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Mail-In Ballot Information and Witness Signature Requirement from the Department of Elections

Voters wishing to cast a mail-in ballot in the November 2, 2021 elections have until 5 p.m. on Friday, October 22 to request a ballot be sent to them.

Voters may apply for a mail-in ballot online at the Department of Elections’ Citizen Portal at or by downloading a paper application at, filling it out, and submitting it to their local Voter Registration Office. Forms are available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Korean. Application forms may be submitted to the voter’s local Voter Registration Office by mail, fax, or email.

Contact information for your local voter registration office can be found at Voters may choose to receive a mail-in ballot for this November General Election only or receive mail-in ballots automatically for every election in which they are eligible, until they request to be taken off the permanent absentee list.

If the voter is print disabled, they may request to receive an absentee ballot electronically to mark their ballot using an electronic ballot-marking tool. If this option is chosen for voting absentee, the ballot will be delivered by email and can be marked using screen reader assistive technology. More information about this option is available by contacting the local voter registration office or at

All are encouraged to mail their ballot requests well in advance of the October 22 deadline to ensure it is received in time. Applications received by the local Voter Registration Office after 5 p.m. on October 22 cannot be accepted.

ELECT encourages voters to return their absentee ballot at their earliest convenience. A voter may return their absentee ballot by:

  • Mailing the ballot via USPS or a commercial delivery service (such as FedEx or UPS.) All absentee ballots include pre-paid postage through the USPS (ballot must be postmarked by Election Day);
  • Placing the ballot in a drop-off location listed on their county or city’s official website;
  • Delivering the ballot to the Office of the General Registrar in the voter’s county or city; or,
  • Dropping the ballot off at any polling place within their county or city on Election Day.

More information can be found about absentee and early voting for the November 2 elections online at

Additionally, the Virginia Department of Elections wants to remind voters that witness signatures are required on all absentee ballots being cast in the 2021 General Election.

If a general registrar finds after examining a returned absentee ballot envelope that the witness signature is missing, the voter will be notified within three days after receipt in the registrar’s office that the ballot requires modification. The voter will have until noon on the third-day after the election (November 5, 2021) to correct their ballot in order for it to be counted.

Completed absentee ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and received by local registrars by noon on Friday, November 5, 2021. If a ballot is personally delivered, it must be returned to the general registrar’s office or drop-off location by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.

Voters who have requested an absentee ballot can track their ballot here:  If a voter is concerned that they do not have enough time to return their ballot by mail, ELECT encourages voters to personally deliver their ballot to their local general registrar’s office, a ballot drop-off location, or vote in-person.

For more information about voter registration or casting a ballot in the November elections, visit the Department of Elections website at or call toll-free at (800) 552-9745.

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