How to vote from your hospital bed


October 12, 2020

Register to Vote!

Find more information here or at

Before November 2, 2020 at 2 PM

If you are hospitalized within a week of an election, you may request an emergency ballot application through a designated representative from your local registration office before 2 PM on the day before the election. In order to obtain your ballot, you must return the application by 5 PM on the day before the election.

November 3, 2020 (Election Day)

After obtaining your ballot, you may cast your vote and must return the ballot through your designated representative to your local registration office before 7 PM on Election Day.






Check Your Voter Registration

Check if you are registered to vote at or at


Complete an Emergency Absentee Ballot Application

You ​may qualify for an emergency absentee ballot application for hospitalization if you meet one of the following conditions:

  • Voter became ill or incapacitated on or after the 7th day preceding the election

  • Voter became hospitalized on or after the 14th day preceding the election, but still in hospital and condition has made unable to request an absentee ballot earlier than the 7th day before an election

  • Bereaved by the death of a spouse, child, or parent

  • Other comparably incapacitating emergency found by the General Registrar to justify providing an emergency ballot application.

In this situation, you may request an emergency ballot application through your local voter registration office. A link to your local voter registration office can be found here. The request for the application may be by phone or other means, and the registrar may fax the application to your representative, upon request. This must be done before 2 PM on the day before the election.

If you're unable to access a printer, contact your Patient Voting team at and we will help deliver materials to you


Return Your Application

After obtaining your application, you must fill it out and give it to your personal representative to return in-person to your local voter registration office. Your application must be returned before 5 PM on the day before the election.


Obtain Your Ballot

After your application is returned, it will be processed and your representative will be given an absentee ballot to be given to you.



Fill out your ballot! 


Return Your Completed Ballot

Your personal representative must return your filled-out ballot to the electoral board according to the instructions provided with the ballot. Your voted ballot must be received before the time the polls close (7:00 PM on election day) or it cannot be counted.  






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Va. Code Ann. § 24.2-705

Va. Code Ann. § 24.2-705.1

Va. Code Ann. § 24.2-700

A voter that is incapacitated due to illness or death of an immediate family member after the seventh day preceding an election can request an emergency absentee ballot before 2 p.m. on the day before the election.

If a person learns they will be absent on Election Day after noon on the Saturday before an election due to business, hospitalization of themselves or immediate family, or the death of an immediate family member, then the voter can request an absentee ballot before 2 p.m. on the day before the election. There is not a specific emergency provision for first responders, but they are listed in general absentee and could fall under the business exception for emergency absentee ballots.


COVID-19 and Patient Voting

Here is how COVID-19 is affecting Patient Voting in this state:

Governor Ralph Northam requested the General Assembly move the May General Election and all special elections scheduled for May 5, 2020 to the November 3, 2020 General Election date to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The Governor is also exercising his statutory authority (§ 24.2-603.1 of the Code of Virginia) to move the June primary elections from June 9, 2020 to June 23, 2020. More information can be found here.

Additionally, the Virginia Department of Elections encourages voters to protect their health during COVID-19 outbreak and is strongly encouraging voting absentee in the coming May and June elections. Voters may choose reason "2A My disability or illness" for absentee voting in the May and June 2020 elections due to COVID-19. Voters who choose the absentee option should do so as soon as possible so they can get their ballots in time to return them by mail by Election Day. More information on the absentee voting process can be found here.

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