How To Register, Vote and Vote Early

How To Register, Vote and Vote Early

Election Day is Nov. 6, but you can vote as early as Sept. 21.

There have been major boundary changes in the Congressional districts serving Fairfax County since the last election two years ago.

There have been major boundary changes in the Congressional districts serving Fairfax County since the last election two years ago. Map provided by Fairfax County government

Why does it matter?

How important is it for Virginia voters to turn out on or before Nov. 6? As a critical “battleground” state, Virginia will be key in determining who will be the next President of the United States. Who will represent Virginia in the U.S. Senate is also too close to call. Since polling shows that there are very few undecided voters in the Commonwealth, every eligible voter will want to be sure to cast a ballot.

More Election Information

State Board of Elections, 804-864-8901, Toll Free: 800-552-9745, FAX: 804-371-0194, email: info@sbe.virginia.g…, http://www.sbe.virg…">http://www.sbe.virg…

Fairfax County Board of Elections, 703-222-0776, http://www.fairfaxc… ">www.fairfaxcounty.g…, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, Suite 232, Fairfax, 22035; FAX 703-324-2205; email voting@fairfaxcount…

City of Fairfax General Registrar, 703-385-7890, http://www.fairfaxv… ">http://www.fairfaxv…, 10455 Armstrong Street, Sisson House, Fairfax, 22030, FAX 703-591-8364, email kevin.linehan@fairf…

Alexandria Board of Elections, 703-746-4050, http://alexandriava… ">http://alexandriava…, 132 North Royal Street, Alexandria, 22314, FAX 703-838-6449, email tom.parkins@alexand…

Arlington Board of Elections, 703-228-3456, http://www.arlingto…">http://www.arlingto…, 2100 Clarendon Blvd. Suite 320, Arlington, 22201, FAX 703-228-3659, email voters@arlingtonva.…

This area has very high rates of voter registration. Consider that Fairfax County, with a population of just more than 1.1 million people, has 711,817 registered voters. And 24 percent of Fairfax County's population is under 18, so not eligible to vote.

Arlington has a population of about 216,000 and 157,236 registered voters. Sixteen percent are under 18.

The City of Alexandria has a population of about 144,000 with 101,887 registered voters; 17 percent are under 18.


In order to vote on Election Day, you must be registered at your current address no later than Oct. 15, 2012. You can check your registration status online by going to There you can also download a voter registration form and mail it to the elections office address, listed above.

Voter ID: New laws also affect what identification voters must bring with them to the polling place. Acceptable forms of identification include: Virginia voter identification card; valid Virginia driver's license; military ID; any Federal, Virginia state or local government-issued ID; employer issued photo ID card; concealed handgun permit; valid student ID issued by any institution of higher education located in the Commonwealth of Virginia; current utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck indicating the name and address of the voter.

Voters arriving to the polls without ID will be required to vote a provisional ballot and will have until noon on the Friday after the election to deliver a copy of identification to their locality's electoral board in order for their provisional ballot to be counted.

All Virginia active registered voters will be mailed a new Virginia voter identification card prior to the November 2012 General Election. Call 804-864-8901 or toll free 800-552-9745, TTY toll free: 800-260-3466. According to the State Board of Elections at presstime, some of the voter identification requirements listed are pending preclearance from the Department of Justice.


Virtually every voter in Virginia is eligible to vote absentee, which includes voting in-person absentee at a variety of locations between Sept. 21 and Nov. 2.

There are many reasons that voters are allowed to vote absentee, but the most broad of these applies to almost anyone with a job: “Any person who, in the regular and orderly course of his business, profession, or occupation, will be at his place of work and commuting to and from his home to his place of work for 11 or more hours of the 13 that the polls are open (6 a.m. to 7 p.m.).

See for a complete list of acceptable reasons to vote absentee, links to download a request for an absentee ballot and other instructions.

You can download an absentee ballot and mail it to your local voter registration office, or you can vote “absentee in person.”

Absentee Voting in Person, Fairfax County:

Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 323, Fairfax, VA 22035

Absentee voting hours, Sept. 21-Oct. 16, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Thursdays: 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Oct. 17-Nov. 2, Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Saturday Hours: Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27, Nov. 3: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Office Closed On: Monday, Oct. 8, 2012 (Columbus Day)

Last Day to Vote In-Person: Saturday, Nov. 3

Absentee Voting in Person, Fairfax County Satellite Locations:

Voting in the following seven locations is available Oct. 17 - Nov. 3, Monday - Friday, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.:

  • Franconia Governmental Center, 6121 Franconia Road, Alexandria, VA 22310
  • Dolley Madison Library, 1244 Oak Ridge Avenue, McLean, VA 22101
  • North County Human Services Building, 1850 Cameron Glen Drive, Reston, VA 20190
  • West Springfield Governmental Center, 6140 Rolling Road, Springfield, VA 22152
  • Mason Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA 22003
  • Mount Vernon Governmental Center, 2511 Parkers Lane, Alexandria, VA 22306
  • Sully Governmental Center, 4900 Stonecroft Boulevard, Chantilly, VA 20151

Absentee In-person Voting in the City of Alexandria:

In-person absentee voting starts Friday, Sept. 21 at 8 a.m. and ends Saturday, Nov. 3 at 5 p.m.

