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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 1. Administration
Agency 20. State Board of Elections
Chapter 70. Absentee Voting
4/19/2024

1VAC20-70-20. Material omissions from absentee ballots.

A. Pursuant to the requirements of § 24.2-706 of the Code of Virginia, a timely received absentee ballot contained in an Envelope B shall not be rendered invalid if it contains an error or omission not material to its proper processing.

B. The following omissions are always material and any Envelope B containing such omissions shall be rendered invalid if any of the following exists:

1. Except as provided in subdivisions C 2 and C 3 of this section, the voter did not include the voter's full first name;

2. The voter did not provide the voter's last name;

3. The voter omitted the voter's generational suffix when one or more individuals with the same name are registered at the same address, and it is impossible to determine the identity of the voter;

4. The voter did not provide the voter's house number, street name, or rural route address;

5. The voter did not provide either the voter's city or zip code;

6. The voter did not sign Envelope B;

7. The voter did not provide the voter's birth year; or

8. The voter did not provide the last four digits of the voter's social security number, or if the voter’s registration includes a statement of affirmation that the voter has never been issued a social security number, the unique identifier assigned to the voter in the voter registration system pursuant to § 24.2-404 A 1 of the Code of Virginia.

C. The ballot shall not be rendered invalid if on the Envelope B:

1. The voter included the voter's full name in an order other than "last, first, middle";

2. The voter used the voter's first initial instead of the voter's first full name, so long as the voter provided the voter's full middle name;

3. The voter provided a derivative of the voter's legal name as the voter's first or middle name (e.g., "Bob" instead of "Robert");

4. If the voter provided the voter's first name and last name, the voter did not provide a middle name or a middle initial;

5. The voter did not provide the voter's residential street identifier (Street, Drive, etc.);

6. The voter did not provide a zip code, so long as the voter provided the voter's city;

7. The voter did not provide the voter's city, so long as the voter provided the voter's zip code;

8. The voter omitted the date, or provided an incorrect or incomplete date on which the voter signed Envelope B;

9. The ballot is imperfectly sealed within Envelope B, provided that the outer envelope with Envelope B and the ballot arrived sealed; or

10. The voter's signature on an Envelope B is illegible.

D. For the purposes of this regulation, "city" may include the voter's locality, town, or any acceptable mailing name for the five-digit zip code of the voter's residence.

E. Whether an error or omission on an Envelope B not specifically addressed by this regulation is material and shall render the absentee ballot invalid shall be determined by a majority of the officers of the election present.

F. If a ballot is received by the general registrar's office by noon on the third day after the election pursuant to § 24.2-709 of the Code of Virginia but the return envelope has a missing or illegible postmark, the General Registrar shall refer to the Intelligent Mail barcode on the return envelope to determine whether the ballot was mailed on or before the date of the relevant election.

1. If there is evidence from the Intelligent Mail barcode that the ballot was mailed after the close of polls for the relevant election, the ballot shall be rendered invalid.

2. If there is no evidence from the Intelligent Mail barcode that the ballot was mailed after the close of polls for the relevant election, but the return envelope has an illegible postmark, the General Registrar shall refer to the date on which the oath on Envelope B was signed to determine whether the ballot was cast on or before the date of the relevant election.

3. If there is no evidence from the Intelligent Mail barcode that the ballot was mailed after the close of polls for the relevant election and if the return envelope has a missing postmark, the ballot shall be rendered invalid.

Statutory Authority

§ 24.2-103 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 28, Issue 17, eff. April 3, 2012; amended, Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 23, eff. June 26, 2013; Volume 31, Issue 2, eff. September 4, 2014; Volume 37, Issue 6, eff. October 23, 2020; Volume 37, Issue 21, eff. June 4, 2021; Volume 38, Issue 10, eff. December 21, 2021; Volume 39, Issue 24, eff. July 3, 2023.

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