Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
1/23/2021

Chapter 40. Voter Registration

Article 1
General Provisions

1VAC20-40-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Abode" or "place of abode" means a physical place where a person dwells. One may have multiple places of abode, such as a second home.

"Address" or "residence address" for purposes of voter registration and address confirmation means the address of residence in the precinct required for voter registration. An alternative mailing address may be included on a voter registration application when: (i) the residence address of the applicant cannot receive mail; or (ii) the voter is otherwise eligible by law to provide an alternative mailing address. Alternative mailing addresses must be sufficient to enable the delivery of mail by the United States Postal Service. The post office box for published lists may be provided either by the United States Postal Service or a commercial mail receiving agency (CMRA) described in the United States Postal Service Domestic Mail Manual.

"Authorized personnel" means the designated individuals of a general registrar's office or the Department of Elections who are permitted to access the voter registration database and capture information necessary to generate photo identification cards.

"Domicile" means a person's primary home, the place where a person dwells and which he considers to be the center of his domestic, social, and civil life. Domicile is primarily a matter of intention, supported by an individual's factual circumstances. Once a person has established domicile, establishing a new domicile requires that he intentionally abandon his old domicile. For any applicant, the registrar shall presume that domicile is at the address of residence given by the person on the application. The registrar shall not solicit evidence to rebut this presumption if the application appears to be legitimate, except as provided in 1VAC20-40-40 B and C.

"Permanent satellite location" means an office managed, maintained, and operated under the control of the general registrar for the locality that is consistently operational throughout the year and is not the principal office of the general registrar. Offices of other agencies where registration takes place pursuant to § 24.2-412 B of the Code of Virginia are not considered permanent satellite locations.

"Residence," "residency," or "resident" for all purposes of qualification to register and vote means and requires both domicile and a place of abode.

"Valid" for all purposes related to voter identification means (i) the document appears to be genuinely issued by the agency or issuing entity appearing upon the document, and (ii) the document shall be current or have expired within the preceding 12 months. The expiration date on a Virginia driver's license shall not be considered when determining the validity of a driver's license offered for voting purposes. The officer of election shall determine whether the document is officially acceptable based on its face.

"Voter photo identification card" means the official voter registration card containing the voter's photograph and signature referenced in § 24.2-404 A 3 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§ 24.2-103 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 28, Issue 04, eff. October 13, 2011; amended, Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 22, eff. June 12, 2014; Volume 30, Issue 26, eff. August 11, 2014; Volume 37, Issue 01, eff. September 23, 2020.

Article 2
Residency for Voter Registration

1VAC20-40-20. Required intent for voter registration.

A. Nothing in this article shall be construed to confer upon any person any privileges or benefits other than the right to register to vote and to be qualified to vote in an election.

B. Pursuant to the requirements of § 24.2-404 D of the Code of Virginia, the following shall apply only in determining a person's residence under Article II, Sec. 1 of the Constitution of Virginia and Title 24.2 of the Code of Virginia.

1. A person who intends to remain in a location for an unlimited time has established the intent required to establish domicile.

2. A person who intends to remain in his current location for an unlimited time has established the intent required to establish domicile even if he may leave upon the happening of a future contingency. Examples of such future contingencies include, but are not limited to, a change in job status or location, graduation from school, military transfer deployments or other relocations, and medical emergencies.

3. A person who presently intends to leave his current location at a fixed and certain date may not have established the intent required to establish domicile depending on the facts and circumstances of each case, as determined by the registrar, with all due consideration given to persons in the circumstances contained in 1VAC20-40-30 B.

4. A person who applies to register to vote in a precinct for the primary purpose of registering to vote or voting in that precinct has not established the intent to establish domicile there.

Statutory Authority

§ 24.2-103 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 28, Issue 04, eff. October 13, 2011.

1VAC20-40-30. Presumptions.

A. Residency shall be broadly construed to provide the greatest opportunity to register and to vote. A residence can be established in a commercial, industrial, or other building that is not normally used for residential purposes if the building serves as the applicant's primary nighttime residence. A homeless person will be considered resident in the location where the homeless person usually sleeps at night. In cases involving nontraditional habitations, the location of the person's usual sleeping area shall be controlling as to the residency of that person.

B. No presumption in favor of or against residence may arise merely on the basis of a person's presence or absence in the following circumstances:

1. While employed in the service of the Commonwealth or United States, whether military or civilian;

2. While engaged in the navigation of the waters of the United States or of the high seas;

3. While employed by or enrolled as a student in any educational institution, or residing in any housing commonly occupied by students or faculty;

4. While confined in any jail or other correctional facility as a nonfelon;

5. While receiving treatment or being confined for any reason in a nursing home, hospital, rehabilitation or short term care facility, retirement or veterans' home, or like institution or private facility;

6. While remaining in a location only during the workweek in order to conduct business; or

7. While residing in an area within the boundaries of Virginia that has been ceded to or acquired by the federal government.

