Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 24.2. Elections
3/28/2020

Article 2. State Board of Elections.

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

The State Board of Elections is continued and shall consist of three 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. Two Board members shall be of the political party which 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 two 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.

Board members shall serve four-year terms beginning February 1, 1995, and each fourth year thereafter. 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.

The Governor shall appoint a Commissioner of Elections, who shall receive the salary fixed by law. The Commissioner of Elections may employ the personnel required to carry out the duties imposed by the State Board of Elections.

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 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.

§ 24.2-103. Powers and duties in general.

A. The State Board, through the Department of Elections, shall supervise and coordinate the work of the county and city electoral boards and of the registrars to obtain uniformity in their practices and proceedings and legality and purity in all elections. It shall make rules and regulations and issue instructions and provide information consistent with the election laws to the electoral boards and registrars to promote the proper administration of election laws. Electoral boards and registrars shall provide information requested by the State Board and shall follow (i) the elections laws and (ii) the rules and regulations of the State Board insofar as they do not conflict with Virginia or federal law. The State Board shall post on the Internet within three business days any rules or regulations made by the State Board. Upon request and at a reasonable charge not to exceed the actual cost incurred, the State Board shall provide to any requesting political party or candidate, within three days of the receipt of the request, copies of any instructions or information provided by the State Board to the local electoral boards and registrars.

B. The State Board, through the Department of Elections, shall ensure that the members of the electoral boards and general registrars are properly trained to carry out their duties by offering training annually, or more often, as it deems appropriate, and without charging any fees to the electoral boards and general registrars for the training. The State Board shall set the training standards for the officers of election and shall develop standardized training programs for the officers of election to be conducted by the local electoral boards and the general registrars. Training of the officers of election shall be conducted and certified as provided by § 24.2-115.2. The State Board shall provide standardized training materials for such training and shall also offer on the Department of Elections website a training course for officers of election. The content of the online training course shall be consistent with the standardized training programs developed pursuant to this section. The State Board shall review the standardized training materials and the content of the online training course every two years in the year immediately following a general election for federal office.

C. The State Board may institute proceedings pursuant to § 24.2-234 for the removal of any member of an electoral board who fails to discharge the duties of his office in accordance with law. The State Board may petition the local electoral board to remove from office any general registrar who fails to discharge the duties of his office according to law. The State Board may institute proceedings pursuant to § 24.2-234 for the removal of a general registrar if the local electoral board refuses to remove the general registrar and the State Board finds that the failure to remove the general registrar has a material adverse effect upon the conduct of either the registrar's office or any election. Any action taken by the State Board pursuant to this subsection shall require a recorded majority vote of the Board.

D. The State Board may petition a circuit court or the Supreme Court, whichever is appropriate, for a writ of mandamus or prohibition, or other available legal relief, for the purpose of ensuring that elections are conducted as provided by law.

E. The Department of Elections shall supervise its own staff to assure that no member of its staff shall serve (i) as the chairman of a political party or other officer of a state-, local-, or district-level political party committee or (ii) 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 the qualified voters of the Commonwealth.

F. The State Board shall adopt a seal for its use and bylaws for its own proceedings.

G. A telephone call between two members of the Board preparing for a meeting shall not constitute a meeting under the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.), provided that no discussion or deliberation takes place that would otherwise constitute a meeting.

Code 1950, §§ 24-24, 24-25, 24-345.10, 24-345.11; 1952, c. 509; 1956, c. 392; 1970, c. 462, §§ 24.1-18, 24.1-19; 1973, c. 30; 1975, c. 515; 1977, c. 576; 1980, c. 728; 1984, c. 444; 1993, c. 641; 1999, c. 861; 2004, cc. 27, 391; 2006, c. 760; 2009, c. 407; 2010, cc. 347, 769; 2013, cc. 525, 542; 2016, cc. 752, 766.

§ 24.2-103.1. Duties of Department of Elections related to redistricting.

A. Upon receipt of any ordinance and Geographic Information System (GIS) map sent pursuant to § 24.2-304.3 or 24.2-306, the Department shall promptly review the ordinance and map and compare the boundaries contained within with the information in the voter registration system in order to ensure voters have been assigned to the correct districts. The Department shall notify the locality of any corrections that may be necessary.

B. The Department shall maintain and make available on its official website maps showing the current election district and precinct boundaries of each county and city.

2019, cc. 777, 778.

§ 24.2-104. Requesting assistance for attorney for the Commonwealth; investigative committees.

A. The Attorney General shall have full authority to do whatever is necessary or appropriate to enforce the election laws or prosecute violations thereof. The Attorney General shall exercise the authority granted by this section to conduct an investigation, prosecute a violation, assure the enforcement of the elections laws, and report the results of the investigation to the State Board.

B. When the State Board is of the opinion that the public interest will be served, it may request the Attorney General, or other attorney designated by the Governor for such purpose, to assist the attorney for the Commonwealth of any jurisdiction in which election laws have been violated. When the State Board makes its request pursuant to a unanimous vote of all members, the Attorney General, or other attorney designated by the Governor, shall exercise the authority granted by this section to conduct an investigation, prosecute a violation, assure the enforcement of the election laws, and report the results of the investigation to the State Board. The Attorney General, or the other attorney designated by the Governor, shall have full authority to do whatever is necessary or appropriate to enforce the election laws or prosecute violations thereof.

C. The attorney for the Commonwealth or a member of the electoral board of any county or city may make a request, in writing, that the Attorney General appoint a committee to make an immediate investigation of the election practices in that city or county, accompanied by a statement under oath that substantial violations of this title have allegedly occurred which may alter or have altered the outcome of an election. On receipt of the request and statement, the Attorney General shall forthwith appoint a committee of two or more persons qualified to make the investigation. Members, officers, and employees of the Board, local electoral boards, and registrars' offices shall not serve on the committee but may provide assistance to the committee.

The Attorney General shall direct the committee to observe, investigate or supervise the election if supervision appears necessary. The committee shall make a preliminary report to the Attorney General within five days of its appointment. If its report shows that violations of this title have occurred, the Attorney General may, notwithstanding any other provision of law, authorize the prosecution of those responsible for the violations.

Code 1950, § 24-27; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-21; 1989, c. 111; 1993, c. 641; 2002, cc. 785, 819; 2013, c. 768.

§ 24.2-105. Prescribing various forms.

The State Board shall prescribe appropriate forms and records for the registration of voters, conduct of elections, and implementation of this title, which shall be used throughout the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 24-28; 1968, c. 97; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-22; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 247; 1975, c. 515; 1977, c. 490; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-105.1. Election and voter participation information on the Internet.

Beginning with the general election in November 1998, the State Board shall implement a system by which it shall furnish lists of candidates for all elections in the Commonwealth, and information on proposed constitutional amendments and statewide referenda prepared pursuant to §§ 30-19.9 and 30-19.10, electronically through the Internet. The Board may list other referenda issues on the Internet. The lists and information shall be made available on the Internet as far in advance of the election as practicable and remain available on the Internet at least until the day after the election.

The State Board shall provide election results and statistical information on its website. The information shall include voter turnout information which shall be calculated as the percentage of active voters who voted excluding voters assigned to inactive status pursuant to Chapter 4 (§ 24.2-400 et seq.). The information shall also include the total number of registered voters and the number assigned to inactive status.

1998, c. 478; 2006, c. 474; 2007, c. 340.

§ 24.2-105.2. Acceptance of payments.

Any credit or debit card used to pay for any voter list must be in the name of a person or organization authorized to receive such list pursuant to § 24.2-405.

2000, cc. 510, 554; 2002, c. 719.

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

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