Virginia Elections

General Election

A regularly-scheduled election for a particular office. Federal offices appear on the ballot in even-numbered years, while Virginia state offices appear on the ballot in odd-numbered years. County Board and School Board, which are staggered terms, appear every year. General Elections are held every year on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

The General Election terms for offices elected all or in part by Arlington County voters is as follows. See our Elected Officials page for a current list of elected officials.

Office Term/Next Election
President and Vice President 4 years; next election 2016
U.S. Senate 6 years (two seats in staggered terms); next elections 2018 and 2020
U. S. House of Representatives, 8th District 2 years; next election 2016
Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General of Virginia 4 years; next election 2017
Virginia Senate 4 years; next election 2015
Virginia House of Delegates 2 years; next election 2015
Local Constitutional Office: Clerk of Court 8 years; next election 2015
Other Local Constitutional Offices (Commonwealth’s Attorney,
Sheriff, Commissioner of Revenue, Treasurer)
4 years; next election 2015
Arlington County Board 4 years, five positions in staggered terms. One is elected annually except
in the year before a presidential election, where two are elected.
Arlington County School Board 4 years, five positions in staggered terms. One is elected annually except
in presidential election years, where two are elected.

Special Election

Held for a special purpose that is not regularly scheduled, such as to fill an office vacancy or for ballot questions. In Virginia all Special Elections are held on Tuesdays, often at the same time as a General Election. A Special Election cannot be held on the same date as a primary election.

Primary Election

Held to assist the two major political parties (Democratic and Republican) in selecting their nominees for offices on the General Election Ballot. In Virginia, primaries for offices elected in November are normally held on the second Tuesday in June. If you are a registered voter, you can vote in any primary election held in your precinct. If both parties are holding primaries in your precinct, you can only vote in one party’s primary.

In presidential election years, presidential primaries are held on the first Tuesday in March.