Early voting for the Nov. 3 presidential election begins today, Friday, Sept. 18, across Virginia. And for the first time, early voting -- also called in-person, absentee voting -- is open to any registered voter in the state.
A new Virginia law that took effect July 1 allows "no-excuse" absentee voting beginning 45 days in advance of any election. Prior to this year, Virginians could only cast an early or absentee ballot if they met one of the state’s approved reasons for doing so.
Starting Friday, no-excuse, in-person absentee voting will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturdays until Saturday, Oct. 17, at three locations in the county:
- Haymarket Gainesville Community Library, 14870 Lightner Road in Haymarket
- Main Office of Elections, 9250 Lee Ave., Suite 1, in Manassas
- DMV Woodbridge Customer Service Center Elections Office, 2731 Caton Hill Road, Woodbridge
Any Prince William County resident can vote at any of the above three locations no matter where they live in the county.
As the election draws closer, Prince William County will add five more satellite locations for early voting.
The additional sites were added to accommodate with the expected 90% voter turnout for the presidential contest and to allow more space for social distancing.
Starting Monday, Oct. 19, and continuing through Saturday, Oct. 31, the following additional locations will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
- Piney Branch Elementary School, 8301 Linton Hall Road, Bristow
- Charles J. Colgan Sr. High School, 13833 Dumfries Road, Manassas
- Dr. A.J. Ferlazzo Building, 15941 Donald Curtis Drive, Woodbridge
- James J. McCoart Administrative Building, 1 County Complex Court, Woodbridge
- Dumfries Community Center, 17755 Main St., Dumfries
The hours will likewise be extended at all county absentee voting locations during the last two weeks before the election.
Residents of the City of Manassas can cast their in-person, absentee ballots beginning tomorrow at the Old Town Hall building, 9025 Center St., Manassas. Voting will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays (except federal holidays), beginning Friday, Sept. 18 through Friday, Oct. 30.
In-person absentee voting will also be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the last two Saturdays -- Oct. 24 and Oct. 31 -- before the Nov. 3 General Election.
Residents of Manassas Park can cast their in-person, absentee ballots at City Hall, 1 Park Center Court on weekdays, beginning tomorrow, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Voting will also be available on the last two Saturdays before the election.
All voters casting a ballot in-person will be asked to show one form of identification deemed acceptable by the commonwealth of Virginia to vote. The identification does not necessarily have to include a photo. A full list of acceptable identification is available here.
Any voter who does not present such identification may instead sign a statement, subject to felony penalties, that he or she is the named registered voter who they claim to be.
Those who need to register to vote can do so online on the Virginia Department of Elections website: here. The deadline to register to vote is Tuesday, Oct. 13.
Those who want to request an absentee mail-in ballot can request one at the Virginia Department to Elections website: here. The deadline to request a mail-in absentee ballot is 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23.