Information for Voting in a Pandemic 2020


This year, Virginia offers several convenient ways to vote.  A new Virginia law, effective July 1, 2020, allows you to vote early or vote by mail with no “reason” required.:


Voting early means no crowds, so you are safer, and you are making sure your vote really counts as you will feed it into the voting machine. Voting in a large space, like a gym, makes social distancing possible. Wear your mask! You can even toot your horn and a worker will bring a ballot to your car.

You can vote early (absentee in-person) starting Friday, Sept 18 from 9 – 5 pm until Saturday, Oct 31. The early-voting location will also be open on the two Saturdays preceding Election Day (Oct. 24 and Oct. 31).

To vote early in Bedford County, go to the County Gym, 1059 Turning Point Rd across from the Regional Water Authority (see map below). This will be the only in-person absentee voting site in Bedford County. The actual Registrar’s office will be only for mail-in ballots. Bring an acceptable form of ID: driver’s license, employer or college ID card, current utility bill or bank statement, etc. If you need a ride to the gym, contact us.  We may be able to give you a ride.

ABSENTEE BY MAIL (if you cannot travel – our second choice)

  • Request your absentee mail-in ballot here – Virginia Citizens Portal
  • You will  need your driver’s license number (those without a driver’s license will need the number from an “Adult ID” card, available at the DMV).
  • Absentee ballots will be mailed to voters on September 18, 2020.
  • Complete your ballot immediately!  Make sure you sign your ballot before mailing it in.  If you don’t follow the instructions, the ballot will be rejected. You don’t need a witness to sign your ballot.  If you are returning your ballot by mail, it must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your registrar by noon on the third day after the election.
  • Postal delays are possible so don’t wait to send your absentee ballot back until the last week. Send it back immediately to make sure that it is received and counted. You can hand deliver your ballot to the Registrar’s Office (second floor of Bedford Library) to assure delivery.
  • Track the status of your ballot using the tracking label on the return envelope here.
  • If you or someone you know can’t access the web, you can call the Bedford County Registrar’s Office at 540) 586-7649 between the hours 9 – 5 pm,  M-F to get a ballot mailed to you.

If you request and receive an absentee ballot, then, for whatever reason, decide to vote in person in November or you decide to vote early, you must bring in your absentee ballot to be “voided” by election officials at the polls. Don’t throw it away, or you will have to vote provisionally.

If you are a first-time voter you must vote early in person or on Nov 3.  You may not request an absentee ballot.

For more information on absentee voting.

Voting on Election Day (the last and worst option)

Wear your mask!  Who knows whether other people will be wearing theirs, which makes voting on election day more risky. You don’t want to be standing in lines for any length of time. If there is a problem at the polls ask for and cast a provisional ballot. There may be Republican poll watchers in the precinct who challenge your eligibility to vote. Stay calm. You can still vote. Report this incident immediately to us at: 540-676-7909.

Polls are located in 32 precincts throughout the county’s 7 districts and are open on Election day from 6:00 am until 7:00 pm. If you are in line by 7:00 p.m. when the polls close you may still vote.

To find out where you vote, either enter your address here or call the Registrar’s office at 540 586-7649.

If you choose to go to the polls on Election Day, you may request “curbside voting” if you are over 65 or disabled at any age. Stay in your car and an election official will come to you.

If you need a ride to the polls, contact us before Election day.  We may be able to give you a ride.

Everyone can and should vote!