Making Democracy Work

College Voters

College Students: Questions About REGISTERING TO VOTE?

Voting and registering to vote can present college students with questions that don't ordinarily come up. Here are some answers that may resolve some questions for students.

Download the College Student Voting Guidelines for Registration, Voting, and Absentee Ballots.

Does it matter what address I use?

A voter's street address is important because it tells the Election Office which elections you can vote in. Every office in government, except for President, is based on where the voter lives. Only people who live in a particular Virginia locality can vote for their representative in Congress, a city's mayor or county's supervisor, and so on through all the offices on the ballot.

I have signed a lease for the fall semester but haven't moved in by the Election Day. May I vote at my new address?

You must use the address where you are actually living on Election Day.

Can I still be registered to vote at my parents' or guardians' address?

This is the only time that you have a choice of addresses to use when you register. It depends on which you consider to be your legal, permanent address. Since students move frequently, your parents' address may be more permanent than the one at school. However, you may only be registered at ONE address, not both! If you register at your parents' address, you will need to apply for an absentee ballot (unless you go home to vote), so research the absentee rules in your home state.

Where can I register to vote in Virginia?

There are Five Ways to register to vote in Virginia:

  • Online: Virginia Citizens Voter Portal

  • In person at your local General Registrar's office. Find the address at Virginia Department of Elections' website.

  • In person at your local Department of Motor Vehicles

  • Download and print a PDF copy of the registration form. Then mail by the deadline to the address indicated. Make sure you use a stamp!!!

  • Voter registration events
  • Where can I get a copy of this information?

    To download College Student Q&A about Registering to Vote in Virgina, click here

    After I'm registered, where can I get a copy of an absentee ballot?

    Find out more about absentee ballots here.

    What do I need in college?

    Stamps! You will need a stamp in order to mail back your absentee ballot.

    Never seen one? You can learn more about them here.

    By the way, stamps fit on the upper right section of the envelope.

    Happy Voting!