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Election Laws to Know!
After a historic 2020 General Assembly legislative session last year, Virginians have seen and experienced new laws that expanded access to voting in last year's election! Check out this page again after July 1, when we will update with new laws that will go into effect for the November 2021 Election and beyond!
- Election Day in November is now a state holiday!
- There is no excuse required for absentee voting anymore! Any registered voter can vote by absentee ballot in any election in which they are qualified to vote. This includes both voting in-person absentee and voting by mail in Virginia.
- The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) now has an opt-out option for updating your voter registration. This means your updated information will automatically be received by the Department of Elections unless you opt out of that service. If the person is not already registered to vote at that address, the Department of Elections is required to submit the information to the appropriate general registrar.
- Student identification cards issued by any public or private school of higher education located in the U.S. are now acceptable forms of voter identification.
- There is no longer a requirement that a person submitting a late absentee ballot application due to the hospitalization of himself or a member of his immediate family or to the death of a member of his immediate family must be absent from his county or city on election day in order to be eligible for the late absentee ballot application.
- All ballots postmarked on or before Election Day will now be counted up to three days after the election. Any absentee ballot that is returned to the general registrar after the closing of the polls on election day but before noon on the third day after the election and/or postmarked on or before the date of the election shall be counted.
- Election materials and voting information at polling locations are required to be provided in languages other than english if the voting population of people needing in-language information within the locality exceeds five percent. Voter forms on the Department of Elections website are also now available in Spanish, Vietnamese and Korean languages.
- Absentee voting (both in person and by mail) will be available beginning on the forty-fifth day prior to the election and ending at 5:00 p.m. on the Saturday immediately preceding the election.
- There will be paid return postage on all absentee ballots.
- Virginia will provide drop boxes for absentee ballots.
- There is now a process for voters to correct paperwork issues on improperly submitted ballots.