Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 24.2. Elections
Chapter 1. General Provisions and Administration
10/17/2021

§ 24.2-102. Appointment; terms; Commissioner of Elections; prohibited activities.

A. The State Board of Elections is continued and shall consist of five members appointed by the Governor from the qualified voters of the Commonwealth, subject to confirmation by the General Assembly. In the appointment of the Board, representation shall be given to each of the political parties having the highest and next highest number of votes in the Commonwealth for Governor at the last preceding gubernatorial election. Three Board members shall be of the political party that cast the highest number of votes for Governor at that election. When the Governor was not elected as the candidate of a political party, representation shall be given to each of the political parties having the highest and next highest number of members of the General Assembly at the time of the appointment and three Board members shall be of the political party having the highest number of members in the General Assembly. Each political party entitled to an appointment may make and file recommendations with the Governor for the appointment. Its recommendations shall contain the names of at least three qualified voters of the Commonwealth. Appointments shall be made with due consideration of geographical representation, and no two Board members shall reside in the same congressional district.

After the initial staggering of terms, Board members shall serve terms of four years, which shall begin on February 1 of the year of the appointment. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired terms. No member shall be eligible for more than two successive four-year terms. A member appointed for an unexpired term may be appointed for the two succeeding four-year terms.

Each year the Governor shall designate one Board member to be the chair of the Board and one Board member to be the vice-chair. The chair and vice-chair shall be members of opposite political parties.

No member of the Board shall be eligible to offer for or hold an office to be filled in whole or in part by qualified voters in the Commonwealth. If a member resigns to offer for or hold such office, the vacancy shall be filled as provided in this section.

No member of the Board shall serve as the chairman of a state, local, or district level political party committee or as a paid or volunteer worker in the campaign of a candidate for nomination or election to an office filled by election in whole or in part by qualified voters in the Commonwealth.

B. The Governor shall appoint a Commissioner of Elections, subject to confirmation by the General Assembly, to head the Department of Elections and to act as its principal administrative officer. The Commissioner shall be appointed to a term of four years, which shall begin on July 1 of the year following a gubernatorial election. The Commissioner shall be a qualified voter of the Commonwealth.

The Commissioner shall receive the salary fixed by law. He may employ the personnel required to carry out the duties required by law and imposed by the Board.

The Commissioner shall not be eligible to offer for or hold an office to be filled in whole or in part by qualified voters in the Commonwealth. His candidacy for or election to such office shall vacate his position as Commissioner, and the Governor shall fill the vacancy for the unexpired term.

The Governor shall not appoint as Commissioner (i) any person who is the spouse of a member of the Board or of a person seeking election to an office or holding an elective office that is filled in whole or in part by qualified voters in the Commonwealth; (ii) any person, or the spouse of any person, who is the grandparent, parent, sibling, child, or grandchild of a member of the Board; or (iii) any person, or the spouse of any person, who is the grandparent, parent, sibling, child, or grandchild of a person seeking election to an office or holding an elective office that is filled in whole or in part by qualified voters in the Commonwealth. The Commissioner shall submit his resignation to the Governor on the date that any such person files as a candidate for election to an office that is filled in whole or in part by qualified voters in the Commonwealth.

The Commissioner shall not serve as the chairman of a state, local, or district level political party committee or as a paid or volunteer worker in the campaign of a candidate for nomination or election to an office filled by election in whole or in part by qualified voters in the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, §§ 24-24, 24-345.10; 1952, c. 509; 1956, c. 392; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-18; 1973, c. 30; 1975, c. 515; 1977, c. 576; 1980, c. 728; 1984, c. 444; 1993, c. 641; 2007, c. 350; 2013, c. 542; 2020, cc. 353, 619.

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.