The Climate Voters’ Handbook: Virginia

The Climate Voters’ Handbook: Virginia

Virginia’s climate future is hanging in the balance.

The next stage of the battle to protect our future—and our children’s future—will be fought at Virginia’s polling stations.

Virginia knows the cost of inaction on climate. Our coasts and rivers are on the frontline of increased flooding, our cities and towns are in the path of more frequent and stronger storms, and temperatures are higher than ever. But growing Virginia’s clean energy economy can be a powerful way to fight the climate crisis while creating clean energy jobs and lowering electric bills for all Virginians.

At the polls this November, we’re fighting for the right of every Virginian to live safe from extreme weather events and have affordable access to clean air, clean water, and affordable energy.

This year, we’ve proven the power that our movement can have when we have a pro-climate majority in Congress: The Inflation Reduction Act will provide almost $370 billion to states to invest in clean energy and ensure climate justice for communities across the country. But that’s just one drop in the large bucket of work left ahead of us to ensure climate justice and energy equity for all.

It’s vital that we keep up this momentum and ensure pro-climate voters turn out to the polls in Virginia this year.

Everything you need to know about voting this year in Virginia:


THE WHEN: Important dates

Don’t know if you’re registered to vote? Want to request a mail-in ballot? You’re in the right spot to have all your logistical questions answered!

Check out these key deadlines and resources to make sure you don’t miss the chance to vote in Virginia by November 8.

Make sure to…
By this deadline
More info
Register to vote
Monday, October 17, 2022
If you miss the registration deadline, you may register at your local registrar’s office until Election Day or at your polling place on Tuesday, November 8, 2022.
Apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot
Forms must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, October 28, 2022
Request an absentee or mail-in ballot at Virginia’s elections department citizen portal.
Submit your mail-in or absentee ballot
Postmarked by Tuesday, November 8, 2022
Received no later than 12 p.m. on Monday, November 14, 2022
Find detailed instructions for how to submit your absentee ballot in Virginia at the elections department’s citizen portal.
For more detailed information on voting by mail in Virginia, visit the elections department website.
Prepaid postage is provided. You can also return it in person to either your local registrar’s office or any polling place within your county.
Important: Make sure your completed mail-in ballot includes a witness signature! (This was waived temporarily in 2020 but is now required again.)
Track your mail-in ballot with Ballot Scout.
Vote early
From Friday, September 23, 2022–Saturday, November 5, 2022
Tuesday, November 8, 2022
Polls are open 6 a.m.–7 p.m.
If you’re in line before 7 p.m., STAY IN LINE until you’ve cast your vote!
Find all of your personalized voting information using the Virginia elections department citizen portal and your voting location at the Virginia Department of Elections website.
Make sure you bring an accepted form of identification!

Have more questions or technical problems? Get in touch with the Virginia Department of Elections at 804-864-8901, toll-free at 800-552-9745 or using TTY by dialing 711.

THE WHO: Meet the candidates

We need true climate champions to secure a clean energy future for Virginia—and these candidates fit that bill.


Running for her third term in the U.S. House of Representatives (VA-07)
Representative for Virginia since 2019

Why we support Spanberger

  • She believes climate change is a direct and present threat to the safety and strength of our country. She knows it’s our responsibility to invest in alternative and renewable energy sources and decrease air and water pollution.
  • She has worked with colleagues in both parties to create good-paying clean energy jobs, lower greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency, protect our air and water, and safeguard Virginia’s public lands for recreation and conservation alike.
  • She has worked with people across industries to deploy voluntary conservation practices that benefit both the state’s environment and economy through her work as chair of the Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee of the House Agriculture Committee.
  • If re-elected, we know Spanberger will work to achieve practical and effective solutions to confront the climate crisis.


Running for her third term in the U.S. House of Representatives (VA-02)
Representative for Virginia since 2019 and former U.S. Navy commander

Why we support Luria

  • She has worked to restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay and oppose offshore drilling and other policies that threaten our coasts.
  • Given the sea level rise challenges facing her district’s Tidewater constituents, she has an intimate understanding of the importance of addressing climate change and improving Virginia’s climate resiliency.
  • If re-elected, we know Luria will be at the forefront of the critical fight to decrease fossil fuel dependence, develop offshore wind, and preserve our nation’s environmental treasures for generations to come.


