Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 24.2. Elections
Chapter 6. The Election
2/25/2021

§ 24.2-604.4. Polling places; authorized representatives of party or candidate; prohibited activities.

A. The officers of election shall permit one authorized representative of each political party or independent candidate in a general or special election, or one authorized representative of each candidate in a primary election, to remain in the room in which the election is being conducted at all times. A representative may serve part of the day and be replaced by successive representatives. The officers of election shall have discretion to permit up to three authorized representatives of each political party or independent candidate in a general or special election, or up to three authorized representatives of each candidate in a primary election, to remain in the room in which the election is being conducted. The officers shall permit one such representative for each pollbook station. However, no more than one such representative for each pollbook station or three representatives of any political party or independent candidate, whichever number is larger, shall be permitted in the room at any one time.

B. Each authorized representative shall be a qualified voter of any jurisdiction of the Commonwealth. No candidate whose name is printed on the ballot shall serve as a representative of a party or candidate for purposes of this section.

Each representative shall present to the officers of election a written statement designating him to be a representative of the party or candidate that is signed by the county or city chairman of his political party, the independent candidate, or the primary candidate, as appropriate. If the county or city chairman is unavailable to sign such a written designation, such a designation may be made by the state or district chairman of the political party. However, no written designation made by a state or district chairman shall take precedence over a written designation made by the county or city chairman. Such statement, bearing the chairman's or candidate's original signature, may be photocopied, and such photocopy shall be as valid as if the copy had been signed.

C. Authorized representatives shall be allowed, whether in a regular polling place or central absentee voter precinct, to be close enough to the voter check-in table to be able to hear and see what is occurring; however, such observation shall not violate the secret vote provision of Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution of Virginia or otherwise interfere with the orderly process of the election. Any representative who complains to the chief officer of election that he is unable to hear or see the process may accept the chief officer's decision or, if dissatisfied, he may immediately appeal the decision to the local electoral board or general registrar.

D. Authorized representatives shall be allowed, whether in a regular polling place or central absentee voter precinct, to use a handheld wireless communications device but shall not be allowed to use such a device to capture a digital image inside the polling place or central absentee voter precinct. The officers of election may prohibit the use of cellular telephones or other handheld wireless communications devices if such use will result in a violation of subsection A or C of § 24.2-604 or § 24.2-607.

E. Authorized representatives shall not be allowed in any case to provide assistance to any voter as permitted under § 24.2-649 or to wear any indication that they are authorized to assist voters either inside the polling place or within 40 feet of any entrance to the polling place.

F. The officers of election may require any person who is found by a majority of the officers present to be in violation of this section to remain outside of the prohibited area.

2020, c. 561.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.