Constitution of Virginia

Constitution of Virginia
10/20/2019

Article II. Franchise and Officers

Section 1. Qualifications of voters

In elections by the people, the qualifications of voters shall be as follows: Each voter shall be a citizen of the United States, shall be eighteen years of age, shall fulfill the residence requirements set forth in this section, and shall be registered to vote pursuant to this article. No person who has been convicted of a felony shall be qualified to vote unless his civil rights have been restored by the Governor or other appropriate authority. As prescribed by law, no person adjudicated to be mentally incompetent shall be qualified to vote until his competency has been reestablished.

The residence requirements shall be that each voter shall be a resident of the Commonwealth and of the precinct where he votes. Residence, for all purposes of qualification to vote, requires both domicile and a place of abode. The General Assembly may provide for persons who are employed overseas, and their spouses and dependents residing with them, and who are qualified to vote except for relinquishing their place of abode in the Commonwealth while overseas, to vote in the Commonwealth subject to conditions and time limits defined by law. The General Assembly may provide for persons who are qualified to vote except for having moved their residence from one precinct to another within the Commonwealth to continue to vote in a former precinct subject to conditions and time limits defined by law. The General Assembly may also provide, in elections for President and Vice-President of the United States, alternatives to registration for new residents of the Commonwealth.

Any person who will be qualified with respect to age to vote at the next general election shall be permitted to register in advance and also to vote in any intervening primary or special election.

The amendment ratified November 7, 1972 and effective January 1, 1973—In paragraph one, the voting age, formerly "twenty-one", was reduced to "eighteen".

The amendment ratified November 2, 1976 and effective January 1, 1977—In paragraph two, substituted "be" for "have been" and removed the durational residency requirement of "six months" in the Commonwealth and "thirty days" in the precinct in the first sentence. The second sentence removed the language "fewer than thirty days prior to an election" and, after the word "may", added the language "in the following November general election and (in any) intervening". In the last sentence of the paragraph, the less-than-six-months residency requirement for presidential elections was removed to conform with the first sentence.

The amendment ratified November 5, 1996 and effective January 1, 1997—In paragraph two, deleted the second sentence: "A person who is qualified to vote except for having moved his residence from one precinct to another may in the following November general election and in any intervening election vote in the precinct from which he has moved.", added a next-to-the-last sentence: "The General Assembly may provide for persons who are qualified to vote . . .", and added "also" preceding "provide" in the last sentence.

The amendment ratified November 3, 1998 and effective January 1, 1999—In paragraph two, added the third sentence: "The General Assembly may provide for persons who are employed . . ."