Voting in Alexandria

Information regarding voting in Alexandria, with advisories for persons with disabilities.

Page updated on Feb 4, 2021 at 4:24 PM

Three Weeks Before Election Day

Depending on your particular circumstance you may want to answer some of the following questions well before Election Day:

Am I registered?     
Review your information online or call the Alexandria Voter Registration Office at 703.746.4050. The registration deadline is 22 days prior to Election Day.

Is my registration current? 
You don't have to re-register prior to each election but you do have to notify voter registration authorities in writing when you move. Can't remember if you kept your registration up to date when you last moved? Check online or call us at 703 746 4050. If you moved without updating your registration we can tell you if you are still eligible to vote and the best way to get your registration current.

What's on the ballot?
Sample ballots are posted on this website two to three months prior to each election. The sample ballot lists candidates and ballot questions such as constitutional amendments. If there are questions on the ballot, you will find non-partisan explanations.

What time of day should I plan to vote on Election Day? 
Vote early? Not necessarily. Polls are open from 6 AM to 7 PM. If it's a presidential election or gubernatorial election and you vote during rush hour, expect to have to hustle to find a parking spot and to wait in line from 1 to 2 hours. If you have the flexibility and want to save time, vote between 10 AM and 4 PM. If you are required to work long hours without notice or fight traffic, consider  voting absentee.

Where's my polling place? 
The Virginia Constitution requires you to vote at your assigned polling place. Click here to check your registration card and find your polling place, check your voter card, or call 703 746 4050. Your polling place is in your neighborhood.

Will I find a parking place when I get to the polls? 
Available parking places vary from one polling place to another. Street parking is reserved at polling places that do not have enough spaces in lots.

How can I get to the polls if I don't have a ride? 
Political parties provide rides to polls. Party contact info:

Democrats - , 703-549-3367
Republicans - , 571-281-7042

All requests for reasonable accommodation due to disability should be made to the Office of Voter Registration and Elections with at least 48 hours notice. Call 703.746.4050. 

The TTY number for hearing impaired persons is 703.838.5056. 

What are the "dos and don'ts" of voting? 
Do bring your kids. Children 15 and under can accompany you to the voting booth. It demonstrates the importance of voting and good citizenship.

Don't talk on your cell phone while inside the voting room. You may, however, use your cell phone (and other electronic devices) for non-audible activities (like texting, email and crossword puzzles) without restriction, unless election officers feel that such use is hindering, delaying or disrupting the voting process. 

Don't take pictures of other voters. Photography at the polling place is strictly regulated to protect voter privacy. Voters may take a "Ballot Selfie" at the voting booth, but they MAY NOT take pictures of other voters or the ballots of other voters.

Before Leaving Home on Election Day

Polling Hours
All Virginia Election Day polling hours are 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you are in line to vote at 7 p.m. you will be permitted to vote. No one arriving at the polls after 7 p.m. is permitted to vote and in nearly every election a few Alexandria voters arrive after the polls close. Those who wait until the last minute to vote do so at their peril.

Bring your ID!

As of July 1, 2020 Virginia law requires all voters to provide an acceptable form of identification at the polls. For a complete list of acceptable IDs, please see Virginia's Department of Elections website. 

On Election Day, if you do not have an acceptable ID with you, you may sign an ID confirmation Statement. A voter who does not bring an acceptable ID to the polls or does not sign an ID Confirmation Statement will be offered a provisional ballot.

Outside the Polling Place 

Campaign Volunteers 
As you approach the polling place at a distance of at least 40 feet (the minimum distance where campaigners may legally attempt to influence voters) from the entrance, you will likely be greeted by campaign volunteers who will encourage you to vote for their candidate or issue and probably hand you their slate or other information. You may want to take a look at the information if you still haven't decided how you will vote in all races. It may also be helpful in local elections where the candidates' party affiliation is not listed on the ballot. You may take the information inside the polling place with you but must only use it for your personal reference.

Inside the Polling Place

Voter Information and Education 
After entering the polling place and prior to registration verification you will be greeted by the Voter Information Officer. This officer will provide information about the election and answer any questions you have about the City's voting system.

Voter Registration Verification and Identification Confirmation 
As you approach the table with the voter list, a check-in officer will ask you to state your "Full Legal Name" and after finding your name in the pollbook will ask you to state your "Current Residence Address." Virginia law requires that you state your name and current address prior to voting, or affirm the information in writing.

Need assistance voting? If you want a family member, friend, or an election officer to help you cast your vote at the booth, let check-in officers know. You and your assistant will be required to do a little paper work prior to voting.

After verifying that you are listed in the pollbook the officer will ask to see your identification. Identification issued by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles is always acceptable. 

When your registration has been verified your name will be repeated loudly enough to be heard by officers and observers in the immediate area (a legal requirement), you will be handed a Registration Verified tag, and directed to the officer who issues your ballot.

Voter Registration Questions, Address Problems and Other Issues 
If you are not on the voter list in the precinct, you have recently changed your address, or there is a question regarding your eligibility to vote in the precinct, you will be referred to an election official who has been trained to deal with these issues. Officials will make every reasonable effort to verify your eligibility and count your vote. If your eligibility cannot be determined at the polling place, you will be permitted to vote a Provisional Ballot. This gives local election officials additional time to determine your eligibility and for you to provide information that may help get your vote counted.

Voting on Verity Scan
When you arrive at the voting area you will trade your Registration Verified tag for a paper ballot and proceed to a voting booth. On the ballot, mark within the box to the left of your choice using the ballpoint pen in the voting booth. If you make a mistake, get the attention of an election officer and he or she will issue you a new ballot. When you are done marking your ballot, take it to the ballot scanner and place it in the ballot feed slot.

  • If the ballot is properly marked, the scanner accepts the ballot and displays the waving American flag to indicate that the ballot has been recorded.
  • If the ballot is NOT properly marked (for example, you have made too many choices for one of the offices), you will have the chance to correct your ballot.

Voters can get more information on using Verity by going to our Verity Voting System page  

Voting on Verity Touch Writer
In addition to a ballot scanner, Alexandria has an accessible Touch Writer ballot marking device in every precinct to ensure that voters with disabilities can vote privately and independently.

The Touch Writer includes an audio ballot for voters with visual impairments and a touch screen or tactile input switches or a sip-and-puff port for voters with mobility and dexterity-related disabilities. If you want to use any of these features, tell an election officer. You will trade your Registration Verified tag for an Access Code and be seated at a Touch Writer to mark your ballot. An election officer will describe the features that will assist you in voting privately.

If you use the Touch Writer, once you finish making your choices you will review a summary page listing your choices. You will then print your ballot, place it in a privacy folder and bring it to the same scanner used by other voters. Do not leave the voting area without printing your ballot and placing it in the ballot scanner.

If you are confused about the ballot or having problems with the machine, get the attention of election officers. They are trained to talk you through problems without compromising the secrecy of your ballot.

Voters can get more information on using Verity, including instructions for using the audio ballot, on our Verity Voting System page.

"I Voted"  
As you leave the polls you will be given an "I Voted in Alexandria" lapel sticker. If you have questions or concerns about your experience at the polls contact us by email or by phone at 703-746-4050.

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