Absentee Voting Rules
Tonight at 11, we will talk about the new found interest in voting absentee and in particular, voting absentee in person. Registrars offices all over Central Virginia were crushed with long lines of people casting their ballots by absentee ahead of time.
There has been some confusion because some voters are confusing voting in person by absentee with early voting, which has become a popular trend in other parts of the country.
To be clear: There is NO early voting in Virginia. In order to cast an early absentee ballot you must qualify as an absentee voter. Now it does not take much to qualify as an absentee voters, but even if you can’t meet one of the many conditions to qualify, you can still cast an absentee ballot, but you can only vote in the race for president.
Tonight during our 11pm news we will hear what Gov. Tim Kaine and Attorney General Bob McDonnell have to say about the election and how it may impact you. The short message is: Expect to wait in line.
Here, directly from the State Board of Elections are the criteria you must meet to be an absentee voter:
Who May Vote Absentee?
*Per § 24.2-700 of the Code of Virginia, the following registered voters may vote by absentee ballot in any election in which they are qualified to vote:
-Any person who, in the regular and orderly course of his business, profession, or occupation or while on personal business or vacation, will be absent from the county or city in which he is entitled to vote;
-Any person who is (i) a member of a uniformed service of the United States, as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 1973ff-6(7), on active duty, or (ii) a member of the merchant marine of the United States, or (iii) who temporarily resides outside of the United States, or (iv) the spouse or dependent residing with any person listed in (i), (ii), or (iii), and who will be absent on the day of the election from the county or city in which he is entitled to vote. See Absentee Voting Procedures for Overseas Personnel (Military & Non-Military)
-Any student attending a school or institution of learning, or his spouse, who will be absent on the day of election from the county or city in which he is entitled to vote;
-Any person who is unable to go in person to the polls on the day of election because of a disability, illness or pregnancy ;
-Any person who is confined while awaiting trial or for having been convicted of a misdemeanor, provided that the trial or release date is scheduled on or after the third day preceding the election. Any person who is awaiting trial and is a resident of the county or city where he is confined shall, on his request, be taken to the polls to vote on election day if his trial date is postponed and he did not have an opportunity to vote absentee;
-Any person who is a member of an electoral board, registrar, officer of election, or custodian of voting equipment;
-Any duly registered person who is unable to go in person to the polls on the day of the election because he is primarily and personally responsible for the care of an ill or disabled family member who is confined at home; or
-Any duly registered person who is unable to go in person to the polls on the day of the election because of an obligation occasioned by his religion.
-Any person who, in the regular and orderly course of his business, profession, or occupation, will be at his place of work and commuting to and from his home to his place of work for eleven or more hours of the thirteen that the polls are open (6:00 AM to 7:00 PM).
-Any registered and qualified voter may request a mail ballot for presidential and vice-presidential electors only by writing across the top of their absentee application “request ballot for presidential electors only.” A voter who votes a “presidential only” ballot may not later decide to vote the rest of the ballot. The same procedures and deadlines apply as for other absentee applications and ballots.
**New registrants who submitted their voter registration applications by mail must vote in person (either in-person absentee or at the polls on election day) unless the voter is a full time college student, absent active duty military, residing overseas, physically handicapped, age 65 or over (however, they must also list a qualifying reason for voting absentee, as age itself does not qualify a voter for an absentee ballot), or voting a “presidential only” ballot.
***Any voter with a question about whether they qualify to vote absentee, or how to apply, should contact their local elections office.***
Source: State Board of Elections Web Site