6 Things to Know: Your Guide For Voting on Nov. 8

Photo of I voted sticker

We are engaged citizens in Fairfax County. During the last two presidential elections in 2008 and 2012, we had about an 80 percent voter turnout – and we expect the same on Election Day, Nov. 8. That’s more than a half million of us voting countywide, which is exciting!

To make voting as easy as possible for you, here are some important things to know and do before you head to your poll.

1.) Know Where You Are Voting

There are 243 poll locations in the countyDouble check your correct poll location before you leave home or work to vote! There have been poll location changes since the last election.

Polls are open in Virginia from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you are planning to vote on your way home from work, keep in mind you need to be in line at your poll location by 7 p.m. in order to vote – give yourself plenty of travel time.

Find Your Poll Location


If you take public transportation, there are two convenient ways to find out how you can get you where you need to go on Election Day:

  1. Trip Planner: Metro’s Trip Planner provides instant itineraries for trips on Metrorail, Metrobus, Fairfax Connector and other local bus and rail systems. Schedules provide door-to-door fares and travel times, complete with walking directions and transfers.
  2. Transit Service Nearby: Enter a street address, intersection, or landmark name to find bus and rail service within 1 mile of your location.


2.) Bring Your Required Photo ID

There are several forms of acceptable photo ID:

If you do not have a photo ID, you can get a free photo ID from the Office of Elections. Contact us as soon as possible at 703-222-0776, TTY 711, or email voting@fairfaxcounty.gov


3.) Review Your Sample Ballot

Do you know what’s on your ballot?

Read Your Sample Ballot


4.) What to Expect

Photo of man wearing patriotic shirt at poll.

  • Traffic and parking around poll locations may be very busy especially during peak commuter hours in the morning and evening. If you have flexibility, you may want to consider voting after 10 a.m. and before 4 p.m.
  • Many county properties such as community centers, library branches and park facilities are used as poll locations. Be aware that some regular programming may be cancelled and parking may be busy. You may want to check online or call ahead to your county destination. Fairfax County Public Schools are closed on Election Day.
  • If you have questions about voting, if possible, please call the Office of Elections before Election Day at 703-222-0776 (TTY 711). We expect our phone lines to be very busy that day!


5.) Where to Find Election Results

It may take some time to get unofficial election results in Fairfax County after our polls close at 7 p.m. If voters are in line at 7 p.m., they will be able to vote, delaying the closing of the poll. We are also a very large jurisdiction with 243 precincts and with what looks like an historic number of absentee ballots to count that night. We will be working very hard to get you unofficial results as soon as possible:


6.) What Happens After Election Day

There is a lot more work to be done following the flurry of results on election night.

  • Beginning Nov. 9 at 9 a.m., the Office of Elections will begin a canvass of the county’s election results. Election officers and observers from both political parties review and double check the results from every voting machine. This should last about two days.
  • Also on Nov. 9, the Electoral Board will begin reviewing provisional ballots and deciding which ballots can be voted and included with the county’s results. Provisional ballots are provided to voters who do not have photo ID with them when they go to vote, or if there is some question about their voter registration status, among other reasons. The election officer will provide you with all the information you need if you receive a provisional ballot on Election Day. Voters have until Monday, Nov. 14 at noon to send a copy or present their photo ID to the Electoral Board. The Office of Elections staff thoroughly researches all voter registration issues for provisional ballots.
  • Following the canvass and the decisions on provisional ballots, the Fairfax County Electoral Board will certify all election results that are within Fairfax County’s jurisdiction, including the meals tax and bond referendums. All other ballot results will be certified by the Virginia State Board of Elections in December. These then become Virginia’s official results of the 2016 election.
  • Final step – the Electoral College is scheduled to convene on Dec. 19 to cast the official votes for president and vice president.


Additional Information


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