Election Myths

Myth: You don’t have be a registered voter to vote on Election Day.

Fact: To participate in any election in Virginia, you must be registered to vote before the voter registration deadline which is 22 days before the election. To register to vote, visit the Register to Vote page.

Myth: Your voter ID card is the only identification you can use to cast your ballot.

Fact: In Virginia, there are many acceptable forms of identification for voting at the polling place or voting early including: 

  • Voter confirmation documents you received after you registered to vote
  • Virginia DMV-issued Driver’s License or Identification Card
  • Valid United States Passport
  • Any ID card issued by the US, Virginia, or a local Virginia government
  • Any student ID card issued by a US university or community college
  • Valid student ID issued by a public school or private school in Virginia
  • Employer-issued photo ID card
  • Any current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document with your name and address
  • An ID Confirmation Statement

The Virginia Department of Elections Voting In Person page provides a detailed list of acceptable IDs (PDF). A voter who does not bring an acceptable ID to the polls and does not sign an ID Confirmation Statement will be offered a provisional ballot.

Myth: College students can’t vote while in school and must go home if they plan to vote.

Fact: Registered Chesterfield voters away attending college can apply to vote an absentee ballot by mail by the applicable deadline.

Myth: If I serve as an Officer of Election, I am not allowed to vote.

Fact: All Officers of Election are eligible to vote whether assigned to his/her home precinct or not. Officers who are not assigned to work at his/her home precinct may request an absentee ballot by mail or participate in Absentee/Early Voting. An Officer of Election working at his/her home precinct has the option to vote absentee/early or on Election Day. 

Myth: If I vote early, I won’t receive the same ballot as the ones used on Election Day.

Fact: Whether voting absentee by mail, in person during Absentee/Early Voting or in person on Election Day, everyone receives the same ballot. 

Myth: Absentee ballots and provisional ballots only count if the election is close.

Fact: Properly returned absentee ballots are counted and all provisional ballots are reviewed by the Electoral Board. The Board determines which provisional ballots are counted. 

Myth: If I mail in my ballot, I run the risk of my vote not counting.

Fact: Absentee ballots properly returned are counted. It is critical to follow the Vote-by-Mail Instructions provided with your absentee ballot.

Myth: Voters can submit ballots online or via text message.

Fact: There are several ways to vote in Chesterfield, but that does not include online or via text message. Prior to election day, registered voters can vote an absentee ballot by mail or in person during Absentee/Early Voting. On Election Day, all registered voters must vote at their precinct.

Myth: I can vote during early voting as well as on Election Day.

Fact: Registered voters cannot vote more than once. Registered voters have the option to vote absentee by mail, during early voting or in person on Election Day—pick one!

Myth: If you cast your vote, but change your mind, you can vote again.

Fact: Once you cast your ballot (absentee by mail, early voting or in person on Election Day) you cannot vote again. 

Myth: When registering to vote, you must register by party.

Fact: Virginia residents do not register by party.