State Primary FAQ'S

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for Charlottesville

When both parties are holding primaries, why do I have to state a party preference to vote?
You are not stating a party preference when you go to vote, you are merely indicating in which party's primary you wish to participate.  Under Virginia law, a dual primary consists of two separate elections (or nominating events) conducted on the same day for the same or different office or offices. These are two distinct events occurring on the same day in accordance with Virginia law.  Each requires separate pollbooks, separate ballots and/or ballots boxes, and separately tallied results. Virginia law only allows you to vote in only one of these two separate elections. 

 Is this party registration? 

No. Voter registration by political party does not exist in Virginia. Your name will be marked in the pollbook for the party in whose primary you choose to vote and that information will be available to that political party after the election.


If there are are names appearing on the ballot for candidates who have announced their withdrawal from the contest, what happens if I vote for one of those candidates? 

Your vote will still be counted and reported as a vote for that candidate.

 I voted by absentee ballot for a candidate who has since withdrawn. Can I request and receive a new ballot? 

No. Your vote will be counted and reported for your selected candidate.

 Last year I voted in one party’s primary, now I want to vote in the other party’s primary. Can I do that? 

Yes. The offer to vote in a party’s primary does not constitute a legal obligation to do so again in a future election, nor does it prohibit you from voting in a different party’s primary in the future.

How is the order in which names appear on the ballot chosen?

For most primary elections, the order in which the candidates file for the ballot determines ballot order. If two or more candidates file at the same time, the local Electoral Board holds a public drawing if the contest is for a local office, or the State Board of Elections draws names if the contest is for another office. presidential primaries are an exception, as the ballot order for all presidential primary candidates is determined by the State Board with a drawing.

Can I cast a write-in vote if I don’t wish to vote for any of the candidates whose names appear on the ballot?

No, write-in votes are not permitted in primaries.

When can a 17-year-old vote in this election? 

If a citizen will be eighteen-years-old by the day of the November General Election, they may also vote in any intervening primary or special election occurring in the jurisdiction in which they are registered to vote. This means that they can vote in the June Primary and any special election held before November.

My party is not holding a primary. How do other candidates qualify to run in the November election?
The political parties (Democratic and Republican) may choose to nominate their candidates through a primary, or another means such as a “firehouse primary,” convention or mass meeting. A party not holding a primary has until the date of the primary to nominate candidates for the general election. (The political parties qualify to place their candidates’ names on the ballot, or to request a primary be held, by meeting the requirements of law, including having received at least 10 percent of the vote cast for an office in the two preceding statewide elections. COV 24.2-101)

link to 24.2-101

Independent candidates qualify for the ballot by collecting a minimum number of voter signatures on petitions and filing the required forms. For some offices (including School Board members and Soil and Water Conservation District Directors) all candidates must qualify for the ballot as independents.