NORFOLK, Va. — A new law is giving voters in Virginia more flexibility when it comes time to cast their ballot.
In the past, if a person wanted to vote in the November election, they had to make sure they were registered before a deadline that was typically set a few weeks earlier.
There is still a deadline if you want to register online for in-person or mail-in voting: it's Monday, October 17.
But starting this year, Virginia is also offering same-day voter registration. That means if you go in person to cast your ballot, you can register at that time, if you haven't already done so.
Same-day registration does mean you will have to vote with a provisional ballot, however, meaning elections officials will have to verify the voters' paperwork before the ballot can count.
According to the Virginia Department of Elections, to be eligible to vote in Virginia elections, people must:
- Be a permanent resident of Virginia (not just someone who is here for an extended period of time)
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Be 18 years old (if someone will be 18 on the day of the general election, they can vote in the primary when they are 17)
- Not be registered and planning to vote in another state
- Must be mentally competent
- Convicted felons must have had their voting rights restored.
The state of Virginia offers online registration here for voting. At that link, people can also find their polling place and apply for absentee voting by mail. Again, the deadline to register or update an existing registration online is October 17.
Deadlines for the November election:
- First day of in-person voting at local registrar's office - September 23
- Deadline to register online to vote - October 17 (People can still register after this date and vote with a provisional ballot up to Election Day)
- Deadline to request a mail-in ballot - October 28 by 5 p.m. Click here to learn more about how you can request a mail-in ballot.
- Voter registration offices open for early voting - October 29
- Last day of in-person early voting - November 5
- Election day - November 8
People who are voting in Virginia will need to bring a valid government-issued ID with them.
Virginia has an online portal designed to help you find what's on your ballot and where to go to vote: Vote With Confidence