Be An Active Citizen

Now that you are an American citizen, you can be an active member of your community. This page will walk you through registering to vote, learning how to vote, and other ways to participate in democracy. 


Registering to vote

Register to vote online

  • Register to vote online: If you have a driver’s license or state ID, go to this link and enter the necessary information to register to vote online. 

Register to vote in-person or via mail

  • Local voter registrar’s office contact information: Go to this link and select your locality, or county or city where you live, to find your voter registration office, including their address and the hours they are open to help people. 
  • Virginia Voter Registration Application: Go to this link and follow these steps:
    • Print out the form and fill out this voter registration application. 
    • You can either go to your local voter registration office and give them the form or mail your form to the office using the office’s mailing address. 

Other important information

  • How to Register - Virginia Department of Elections: Go to this link to look at general information about registering to vote, such as deadlines to register to vote before each election. You can also download PDF copies of the registration form in Spanish, Vietnamese, and Korean from this link. 
  • Check registration status: Go to this link to check the status of your voter registration application, or the form you submitted to register to vote. 

Voting

Voting in-person on Election Day

  • Find your polling place: Go to this link and enter your first and last name, date of birth, last four digits of your social security number, and your locality to find your polling place, or where you go to vote. 

  • Valid Identification for Voting: Go to this link to find a list of acceptable forms of identification or forms that can prove your identity, you can bring to the polling place when you vote.

Applying for an absentee ballot

  • Apply for an absentee ballot online: Go to this link and follow these steps: 
    • Enter your first and last name, date of birth, last four digits of your social security number, and your locality. 
    • Scroll down and click the box for “I want to apply to vote absentee by mail.” 
    • Click “Continue” to apply for an absentee ballot online. 
    • Once you apply for an absentee ballot, complete the ballot, and send it back in, go back to this link, where under “I want to apply to vote absentee by mail,” you can check the status of your absentee ballot. 
  • Virginia Vote by Mail Application Form: Go to this link and follow these steps:
    • Print out the form
    • Fill out this absentee vote by mail application. 
    • Go to your local voter registration office and give them the form or mail your form to the office’s mailing address, which you can find here: Local voter registrar’s office contact information

Early voting

What's on my ballot? Visit these links to see a sample of what will be on your ballot on election day.

Glossaries of election terminology

  • Created by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the glossaries contain 1,843 terms and phrases used in the administration of elections in the United States. Languages available include Spanish, Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. 

Participating in other ways:

There are many ways other than voting through which you can participate in the country’s democracy. These ways include:

  • Reading the local news to be informed of big events. Go to these links to read these local news sources. 

  • Writing to a newspaper. Often, you can write a letter to the editor, which is a short piece of writing that expresses your opinion about a local or national issue. 
  • Joining a political party.
  • Helping with a campaign. 
  • Joining a community or civic group. These are local groups with people volunteering toward a common purpose, like giving to charity.
  • Calling Senators, Representatives, and other elected officials and giving them your opinion on an issue. 
    • Publicly supporting or opposing an issue or policy.
  • Running for office. 
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