Running for his fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives (VA-04)
Representative for Virginia since 2017 and former Virginia state senator and House representative

Why we support McEachin

  • He cofounded the Virginia Environment and Renewable Energy Caucus, working to push his General Assembly colleagues to take bold climate action.
  • He cofounded and leads the United for Climate and Environmental Justice Task Force, which works to transition the country away from our dependence on fossil fuels.
  • He supported Virginia’s entry into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), sought to create a mandatory statewide renewable energy standard, worked to raise fines on polluters, and supported the creation of a list of toxic waste sites in the state.
  • If re-elected, we know McEachin will continue his efforts to leave a healthy, sustainable planet for our children by protecting our air, water, and natural resources; addressing the climate crisis; and fighting for environmental justice.


Running for her third term in the U.S. House of Representatives (VA-10)
Representative for Virginia since 2019 and former state senator

Why we support Wexton

  • As a strong defender of the environment, she understands climate change and sea level rise are real threats to Virginians, and feels strongly we must take active steps to address these problems.
  • While in Virginia’s Senate, she carried forward passage of a community solar bill. In Congress, she voted to pass the biggest action on climate in our nation’s history.
  • If re-elected, we know Wexton will continue to be a strong advocate for renewable energy and environmental protections by prioritizing the development and passage of pro-climate legislation.


Running for his fifth term in the U.S. House of Representatives (VA-08)
Representative for Virginia since 2015 and former Virginia lieutenant governor

Why we support Beyer

  • He is committed to addressing climate change and has used his positions on the Committee on Natural Resources and the Committee on Science, Space & Technology to champion the environment, including opposing dangerous drilling off Virginia’s coast.
  • He demonstrates environmental leadership in Congress as a member of the Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition and Safe Climate Caucus.
  • If re-elected, we know Beyer will continue working to invest in clean energy initiatives and the use of technology to mitigate the imminent dangers we face due to climate change.

Important note: This election cycle, the NRDC Action Fund focused on endorsements for key federal and gubernatorial races. We know there are other important races on the ballot, so we encourage you to seek out other trusted resources to help you learn about candidates in races we have not covered.

THE HOW: Take action!

Once you have a plan to vote, what’s next?
We need your help to spread the word about this year’s election and make sure every eligible voter you know in Virginia has all the information they need to cast their ballot in support of a pro-climate majority.

Share this Virginia voter guide on social media

Share to Facebook. >>
Share to Twitter. >>

Don’t have social media? Share this page directly with your Virginian friends and family!

Sign up to be a poll worker on Election Day!
A sign of a functioning democracy is high voter turnout, but unfortunately, polling places in some states are forced to close due to a lack of poll workers. Poll workers power our democracy—and Virginia’s polling stations need your help this year more than ever.

Volunteer with Power the Polls to make sure every polling location stays open and every voter has a chance to cast their ballot. >>

Connect with our climate activist community on Slack!
On our All In for Climate Action Slack channel, you’ll find other people who care just as much about protecting our planet’s future as you do. From volunteer opportunities (both at home and in person) to campaign updates, this activist community is the best way you can stay active this midterm season.

Join our All In for Climate Action Slack channel! >>

Sign up for volunteer opportunities!
Whether you’re interested in canvassing door to door, texting voters from your couch, or anything in between, there are always new volunteer opportunities during election season.

Check out Virginia Get Out the Vote events here! >>

Check your voter registration status
Every voter’s first step in an election year should be to double-check their voter registration status. With so many voting rights fights going on across the country these days, it’s vital for everyone to check—even if you think you’re registered already.

Use our tool to check on your voter registration! >>

THE RESULTS: As of November 16, 2022

We know that when it comes to fighting climate change and securing a clean and healthy future for everyone, every election counts. This one was no different. Democrats fought hard to retain their majority in the Senate, while Republicans are poised to take narrow control of the House of Representatives.

But a split Congress means leaders from both parties have a responsibility to work together to build a livable future for all. Now it is important to continue to push for equitable climate action and insist that both parties work to deliver a clean energy future. The NRDC Action Fund has a long history of working with bipartisan legislatures to achieve real climate progress. There is tough work ahead—but for now let’s celebrate the new and returning climate champions.

Here are the new and returning climate champions at the helm in Virginia:

  • Abigail Spanberger has been re-elected as representative for District VA-07.
  • Donald McEachin has been re-elected as representative for District VA-04.
  • Jennifer Wexton has been re-elected as representative for District VA-10.
  • Don Beyer Jr. has been re-elected as representative for District VA-08.

The following candidates were not elected this year:

  • Elaine Luria, who ran for representative for District VA-02.

Our journey does not end on Election Day. We will continue to defend the wins and learn from the losses over the last two years. And we hope you will continue to support this work.

Paid for by the NRDC Action Fund and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.