Sunday, September 24, 2023

Witness Signature Required on Absentee Ballots

The Virginia Department of Elections has issued a reminder that absentee ballots for the upcoming Nov. 2 election must have a witness signature in order to be counted (Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels)

STATEWIDE — Residents who vote via absentee ballots are required to have a witness signature for the 2021 General Election.

In a reminder issued on Oct. 7 by the Virginia Department of Elections (ELECT) via James City County, it is noted that these signatures are required in order for the ballot to be cast in the Nov. 2 general election. These signatures are to be placed on the envelope prior to mailing the absentee ballot.

If a general registrar finds that the required witness signature is missing from the envelope, they will reach out to the voter within three days of receipt at the registrar’s office. The voter will then have until noon on Nov. 5 (third day following the election) to correct it in order for the ballot to be counted.

ELECT encourages voters who choose to vote absentee to return their ballots as soon as possible. All ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 2 (Election Day) and received by local registrars by the following Friday (Nov. 5) in order to be counted. All envelopes have pre-paid postage.

A voter may return their absentee ballot through the following methods:

  • Mailed via United States Postal Service (USPS) or other commercial delivery service such as UPS or FedEx.
  • Taken to any polling place within a resident’s county/city on Election Day
  • Dropped off at a location listed on a resident’s county/city’s official website
  • Turned into the Office of the General Registrar for the resident’s county/city

It is important to note that if a ballot is personally delivered, it must be done so at the appropriate location by 7 p.m. on Election Day.

Voters who would like to track their requested absentee ballot may do so on the website,

ELECT notes that any voter who is concerned about whether or not their ballot will be received by deadline should make arrangements to personally deliver their absentee ballot to the appropriate drop-off location

To see what will be on your ballot for the Nov. 2 election, visit WYDaily’s ballot guide for more information.

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