C. If a person resides in an area lacking a specific mailing address, the general registrar shall ask him to provide a mailing address along with a description indicating where the person resides. However, no person shall be denied registration for failure to submit a mailing address. The description must identify the location with sufficient specificity to allow the general registrar to place the location in a defined precinct. The general registrar shall assign the person to the precinct containing the location where he resides.

D. A person whose home is destroyed or rendered uninhabitable does not lose residence at that home if he intends to return to the home when it is reconstructed or made habitable, unless he has either established a new domicile or has changed his voter registration.

E. A person whose residence is divided by a jurisdictional boundary line or election district boundary line shall be deemed to reside in the location of his bedroom or usual sleeping area.

F. The general registrar shall not automatically presume the residence of one spouse to be that of the other spouse, but shall determine the other spouse's residence in accordance with the applicable statutes and regulations.

G. A person loses voting residence in any county or city in Virginia by registering to vote or voting in any other county, city, or state. An otherwise qualified voter shall not lose their residence at an address until they have established their residence at another address.

Statutory Authority

§ 24.2-103 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 28, Issue 04, eff. October 13, 2011.

1VAC20-40-40. Review of application.

A. Except as provided in § 24.2-411.1 of the Code of Virginia, if (i) an application to register to vote is not signed or is missing information required by law, or (ii) the general registrar cannot determine from the information provided on the application the location at which the applicant intended to register, the general registrar shall deny the application and process it in accordance with § 24.2-422 of the Code of Virginia.

B. If an application to register to vote contains all information required by law but contains other apparent discrepancies, the general registrar may promptly resolve the discrepancies through informal means. Informal means include ascertainment of information through the statewide, voter registration system, the Division of Motor Vehicles, and any form of communication with the applicant.

C. If an application to register to vote contains all information required by law, and if any of the situations in the subdivisions of this subsection apply, the general registrar shall not deny the application, but shall ask the applicant to provide additional information in support of the application. The general registrar shall request the information in writing on a form prescribed by the board and the applicant shall respond in writing. The application shall not be accepted or denied while the registrar is awaiting the applicant's response. The general registrar shall act promptly to resolve the question of residency as soon as possible. In the event the applicant does not provide the requested information by the last day to register as established in § 24.2-416 of the Code of Virginia and the general registrar is unable to determine the applicant's residency through any other means, the general registrar shall deny the application in accordance with § 24.2-422 B of the Code of Virginia.

1. The applicant provides a mailing address in a different county, city, or state from his residential address. In this situation, the general registrar shall reconfirm the residential address and mailing address by asking the supplemental questions provided in 1VAC20-40-50 and mailing the questions to both the residential and mailing addresses;

2. The applicant provides a residential address that cannot receive mail, or from which mail sent by the registrar's office is returned. In this situation, the general registrar shall ask for an alternate mailing address;

3. The applicant provides an address that is temporary in nature. Temporary addresses shall include, but not be limited to, hotels, motels, motor homes, hospitals and other short term medical care facilities, houseboats, campgrounds or other facilities that have durational restrictions, such as a 30-day limitation, or any other transient address that would not be considered as a typical permanent residence address. Temporary addresses shall not include apartments or other facilities, such as dormitories, that provide for leases or other rental agreements of at least six months duration. The general registrar shall treat these addresses as permanent ones. In the event the applicant provides an address that is temporary in nature, the general registrar shall ask the supplemental questions provided in 1VAC20-40-50;

4. The applicant provides a residential address that is a commercial, industrial, or other building that is not normally used for residential purposes, or other nontraditional residential address; or

5. The application causes a conflict with another existing voter in the statewide, voter registration system, such as a duplication of the social security number with an existing voter.

Statutory Authority

§ 24.2-103 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 28, Issue 04, eff. October 13, 2011.

1VAC20-40-50. Supplemental questions.

When warranted by the situations described in 1VAC20-40-40 C and where any other information on the voter registration application is unclear, the general registrar shall ask the following questions on a form prescribed by the board after notifying the applicant that any response he makes is subject to the same oath he took to sign the application:

1. Are you currently registered to vote at another address? The general registrar shall not ask this question unless the applicant failed to provide the information on the voter registration application.

a. If yes to subdivision 1 of this section, what is that address, and in what county, city, or state is that address located?

b. If yes to subdivision 1 of this section or as indicated on the voter registration application, do you wish to cancel your registration in that county, city, or state and register and establish residence in this county or city in Virginia?

2. Do you have a specific plan to move away from this county or city at a fixed date in the future? If so, when?

Statutory Authority

§ 24.2-103 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 28, Issue 04, eff. October 13, 2011; amended, Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 22, eff. June 10, 2014.

1VAC20-40-60. Review of supplemental questions.

A. If the applicant answers the questions asked pursuant to 1VAC20-40-50 with information sufficient to assign him a polling place within the precinct and to cancel his current registration elsewhere, if any, the applicant shall be registered and added to the voting rolls of the locality and the jurisdiction where the voter was previously registered shall be notified to remove the registrant from their rolls.

