Virginia Election Day Do’s and Don’ts

(Joe Hall/Flickr Commons/CC BY 2.0)

With Election Day a couple of days away make sure you know everything you need to know before you head out to the polls with these Election Day Do’s and Don’ts.


Except for an emergency, you cannot use a loudspeaker within 300 feet of a polling place on Election Day. Violation of this law is a Class 4 misdemeanor.


Members of the news media are permitted to visit and film or photograph inside the polling place for a “reasonable and limited period.”

Wireless Communication

There shall be no wireless communications on election day, while the polls are open, between or among voting machines within the polling place or between any voting machine within the polling place and any equipment outside the polling place.

For purposes of this section, the term wireless communication shall mean the ability to transfer information via electromagnetic waves without the use of electrical conductors.

Photographing Ballots

So you successfully got to your polling place and you were able to fill out your ballot. Now you want to tell everyone that you participated in the democratic process.

Attorney General Mark Herring issued a formal opinion that says ballot selfies are legal in Virginia. Nothing in Virginia law prohibits voters from taking pictures of themselves, fellow voters or their ballot within the polling place, he said.

But it is recommended that instead of getting a picture inside the voting booth, plan on taking a selfie outside of your polling place.

Leaving Work

There is no law in Virginia requiring time off to vote.

Voter Guide | November 2016 General Election

Do bring a photo ID

This can be your Virginia driver’s license, or Department of Motor Vehicles ID card. If you have a voter registration card with a photo that will also work or a federal military ID or U.S. passport.

Do get in line before 7 p.m.

Polling sites will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election day. As long as you’re in line by 7 p.m. you’ll still be allowed to cast your ballot.

Don’t bring campaign materials with you

This includes everything from signage, t-shirts, hats, or bumper stickers, supporting a specific candidate. These items have to be kept at least 200 feet away from polling sites. If you bring them, officials say you may be asked to change clothes.

Do call ahead if you’re 65 years or older, or have a disability

You can avoid the long line, if you choose. Call your local voter registrar’s office before going to your voting location, and staff can arrange to help you once you arrive.

Do prepare for long lines

Officials are expecting a high turnout all day and at a few times in particular; first thing in the morning, around lunch time, and 5 p.m. is typically the busiest time.