Online absentee ballot applications available

Published 12:20 am Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Virginia Department of Elections has launched its new Citizen Portal, which will allow Virginia voters to apply for an absentee ballot online, among other things.

The secure online system will take voters through the application process step by step and allow users to sign the application using their Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles credentials, building on the success of the department of elections’ online voter registration system.

“My administration is committed to making it as easy as possible for all eligible Virginians to vote,” Gov. Terry McAuliffe stated in a press release. “This new online citizen portal is great for democracy and shows that Virginia is leading the way to empower every qualified Virginian to make his or her voice heard in our elections.”

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Voters can visit to view their registration record and request an absentee ballot. The system provides a secure means for voters to conduct paperless transactions with their local voter registration office.

Voters without DMV credentials can still utilize the system to print a completed absentee ballot application to mail to their local voter registration office. The site will also let voters see what will be on their ballot for the Nov. 3 election and get other election related information.

“This is part of the Department of Elections’ ongoing efforts to promote and support accurate, fair, open and secure elections for the citizens of the Commonwealth,” said Edgardo Cortés, the commissioner of elections.

To be eligible for an absentee ballot, registered voters must meet one of 19 eligibility requirements. The qualifying reasons are available through the citizen portal at

Absentee ballot applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Oct. 27 in order to receive a ballot in the mail. Applications may be submitted through the online citizen portal, or hand-delivered, mailed, faxed or emailed to the voter’s general registrar’s office. Once a voter receives his absentee ballot in the mail, he has until Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. to return their completed ballot to their voter registration office.

In-person absentee voting at local voter registration offices is available until Oct. 31, including the last two Saturdays before the election. For more information about in-person absentee voting, including available office hours and locations, visit the Department of Elections’ website at Voters can also find information by calling the Department of Elections toll-free at 800-552-9745.