Voter Information Guide

Important information about voting deadlines and procedures.

Washington and Lee University Library

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204 West Washington Street,
Lexington, VA 24450

How to Register to Vote

A picture of people lining up to vote behind a table with posters of an American flag with the word Vote


  • In order to vote, you must be registered in a state prior to the election day, Registration deadlines for voting in elections may be up to 30 days before the actual election day. For example, in Virginia, voters must registered 22 days before a general election to vote in that election.
  • Each state has their own specific voting laws. Pay attention to the rules of the state in which you are voting. View the voting laws in your state by going to's "Find My State or Local Election Office." 
  • To register online, go to one of the following websites:
  • To Register in Virginia, you can go directly to the Virginia Department of Elections website.

Registration Deadlines for those voting in Virginia*

  • General Elections are 22 days before election
  • Primary Elections are 22 days before election
  • Special Elections are 14 days before election
  • Special Elections (Called by the Governor) are 7 days before election

*information from the Virginia Department of Elections

Absentee Ballots

Absentee Ballots

  • If you choose to vote in your home state (if not Virginia) while at W&L, you will need an absentee ballot.
  • Absentee ballots are delivered to, and mailed in, by a voter who cannot be present at the polls. 
  • Each state has specific rules for absentee ballot voting--pay attention to your state's rules. You can search for your home state here.
  • Go to the site Can I Vote to request an absentee ballot. Once on the site, select the state in which you are voting from the provided drop-down menu.
  • To ensure your absentee ballot isn't rejected, follow all provided instructions. A common reason for ballot rejection is failure to provide a signature, if required by the state. The Washington Post offers advice for avoiding ballot rejection in "How to Prevent Your Mail Ballot from Being Rejected" [article accessible to current W&L students, faculty, & staff only].

Voting at W&L

Voting at W&L

  • You may choose to either vote in your home state or in the state of Virginia, but you may not choose both.
  • Students may send their absentee ballots to Campus Mail Services:
  • On election day, Lexington City residents vote in the Lexington Precinct at 350 Spotswood Drive, Lexington VA.
  • If you live in Rockbridge County or Buena Vista, check your polling place by going to

Learn more about voting in Lexington. If you have a question about voting in Lexington, contact the Voter Registrar Office at 540-462-3706.

Acceptable Forms of Identification in Virginia

Acceptable Forms of Identification for Voting in Virginia

  • You will need a form of identification if you choose to vote in person. 
  • The following is a list of acceptable forms of identification for the state of Virginia. Other states may differ.
    • Virginia driver’s license
    • United States passport
    • Employer-issued photo ID
    • Virginia Voter Photo ID card

Click here for a more detailed list of acceptable IDs in Virginia.

Resources for Healthy Voting (COVID-19 Prevention)