Regular hours for in-person absentee voting are Monday - Friday, from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. at the Office of Voter Registration and Elections, 132 North Royal Street, Suite 100 (the office is closed on Monday, Oct. 8).

Beatley Library will be used as a second absentee voting site beginning Thursday, Oct. 25.

More details, including dates of extended hours at

Arlington In-person Absentee Voting:

Will be available starting Sept. 21 and ending 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 2100 Clarendon Blvd., Lobby Level, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, (closed Oct. 8) with some extended hours, and Saturdays beginning Sept. 29.

Two satellite locations, Barcroft Sport and Fitness Center, 4200 S. Four Mile Run Drive and Madison Community Center, 3829 N. Stafford St., will have in-person absentee voting from Oct. 6 - Nov. 3. For hours, visit


Every voter in Virginia will vote for U.S senator and their member in the U.S. House of Representatives, in addition to President of the United States and two constitutional questions.

For Senate, Tim Kaine (D), former governor will face George Allen (R), also former governor and former U.S. senator, to replace U.S. Sen. Jim Webb (D) who is retiring from the Senate after a single term. Webb defeated George Allen six years ago. Connection coverage of the U.S. Senate race is available at

Two constitutional questions will appear on all Virginia ballots, one about the use of eminent domain and one about the timing of a particular session of the General Assembly to consider overriding vetoes by the governor of legislation that was passed by the assembly. See

In the races for U.S. House of Representatives, it's worth noting that redistricting resulted in significant changes in Northern Virginia in terms of who your U.S. representative will be. If you live in Reston, for example, while last election you were represented by Jim Moran and the 8th district, now you are in the 11th district where the incumbent is Gerry Connolly. See the map for details. Fairfax County is represented by three Congressional Districts, 8, 10 and 11. Connection coverage of congressional races is available at

In the 8th District, incumbent Rep. Jim Moran (D), seeking his 12th term since being elected in 1990, will face Patrick Murray (R), and two independent candidates, Janet Murphy and Jason Howell. The 8th district includes all of Alexandria and Arlington, plus parts of Fairfax County including Mount Vernon, Lorton and parts of McLean, Tysons and Falls Church.

In the 10th District, Frank Wolf (R), elected to office in 1982, will face Democrat Kristin A. Cabral and independent J. Kevin Chisholm. The 10th district sprawls from McLean to Winchester, and includes Great Falls, Chantilly, parts of Fairfax Station, the Town of Clifton, part of Burke and Springfield.

In the 11th District, Gerry Connolly (D), former chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, elected to Congress in 2008, will face Republican Chris Perkins and Independents Joe Galdo, Mark T. Gibson and Peter M. Marchetti. The 11th district now includes the City of Fairfax, the Town of Herndon, Reston, central Fairfax County including parts of Burke, Springfield and Lorton.

IN FAIRFAX COUNTY, voters will also decide whether to invest in infrastructure based on four bond questions, answering yes or no to supporting $75 million for parks, $55 million for public safety facilities, $25 million for library facilities and $30 million for stormwater and sewer improvements.

IN THE CITY OF ALEXANDRIA, voters will also choose a mayor, members of the city council and school board.

The Alexandria City Council is composed of a Mayor and six Council members who are elected at-large for three-year terms. Incumbent mayor Bill Euille (D) will face Andrew H. Macdonald (I) in the race for mayor.

Voters will choose six City Council members from the list of 12: Frank H. Fannon IV (R), Alicia R. Hughes (R), John R. “Bob” Wood (R), John Taylor Chapman (D), Timothy Lovain (D), Del Pepper (D), Allison Silberberg (D), Paul C. Smedberg (D), Justin M. Wilson (D), Glenda B. Davis (I), Robert Krause (L), Jermaine A. Mincey (I). * means incumbent.

The Alexandria City School Board is a nine-member elected body that adopts policy for the daily operation of schools and sees that school laws are properly explained, enforced, and observed. The city is divided into three voting districts, and three Board members are elected from each district. Each member serves a three-year term. Incumbents marked *.

School Board District A: Stephanie Amann Kapsis, William E. "Bill" Campbell, Karen A. Graf, Helen F. Morris, Joyce D. Rawlings, Heath E. Wells

School Board District B: Michael A. Brookbank, Chyrell D. Bucksell, Kelly Carmichael Booz, Justin P. Keating, Marc Williams*

School Board District C: Ronnie M. Campbell*, Patricia A. "Pat" Hennig, Christopher J. Lewis, Jeff N. Zack.

IN ARLINGTON, voters will choose one member of the County Board and one member of the School Board. Both Arlington boards are made up entirely of at-large members, so both races will appear on all Arlington ballots.

Incumbent Libby Garvey (D) will face Matthew A. Wavro (R) and Audrey R. Clement (I) for the seat on the County Board.

For School Board, incumbent Emma N. Violand-Sanchez will face Noah L. Simon.

Arlington voters will also decide yes or no on four bond questions, whether to authorize raising $32 million public schools, $28 million for community infrastructure, $50 million for local parks and recreation, and $32 million for Metro and transportation.