Election Day Etiquette & Rules: FAQ on ID, Selfies, Political T-Shirts and More in Virginia

This campaign season has been rough -- don't let your Election Day end up that way, too! Check out our guide to voting etiquette and rules to make sure your Tuesday is a breeze.

Virginia is one of only two states electing a new governor this year, but several towns in Maryland will head to the polls for local elections. 

Photo Identification

Virginia: If you're voting in Virginia, you must bring a photo ID with you to the polls! Bring a valid driver's license or identification card with you -- check out Virginia's Department of Elections for more forms of valid ID.

Maryland: First-time voters in Maryland will be asked to show ID before voting. Make sure to bring a valid photo ID or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement or government document that shows your name and address. It must be dated within three months of the election. 


Virginia: Under Virginia law, you can use electronic devices inside the polling place so as long as you're not a representative of either candidate or political party. However, if you're disrupting the voting process in any way with an electronic device, then an election officer may ask you to leave. Even if you are asked to leave because of your cell phone or video camera, you'll be able to cast your ballot before doing so.

Maryland: In Maryland, it's illegal to use phones, cameras or other electronics at a polling place or early voting center. Keep them in your bag or pocket.

Ballot Selfies

Virginia: Snap away if you want; ballot selfies are legal in Virginia. Nothing in Virginia law prohibits voters from taking pictures of themselves, fellow voters or their ballot within the polling place, Attorney General Mark Herring has said

Maryland: It's not a good idea to take a selfie with your ballot in Maryland at the polling place, since it's illegal to have electronic devices at the polling place. (The only exception to the rule is members of the media, but they are not allowed to take a photo of you casting your ballot.) Otherwise, save the "I voted!" selfies until after you leave the polling place. Photos of mailed ballots are OK, though. 

Clothing, Buttons or Stickers With Political Messages

VirginiaVirginia prohibits wearing campaign apparel within 40 feet of any entrance of a polling place.

Maryland: Maryland allows voters at their polling places to wear clothing, buttons or stickers with political messages written on them; however, they will need to leave immediately after casting their votes.

Campaigning For/Against a Candidate or Ballot Issue

Also called electioneering, this practice includes handing out fliers, holding signs and encouraging voters to support or oppose a candidate or ballot question. 

VirginiaElectioneering is prohibited within 40 feet of any entrance to a building which houses a polling place. No one is allowed to wear campaign apparel, hand out campaign literature or encourage election or defeat of any candidate or issue on the ballot.

Maryland: Any electioneering must stay outside of designated boundaries, which can be up to 100 feet from the polling place entrance used by most voters. There should be signs reading "No Electioneering Beyond this Point" to mark the border. 

Bringing Children

Some students may not be going to school on Election Day, which means that you might be bringing your kids with you to the polls if you can't find a babysitter -- or if you want to making the voting process a teaching moment. 

Virginia: In Virginia, you can bring a child age 15 or younger into the voting booth with you.

Maryland: In Maryland, you can bring one or two children under the age of 18 years old with you to vote. Under Maryland law, so as long as they're not disrupting the voting procedures, they're allowed with you.

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