Important 2011 General Election Dates From Virginia’s State Board of Election

Monday, October 17, 2011 – Deadline to Register to Vote

Monday – Friday, September 23rd – November 4th –
–    All Local Registrar Offices are Open for Absentee Voting –

Saturday, October 29th & November 5th – Local Registrar Offices open for ABSENTEE VOTING

Tuesday, November 1st – Last Day to Apply for Absentee Ballot by Mail

Saturday, November 5th – Last Day to Vote Absentee In Person

Tuesday,  November 8, 2011 General Election

Important Information for the November 8, 2011 General Election

**Redistricting** Due to the decennial redistricting process, one of your local or state legislative districts may have changed. These changes may affect what General Election offices you will be eligible to vote for in November’s election. Updated voter registration information will be available at the SBE website on the earliest possible date. In the meantime, to obtain information on whether your district(s) may have changed, please contact local voter registration official or the State Board of Elections at: (800) 552-9745.

Please note that congressional redistricting has not been completed.

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*** Already Applied for Your Absentee Ballot, Get Your Ballot Now ***

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Any Virginia voter may check a number of things on the SBE website, including their voter registration status, the status of their absentee ballot application, information on their elected representatives, and contact information for local elections offices.

Deadlines Applicable to Virginia Voters

1    Applicants not currently registered in Virginia eligible under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) generally must submit their Federal Post Card Applications, by mail, e-mail attachment or fax. to be received by the local election office before 5:00 PM Eastern Time for BOTH the applicable registration deadline and the absentee ballot application deadline for the election. If you are a non-military overseas voter not currently registered in Virginia, who no longer has a Virginia place of abode, you are only eligible for temporary registration and federal ballots only. The final day of registration deadline is generally the 22nd day before the election. However, certain voters primarily military voters and family members residing with them, are eligible for late registration. See Va. Code 24.2-419 and 24.2-420.1. The deadline for absentee ballot application by mail, email or fax is generally seven days before the election with limited exceptions for emergencies. See Va. Code 24.2-705 and 24.2-705.1.

NOTE:  In Virginia, active-duty military voters and their spouse or dependents residing with them may register to vote by mail until Election Day, but are are still subject to the absentee application deadline. Such an applicant who intends to register to vote and request an absentee ballot, must submit their FPCA to be received by the deadline for requesting an absentee ballot seven days before the election (unless there is a qualifying emergency).

2    Applicants eligible under UOCAVA who are already permanently registered in Virginia, or who are active-duty military eligible for late registration, must submit their FPCA applications for absentee ballots, by mail, e-mail attachment or fax must to be received by the local election office before 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time on the applicable absentee ballot application deadline. See item 1 above.

3    In-person absentee voters have until the Saturday immediately before the election to vote an absentee ballot in-person at your local election office.

Important Notice to Virginia Users of Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB)

Follow instructions carefully to make sure your vote counts!

You may use the FWAB to register and vote absentee in all elections in which you are eligible to vote subject to applicable deadlines.   Please note that if you also applied by Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) and both your state absentee ballot and completed FWAB are received on time, only your state ballot will be counted.  You may use the FWAB to vote anytime before the deadline for returning your ballot.

Citizens residing overseas indefinitely may only be eligible to vote for federal offices (President, Vice President, US Senate, US House of Representatives).  Please contact the Virginia State Board of Elections or your local General Registrar’s office in Virginia if you have any question about the offices for which you are eligible to vote in Virginia.  Virginia prohibits under felony penalty illegally voting for an office knowing you are not eligible to do so.

Once you are finished voting, the package you return will consist of: (1) your voted ballot which will be inside of (2) a blank, sealed Security Envelope (which you supply) containing only your voted ballot and nothing else; (3) the form titled “Voter’s Declaration/Affirmation” completed, signed and dated by you and a witness; (4) a return mailing envelope (which you supply) addressed to Secretary of the Electoral Board, Attention Absentee Voting Officer, [LOCALITY ADDRESS] .  Please include your current mailing address in the return address area in the upper left corner. The mailing envelope should contain both your sealed Ballot Security Envelope and your completed Voter’s Declaration/Affirmation signed by you and a witness.  For your own privacy, please remember not to place anything other than your voted ballot in the security envelope.

