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Due to a new state law, you can absentee vote without needing a reason or excuse — but you still have to apply to absentee vote by mail. If you plan to vote by mail, you should apply now due to the anticipated large number of applications. Fairfax County election officials strongly recommend you apply well before the Friday, Oct. 23 deadline since mail delivery could be slower, according to the U.S. Postal Service. The fastest and most secure way to apply is online on the Virginia Department of Elections website. You’ll also be able to track the status of your application, as well as when your ballot is mailed to you. Your Virginia driver’s license number is needed to apply online, along with the last four digits of your Social Security number. Voters should be aware that they won’t begin to receive their ballots until after Friday, Sept. 18.