Mover's Guide: Virginia

August 10, 2010

Board of Elections: 800-552-9745

I moved from the address at which I am registered.  What should I do?

I moved from another state.

If you moved to Virginia from another state, you must register to vote in Virginia to be able to vote.[1]  The last day to register in time to vote in the next primary or general election is twenty-two days before the election.[2]

If you moved from out of state, you do not have to be a Virginia resident for a certain period of time before registering to vote.  And, under federal law, if you move within thirty days of a presidential election, you are allowed to vote for President and Vice President in your former state of residence, either in person or by absentee ballot.[3]

I moved within Virginia.

If you moved to a new address within the state, you should notify your new local registrar of the address change.  There are multiple ways to update your registration, including in-person or via a signed written document indicating your address change.[4] Election officials prefer you complete a new registration form.[5]

The election is right around the corner and I never updated my registration from my previous address.  What should I do?

If you moved to a new address in the same county or city since you last voted you should contact your local election official to confirm your current polling place.  Election officials may have updated your registration to your new address based on information you provided to another state agency- such as the state department of motor vehicles- even if you did not notify an election official about the move.  If your registration information has been changed you should go to your current polling place to vote.

Many registered Virginia voters who move are still entitled to cast a ballot that will be counted — even if they did not notify the appropriate election official about their move before Election Day and the election official has not changed their registration.

Scenario One: New Address, but Same Polling Place

If you moved to a new address that is covered by the same polling place as your old address, you should fill out a change of address form to vote at that polling place on Election Day.[6]

Scenario Two: New Address in New Polling Place, but Same County or City  and Congressional District

If you moved to a new address in a different polling place within the same county or city and congressional district, you can vote at the polling place associated with your old address you can vote at the polling place associated with your old address through the November general election following your move.[7]  You can continue to vote at that polling place through the second federal general election following your move, but only if you affirm your new address to an election officer at your polling place.[8]

Scenario Three: New Address and New Polling Place in New County or City and Congressional District

If you moved to a new address in a different county or city in the state, you can vote at the polling place associated with your old address through the November general election following your move.[9]


[1] Va. Code Ann. § 24.2-400 (West 2010).

[2] Va. Code Ann. §§ 24.2-416, 24.2-416.4(A).

[3] 42 U.S.C. § 1973aa-1(e) (2010).

[4] Va. Code Ann. § 24.2-424.

[5] Telephone interview with local election official, Registrar, in VA. (Aug. 24, 2010) (on file with the Brennan Center); Telephone interview by Maria da Silva with VA. State Board of Election official (Aug. 27, 2010) (on file with the Brennan Center).

[6] Va. Code Ann. § 24.2-643(C) (West 2010); 42 U.S.C. § 1973gg-6(e)(1) (2010).

[7] Va. Code Ann. § 24.2-401.

[8] Va. Code Ann. § 24.2-401.

[9] Va. Code Ann. § 24.2-401.