You can check the status of your absentee ballot through the Virginia State Board of Elections website:  http://www.sbe.virginia.gov/cms/Index.html   Detailed Virginia instructions for using the FWAB are available at http://www.fvap.gov/resources/media/vagVA.pdf

Step-by-Step Instructions for using FWAB
  1. Please be sure to complete the Voter Affirmation/Declaration page of your FWAB and include a witness signature.   In the presence of your witness, you will mark the ballot by writing in the names of your chosen candidates and choices on ballots issues (e.g., constitutional amendments).  Both you and the witness must sign and date the Voter Affirmation/Declaration page.
  2. FVAP offers a postage paid return envelope template that the voter addresses to the appropriate election official to receive your ballot.  (Certain restrictions apply to postage rates. See Step 10)
  3. Any adult 18 or older is permitted to act as your witness.
  4. Mark your ballot in the presence of your witness (but not in a way that the witness can see your vote). Carefully follow the instructions on the ballot to make sure that your vote will count.
  5. Once you’ve finished voting, fold your ballot in thirds (so that it will fit in a standard size envelope).
  6. Place your voted ballot into the blank, sealable Security Envelope that you will provide. You may but are not required to use the linked FVAP security envelope template.
  7. In the presence of your witness, complete, sign and date the “Voter’s Declaration/Affirmation.” PLEASE PRINT YOUR NAME next to your signature.
  8. Have your witness sign the “Voter’s Declaration/Affirmation“ at the space provided for the witness.
  9. Put the “Voter’s Declaration/Affirmation” in the Return Mailing Envelope outside of the sealed Security Envelope.  Please do not include anything other than your ballot in the sealed Security Envelope.  The “Voter’s Declaration/Affirmation” must be completed, dated and signed (by both you and your witness).”
  10. Seal and address the mailing envelope using the address provided to you. PLEASE be sure to write your name and return address in the upper left hand corner of the envelope so that we can identify your ballot as belonging to you. Address your mailing envelope to:  Secretary of the Electoral Board, Attention Absentee Voting Officer, [LOCALITY ADDRESS]
  11. Return your ballot using U.S. Postal Service mail or a commercial delivery service (such as UPS or Federal Express). You may, but are not required, to use the FVAP return envelope template to create an envelope that can be mailed free of postage only when deposited at a U.S. Post Office, an overseas U.S. military Post Office, or an American Embassy or American Consulate using either the U.S. Postal Service or FPO/APO mail system. Otherwise, you will have to pay the proper amount of postage.  If used, the return envelope template must be printed not stapled, taped or glued onto your mailing envelope. Please verify acceptance of your mail with proper postage or prepayment marking to avoid delays that could prevent timely receipt of your voted ballot.

Important:

Virginia law requires that:

  • you fill out the “Voter’s Declaration/Affirmation” sign and date it, and have your signature witnessed. If you have not filled out the “Voter’s Declaration/Affirmation” completely, or if you have forgotten to sign or date it or you have no witness, your vote may not count.
  • the “Voter’s Declaration/Affirmation” should be OUTSIDE of the sealed Security Envelope containing your ballot.  If the “Voter’s Declaration/Affirmation” cannot be found, your vote may not count.
  • Your voted ballot must be received by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day. If you requested and we failed to send you a state ballot on time, you may be eligible for extended time. Please return your voted ballot as soon as possible!

If you have any questions, please contact the State Board of Elections Information Center at sbe-info@sbe.virginia.gov or call 804 864-8901 Toll Free: 800 552-9745 TTY: 800 260-3466

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