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Guide to Registering and Voting

The deadline to register to vote or update an existing registration for primary elections in Virginia is May 30, 2022.

Starting October 1, Virginia voters will be able to participate in same-day voter registration. This process works provisionally, meaning Virginia does not have the infrastructure to add new voter registrations to the system the day of. The provisional process means that voter registrations are reviewed after election day and are either accepted or denied. New voter registrants can only vote provisionally on election day as well. This means that once a same-day voter registration application gets approved, then the voter's provisional ballot also gets approved and their vote is counted. The Madison Center recommends that students only take advantage of this option as a back-up plan. Students should make a plan to vote today to avoid any potential issues on election day.

The deadline in Virginia is October 17, 2022 to register to vote or update an existing registration for the November 8, 2022 General Elections.

Rock the Vote also has a useful resource for looking up information in other states.

The General Election is Tuesday, November 8, 2022. Block out time to vote in your calendar. Organize a group of friends to walk to the polls and vote with you. And join us at our campus precinct party (even if you vote at another location)!

If you are registered to vote in Virginia, you can vote early at your local registrar’s office beginning 45 days before Election Day and ending the Saturday before Election Day. Before visiting your local registrar’s office, check your registration status or call your registrar’s office. You can find your registrar’s phone number here. To vote early in-person, do the following:

  • Starting 45 days before Election Day, visit your local registrar’s office or a satellite voting location in your county or city to vote early.
  • First day of in-person early voting at local voter registration office: September 23, 2022.
  • You do not have to have a reason or fill out an application to vote early.
  • At the registrar’s office or satellite voting location, you must provide your name and address and show an acceptable form of ID or sign an ID Confirmation Statement. To view a complete list of acceptable IDs, please visit our page. If acceptable identification is not provided, you must sign an ID Confirmation Statement or a provisional ballot will be offered and you are allowed until the Friday at noon following the election to provide a copy of acceptable identification to the electoral board or sign
    an ID Confirmation Statement. Provisional voters receive a notice to remind them of the deadline and right to attend the electoral board meeting.
  • Accessible equipment and/or curbside voting is available upon request.

If you are a JMU student, you may claim residency in either Virginia (including in Harrisonburg) or your home district. To register in Virginia you must:

  • be a citizen of the United States
  • be a resident of Virginia and of the precinct in which you want to vote
  • be 18 years old by the next May or November general election
  • if convicted of a felony, your right to vote must have been restored
  • not currently declared mentally incompetent by a court of law

If you have a Virginia Driver's License, you can register online through the VA Department of Elections or stop by the Dukes Vote office in Burruss Hall 243.

YES! If you register here, you can vote here. Submit a voter registration form with your local address by October 17, 2022 deadline.

If you have a Virginia Driver's License, you can register online through the VA Department of Elections or stop by the Dukes Vote office in Burruss Hall 243.

To vote in your hometown, fillout and submit your registration with that address. You will then need to request an absentee ballot. If you are from out-of-state, be sure to check your state's Department of Elections rules and deadlines for registering to vote and requesting an absentee ballot. Rock the Vote also has a useful resource for looking up individual state information.

Look yourself up! If you are a Virginia resident, you can check at the VA Department of Elections.

You must use your full physical address to register. So, if you are living on campus in a residence hall (not Grace Street apts) and want to register at JMU then you need to put 800 S Main Street 22807 AND your PMB number on your voter registration form. You MUST include your JMU PMB # for mail delivery (see sample below).

If you are a resident of the Apartments on Grace Street, there are special instructions for you too - enter 42 W. Grace Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22807 for your Residence Address line, but also check the second box under #4 and include your mailing address: 800 S. Main Street, Box # G---, Harrisonburg, VA 22807 (see sample below).

If you live off-campus, use that mailing address.

Many JMU students prefer to register in their home districts and vote absentee. If you want to vote absentee you will register at that address (e.g., in Norfolk, VA or Montpelier, VT). You should request an absentee ballot be sent to your Harrisonburg address. See the links for absentee balloting for more information.

Here is a sample registration form if you live in a residence hall and choose to vote in Harrisonburg.

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Here is a sample registration form if you live at the Apartments on Grace Street and choose to vote in Harrisonburg.

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YES. You will need to update your voter registration. If you are a Virginia resident, you can do it on the Department of Elections website.

If you are an out-of-state student, Rock the Vote is a useful resource for looking up individual state information.

The most important piece of advice we can give you is to write LEGIBLY and include your FULL social security number. Make sure you fully complete and sign the form. If you have any questions, we are here to help, so just ask!

In Virginia, the local registrar where you are registered to vote must receive an absentee ballot request by email or mail no later than 5:00 p.m. October 28, 2022. You can also request an absentee ballot by appearing in person by: 5:00 p.m. Saturday, November 5, 2022. 

Absentee ballots should be requested as far in advance as possible to allow time for the local elections office to mail the ballot to the voter and for the voter to complete and return the ballot. Completed absentee ballots must be returned to the LOCAL registrar’s office where YOU ARE REGISTERED before the close of the polls on Election Day.

Any absentee ballots that arrive to the registrar’s office by noon on the third day after the election, that is postmarked on or before election day, will be counted.

If you are a Virginia resident, you can apply for an absentee ballot online through the Department of Elections. If you are an out-of-state student, be sure to check your state's deadlines and rules. Rock the Vote also has a useful resource for looking up individual state information.

Any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot in any election.

Following the processing of your absentee voting application, you will receive your ballot in the mail. You may receive a notice along with your ballot explaining that you have to provide a copy of one of the following types of identification:

  1. current and valid photo ID (Driver’s License)
  2. utility bill, government check, or paycheck that shows your name and address
  3. another government document which shows your name and address.

If you are notified that you must submit one of these federal ID requirements, and fail to do so, your ballot will be considered a provisional ballot and your vote will not be counted until a copy of one of the ID requirements is provided.

If your residence is in Virginia can access your polling location on the Department of Elections website.

If you live in JMU residence halls, you vote at JMU's precinct located at Godwin Hall if you are registered to vote in Harrisonburg. If you live off campus, you can find maps and information about local polling locations in Harrisonburg City here.

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A Student ID may be used to vote in Virginia!

In-person voters must show an acceptable type of ID at the polls. Voters may show any one of a number of documents, including:

  • Voter registration confirmation documents.
  • Valid VA Driver’s License
  • Valid US Passport
  • Any identification issued by the Commonwealth of VA, one of its political subdivisions, or the US government
  • Student ID Card issued by any institution of higher education in VA
  • Employee ID card with a photograph
  • Copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government documents with a voter’s name and address

If a voter cannot produce one of these documents, the voter will be required to sign a statement that they are the registered voter that they claim to be in order to cast a ballot. The statement is subject to felony penalties.

If unwilling to sign the statement, a voter may cast a provisional ballot.

Harrisonburg Sample Ballot

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