B. If the applicant does not provide information sufficient to assign him a polling place within the precinct, the application shall be denied.

C. If the applicant indicates that the application was in error or filed incorrectly the registrar shall provide him voting information that could allow the applicant to register or vote absentee in the Commonwealth.

D. No new or changed voter registration application is effective until an applicant provides answers to the supplemental questions. Any such answers must be in writing and must be returned before the last day to register as established in § 24.2-416 of the Code of Virginia. Any supplemental information based upon an application made prior to the close of books shall be accepted and the applicant registered if the response is received before the last day to register as established in § 24.2-416 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§ 24.2-103 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 28, Issue 04, eff. October 13, 2011.

1VAC20-40-70. Applications for voter registration; affirmation of United States citizenship.

A. Applications for voter registration shall be on a form approved by the State Board of Elections or appropriate federal agency.

B. The following omissions are not material and a voter registration application shall not be denied for failure to include one or more of the following:

1. Social security number if the applicant checks the box indicating no SSN was ever issued;

2. Gender;

3. Generational suffix;

4. Middle name if the voter checks the box indicating none;

5. Email address;

6. Daytime telephone number;

7. Response indicating protected voter status, military status, overseas status, or any other information requested in Box 4;

8. Mailing address;

9. State in which the applicant is currently registered if the applicant is currently registered in Virginia;

10. Response indicating interest in serving as an officer of election;

11. Signature of applicant if applicant indicates that he is an individual with physical disabilities;

12. Response indicating the applicant has a physical disability if the application is signed by the applicant; or

13. Date of the application.

C. Middle name may be material to determining eligibility to vote. If the applicant does not include a middle name and does not check the box indicating none, the registrar shall:

1. As far as practical, attempt to contact the applicant and obtain his middle name or lack thereof to determine if the application is complete.

a. If the applicant indicates that he has no middle name, the registrar shall process the application.

b. If the applicant indicates that he has a middle name, the registrar shall inform the applicant that the middle name is required, deny the application, and send the applicant a new application.

2. If the registrar is unable to contact the applicant and therefore unable to determine if the application is incomplete, he shall give the benefit of doubt to the applicant and process the application.

D. A general registrar shall not change information provided by an applicant on an application for voter registration without written authorization signed by the applicant.

E. Persons identified as noncitizens in reports from the Department of Motor Vehicles or other state or federal government sources shall have the opportunity to affirm United States citizenship status using any approved voter registration application or other form containing the required affirmation. The State Board of Elections shall automate the process for requesting affirmation of United States citizenship prior to cancellation.

F. If the individual submitting the application is currently a registered voter in Virginia, then the registrar must process the application as a request to update or change the registered voter's information if the application contains new information and is signed by the voter.

G. For cases not covered by this section, the general registrar in consultation with the Department of Elections shall determine materiality on a case-by-case basis. When this occurs, the Department of Elections shall make recommendations to the State Board of Elections that may result in further amendment of this regulation.

H. General registrars must provide the voter notice of having accepted or denied a voter registration applicant within 30 days of receiving a voter registration application. Days during which registration records are closed before elections pursuant to § 24.2-416 of the Code of Virginia shall not be applicable to the calculation of the 30-day processing time.

I. General registrars may not ask for additional information regarding the applicant's restoration of rights from any applicant who indicates that his voting rights have been restored if the applicant's restoration information appears in the Secretary of the Commonwealth's database accessible to general registrars.

J. Prior versions of any voter registration application shall be accepted for registration. Prior versions of any voter registration application may not be denied for failure to provide information that is deemed not material in this section.

K. If a general registrar receives an application by mail after the voter registration records have been closed pursuant to § 24.2-416 of the Code of Virginia from an applicant who indicates (i) active duty uniformed services member, (ii) spouse or dependent of an active duty uniformed services member, or (iii) overseas citizen status, then the general registrar must contact the applicant to determine whether the applicant qualifies for an extended voter registration deadline. The general registrar may accept information from the applicant indicating that the applicant is qualified either orally or in writing.

Statutory Authority

§ 24.2-103 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 28, Issue 06, eff. November 1, 2011; amended, Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 22, eff. June 10, 2014; Volume 32, Issue 21, eff. June 1, 2016.

1VAC20-40-80. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 28, Issue 04, eff. September 30, 2011; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 22, eff. June 10, 2014.

1VAC20-40-90. (Repealed.)

1VAC20-40-90. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 30, Issue 22, eff. June 12, 2014; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 37, Issue 06, eff. November 27, 2020.

FORMS (1VAC20-40).

Virginia Voter Registration Application Form, VA-NVRA-1 (rev. 7/2019)

National Voter Registration Application Form, Register to Vote in Your State by Using this Postcard Form and Guide (rev. 3/2006)

Voter Photo Identification Card Application (undated)

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