on to the Election Officer Portal and select whether they are available to serve or not.
  • Be sure your email program is set not to block messages from
  • You must respond through the Election Officer Portal if you would like to serve.
Download the CAP election officer training manual
The CAP election officer training manuals for specific elections will be available for download once they are ready.

Questions? Email us at or call 703-324-7739
Fairfax Virtual Assistant