VOTER GUIDE | What to Know Before You Go


Whether this is your first election or youre a voting veteran, now is the time to prepare for the rapidly approaching City Council and School Board elections on May 5.

Am I registered?
Call the Voter Registration Office at 703-838-4050 to confirm your registration. The registration deadline is 29 days prior to Election Day, so if you are not already registered, it is too late to vote in the May 5 election.

Is my registration current?
If you cant remember if you kept your registration up to date when you last moved, call 703-838-4050 to find out. If you moved without updating your registration, you can find out if you are still eligible to vote and the best way to get your registration current.

Whats on the ballot?
Two to three months prior to each election an information page is posted on the city website which 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?
Vote early? Not necessarily. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you have the flexibility and want to save time, vote between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you are required to work long hours without notice or fight traffic, consider voting absentee. The citys voter database is now electronic and shorter lines are expected this year.

Wheres my polling place?
The Virginia Constitution requires you to vote at your assigned polling place. To find your polling place, check your voter card or call 703-838-4050.

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 dont have a ride?
Political parties provide rides to polls. Party contact info:



What are the dos and donts 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.

Dont use your cell phone or PDA at the polling place from check-in time through the voting booth. You can use it while youre in line as long as you dont talk politics or create a disturbance.

Dont wear campaign or candidate specific material within 40 feet of the polling place entrance, or inside the polling place. Its prohibited by the Virginia State Board of Elections.

Outside the Polling Place
Campaign Volunteers
As you approach the polling place, you will likely be greeted by campaign volunteers urging you to vote for their candidate and hand you their slate or other information. 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 you will be greeted by the Voter Education Officer, who is required to offer each voter an eSlate voting system demonstration. Even if you have voted on the system before, a quick refresher is a good idea.

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 current residence address. Virginia law requires that you state your name and current address prior to voting.

Voters, who due to a disability or temporary condition such as recent dental work or oral surgery, are relieved of the requirement of verbally stating their name and address. These voters will be provided with a pad of paper and pen to write their names and addresses.

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 some paperwork prior to voting.

After verifying that you are listed in the pollbook the officer will ask to see your identification.

When your registration has been verified, your name will be repeated loud 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 that issues your ballot.

Voter Registration Questions, Address Problems and Other Issues
If you are not on the voter list in the precinct, 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 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.


At the voting area you will trade your Registration Verified tag for your Access Code. You will proceed to any open booth and cast your vote. If you are confused about the ballot or having problems with the machine, get the attention of election officers before you leave the booth. Officers are trained to talk you through problems without compromising the secrecy of your ballot.

If you have questions or concerns about your experience at the polls, contact the Office of Voter Registration at 703-838-4050.

Polling Hours
All 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.
This is how the City Council ballot will look in the electronic voting booth on Election Day.