Absentee Voting by Mail

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Voting by mail is easy and secure.

This year, you can request to receive your ballot in the mail to easily and securely vote from the physically-distanced safety of home. Virginia law changed on July 1, 2021 and no longer requires a voter to provide a reason for voting absentee.


If you plan to vote absentee by mail, you just have to apply first (AKA request a ballot). Absentee ballot applications are available now and requesting one only takes 5 minutes.

ONLINE: You can apply online at elections.virginia.gov by October 22, 2021 for the the November 2, 2021 General Election.

IN-PERSON: Paper applications are available on the outside of our City Hall building near the drive thru window (Scott Street side), at the drive-thru window during normal business hours, or we are happy to send you one if you would like to call us at 276-645-7318. Paper applications may be returned by using one of the following methods:

  • Mail - Office of Voter Registration, 300 Lee St. Bristol, VA 24201
  • Fax - (276) 645-7331
  • Email - vote@bristolva.org
  • Drop-off - City Hall (drive-thru or inside), 300 Lee St. Bristol, VA 24201, 8 am to 5 pm weekdays or use the Drop Slot at the
    drive-thru window after hours
  • Drop boxes will be available for mail ballots at all precincts on Election Day

2021 Timeline for STEP 1: APPLY 


Absentee ballot applications are available now.  We encourage you to submit your request as soon as possible to allow the maximum amount of time to receive and return your ballot.  We are accepting application for the November General Election now!


The deadline to apply to receive an absentee ballot by mail for the November General is Friday, October 22, 2021. This is the online deadline as well as the deadline for our office to receive your paper application by mail, fax, email, or drop-off. If you mail your request, it must be received by our office by 5:00 p.m.


An absentee ballot will be sent directly to you by mail. Carefully review the instructions included with your ballot to complete it. It takes less than 5 minutes to fill out and return your ballot.

Did you know your vote by mail package has over a dozen security features built into it?  This includes verification of every ballot received against your voter record and that you have signed the affidavit on the ballot return envelope. Don’t forget to sign your envelope!  

2021 Timeline for STEP 2: VOTE


Absentee ballots will be mailed to approved applicants on or before Friday, September 17, 2021 for the November 2, 2021, General Election.


Cast your vote by mail during this period. Don't forget to sign your envelope!


You may return your ballot by postal mail or drop your voted ballot off at the Office of Elections and Voter Registration.  The drive-thru window will be available for drop-off during regular business hours or you may come inside. A drop slot is available at the drive-thru window after hours.  Drop boxes will also be available at each precinct on election day, however, we encourage you to bring your ballot to the office if possible so that it may be counted right away on election day.

A few notes and helpful reminders:
  • You may return your ballot to any designated drop-off site listed above.  The Office of Elections will be the only early voting site available for the Primary Election.
  • We verify every ballot return envelope with your voter record before counting your ballot. Make sure you sign your ballot envelope correctly. 
  • If you choose to mail in your ballot, you may want to use "Track My Ballot," which allows you to digitally follow your specific absentee ballot back to our office after you mail it in.

2021 Timeline for STEP 3: RETURN

9/17/2021 - 11/2/2021:

Return your absentee ballot during this period. Drop-off will be available soon at our office drive thru window. Your ballot may be returned to City Hall (drive-thru or inside), 300 Lee St. Bristol, VA 24201 before or on Election Day or dropped off at your voting precinct on Election Day.
  • NOTE: Deliver your ballot in your provided envelope only. We verify every signature before counting your ballot. Make sure you sign your ballot.


The deadline to postmark your absentee ballots or hand-deliver your voted absentee ballot in person is 7:00pm on Election Day, November 2, 2021.


The deadline for our office to receive mail-in absentee ballots is Friday, November 5, 2021 at 12pm (noon). Ballots must be postmarked on or by Election Day (Tuesday, November 2, 2021).
The Virginia Department of Elections will issue an official notice of the November 2, 2021 General Election to be conducted in the Commonwealth of Virginia on July 25, 2021.


Bristol Virginia Office of Elections and Voter Registration

City Hall, 300 Lee Street, Bristol, VA 24201 • Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm
Visit us inside City Hall or at our drive-thru (located on the Scott Street side of the building)
Phone: 276-645-7318 • Fax: 276-645-7331 • Email: vote@bristolva.org • Facebook • Twitter