Code Section
Virginia > Title 24.2 Elections > Absentee Voting

§ 24.2-707 How ballots marked and returned by mail; cast in person; cast on voting equipment

Overview of Statute

This section instructs the voter on how the ballot should be marked and returned by mail, or alternatively, how the ballot should be cast in person or on voting equipment.


On receipt of a mailed absentee ballot, the voter shall, in the presence of a witness, (i) open the sealed envelope marked “ballot within” and (ii) mark and refold the ballot, as provided in §§ 24.2-644 and 24.2-646 without assistance and without making known how he marked the ballot, except as provided by § 24.2-704.

After the voter has marked his absentee ballot, he shall (a) enclose the ballot in the envelope provided for that purpose, (b) seal the envelope, (c) fill in and sign the statement printed on the back of the envelope in the presence of a witness, who shall sign the same envelope, (d) enclose the ballot envelope and any required assistance form within the envelope directed to the general registrar, and (e) seal that envelope and mail it to the office of the general registrar or deliver it personally to the general registrar. A voter’s failure to provide in the statement on the back of the envelope his full middle name or his middle initial shall not be a material omission, rendering his ballot void, unless the voter failed to provide in the statement on the back of the envelope his full first and last name. A voter’s failure to provide the date, or any part of the date, including the year, on which he signed the statement printed on the back of the envelope shall not be considered a material omission and shall not render his ballot void. For purposes of this chapter, “mail” shall include delivery by a commercial delivery service, but shall not include delivery by a personal courier service or another individual except as provided by §§ 24.2-703.2 and 24.2-705.

Failure to follow the procedures set forth in this section shall render the applicant’s ballot void.

Code 1950, §§ 24-334, 24-337; 1956, c. 525; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-232; 1972, c. 620; 1973, c. 30; 1974, c. 428; 1975, c. 515; 1978, c. 778; 1981, c. 425; 1993, c. 641; 1996, c. 393; 1997, cc. 429450; 2001, cc. 617624; 2002, cc. 785819; 2003, cc. 4781015; 2006, c. 438; 2014, cc. 453574575; 2015, cc. 313644645; 2019, cc. 668669; 2020, c. 289.

Annotation: 02/21/2016 8:23 pm

For purposes of accessibility, the general registrar’s office is considered a polling place when conducting in person absentee voting. EAC Advisory 2001-001.

Definition [General Registrar]

The person appointed by the electoral board of a county or city pursuant to § 24.2-110 to be responsible for all aspects of voter registration, in addition to other duties prescribed by this title. When performing duties related to the administration of elections, the general registrar is acting in his capacity as the director of elections for the locality in which he serves.

See § 24.2-101.

Definition [State]

A state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

See § 24.2-452.

Definition [Person]

Any individual or corporation, partnership, business, labor organization, membership organization, association, cooperative, or other like entity.

For the purpose of applying the filing and reporting requirements of this chapter, the term “person” shall not include an organization holding tax-exempt status under § 501(c) (3), 501(c) (4), or 501(c) (6) of the United States Internal Revenue Code which, in providing information to voters, does not advocate or endorse the election or defeat of a particular candidate, group of candidates, or the candidates of a particular political party.

See § 24.2-945.1.

Regulations & Guidance