Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 24.2. Elections
Chapter 1. General Provisions and Administration

Article 3. Local Electoral Boards.

§ 24.2-106. Appointment and terms; vacancies; chairman and secretary; certain prohibitions; training.

A. There shall be in each county and city an electoral board composed of three members who shall be qualified voters of such county or city. The members shall be appointed by the chief judge of the judicial circuit for the county or city or that judge's designee. Such designee shall be any other judge who sits in the judicial circuit. Any vacancy occurring on a board shall be filled by the same authority for the unexpired term.

In the event of the temporary absence, or disability that precludes the performance of duties, of one or more members that prevents attaining a quorum, the chief judge or his designee, for good cause, may appoint, on a meeting-to-meeting basis, a temporary member to the electoral board. The temporary appointee must be eligible for appointment and to the extent practicable maintain representation of political parties under this section.

The clerk of the circuit court shall send to the State Board a copy of each order making an appointment to an electoral board.

In the appointment of the electoral board, representation shall be given to each of the two political parties having the highest and next highest number of votes in the Commonwealth for Governor at the last preceding gubernatorial election. Two electoral 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 two board members shall be of the political party having the highest number of members in the General Assembly.

The political party entitled to the appointment shall make and file recommendations with the judges for the appointment not later than December 15 of the year of an expiration of a term or, in the case of an appointment to fill a vacancy, within 30 days of the date of death or notice of resignation of the member being replaced. Its recommendations shall contain the names of at least three qualified voters of the county or city for each appointment. The chief judge, or his designee, shall promptly make such appointment from the recommendations (i) after receipt of the political party's recommendation or (ii) after December 15 for a full term or after the 30-day period expires for a vacancy appointment, whichever of the events described in clause (i) or (ii) first occurs.

The chief judge of the judicial circuit for the county or city, or his designee, shall not appoint to the electoral board (a) any person who is the spouse of an electoral board member or the general registrar for the county or city; (b) any person, or the spouse of any person, who is the parent, grandparent, sibling, child, or grandchild of an electoral board member or the general registrar of the county or city; or (c) any person who is ineligible to serve under the provisions of this section.

Electoral board members shall serve three-year terms and be appointed to staggered terms, one term to expire at midnight on the last day of December each year, unless the results of an election have not been certified by the board or a recount of an election has not concluded, in which case the term shall expire at midnight on the day the results are certified or the recount is concluded. No three-year term shall be shortened to comply with the political party representation requirements of this section.

B. The board shall elect one of its members as chairman and another as secretary. The chairman and the secretary shall represent different political parties, unless the representative of the second-ranked political party declines in writing to accept the unfilled office. At any time that the secretary is incapacitated in such a way that makes it impossible for the secretary to carry out the duties of the position, the board may designate one of its other members as acting secretary. Any such designation shall be made in an open meeting and recorded in the minutes of the board.

The secretary of the electoral board shall immediately notify the State Board of any change in the membership or officers of the electoral board and shall keep the Board informed of the name, residence and mailing addresses, and home and business telephone numbers of each electoral board member.

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

No member of an electoral board shall be the spouse, grandparent, parent, sibling, child, or grandchild, or the spouse of a grandparent, parent, sibling, child, or grandchild, of a candidate for or holder of an elective office filled in whole or in part by any voters within the jurisdiction of the electoral board.

No member of an electoral 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 the qualified voters of the jurisdiction of the electoral board.

If an electoral board member ceases to be a qualified voter of the county or city for which he was appointed, his office shall be deemed vacant and the vacancy shall be filled as provided in this section.

D. Each member of the electoral board shall attend an annual training program provided by the State Board during the first year of his appointment and the first year of any subsequent reappointment.

Code 1950, §§ 24-29, 24-32, 24-33, 24-42; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-29; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 204; 1973, c. 30; 1975, c. 515; 1978, c. 778; 1980, c. 639; 1984, c. 480; 1986, c. 558, § 24.1-33.1; 1993, cc. 480, 641; 1995, cc. 835, 848; 2003, c. 1015; 2005, c. 380; 2011, c. 764; 2013, c. 409; 2016, c. 13; 2017, c. 807; 2020, cc. 287, 295, 370.

§ 24.2-106.01. Description of duties and responsibilities; required affirmation.

A. The State Board, with the cooperation of the local electoral boards and general registrars, shall develop a description of the duties and responsibilities of the local electoral boards and update such description as needed. Such description shall include the statutory and regulatory duties and responsibilities of the electoral boards, prohibited activities of the electoral boards and members of electoral boards, and the qualifications and disqualifications of members of electoral boards.

B. The Department shall provide to the clerks of the circuit courts, the chairmen of the state and district political party committees, the general registrars, and the local electoral boards the description developed pursuant to subsection A. Such description shall be provided no later than the first day of December each year.

C. Each person nominated for appointment to a local electoral board shall certify that he has read the description developed pursuant to this section and affirm prior to his appointment pursuant to § 24.2-106 that he will faithfully discharge all duties and responsibilities set forth in that description.

2017, c. 271.

§ 24.2-106.1. Prohibiting the solicitation in public buildings of signatures for nominating petitions by electoral board members and employees.

No member of an electoral board or their office staff shall solicit or assist in the solicitation of signatures for nominating petitions for candidates for public office in any public building owned or leased by the county or city served by the electoral board.

2003, c. 271.

§ 24.2-107. Meetings; quorum; notice; account of proceedings; seal; records open to inspection.

The electoral board of each city and county shall meet during the first week in February of the year in which it is to appoint officers of election pursuant to § 24.2-115 and during the month of March each year at the time set by the board and at any other time on the call of any board member. Two members shall constitute a quorum. Notice of each meeting shall be given to all board members either by the secretary or the member calling the meeting at least three business days prior to the meeting except in the case of an emergency as defined in § 2.2-3701. Notice shall be given to the public as required by § 2.2-3707. All meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.) unless otherwise provided by this section. Notwithstanding the public notice requirements of § 2.2-3707, two or more members of an electoral board may meet on election day to discuss a matter concerning that day's election, where such matter requires resolution on that day, and an effort has been made by all available means to give notice of the meeting to all board members. The presence of two or more board members while the ballots, election materials, or voting equipment are being prepared, current or potential polling places are being inspected, or election officials are being trained, or a telephone call between two board members preparing for a meeting, shall not constitute a meeting provided that no discussion or deliberation takes place that would otherwise constitute a meeting.

The secretary shall keep an accurate account of all board proceedings in a minute book, including all appointments and removals of general registrars and officers of election. The secretary shall keep in his custody the duly adopted seal of the board.

Minutes of meetings that are required to be recorded pursuant to § 2.2-3707 shall be posted on the website of the electoral board or the official website for the county or city, when such means are available. Minutes of meetings shall be posted as soon as possible but no later than one week prior to the following meeting of the electoral board.

Books, papers, and records of the board shall be open to public inspection and copying whenever the general registrar's office is open for business either at the office of the board or the office of the general registrar. The general registrar shall determine a reasonable charge, not to exceed the fee authorized pursuant to subdivision A 8 of § 17.1-275, to be paid for copies made from the books, papers, and records of the board.

No election record containing an individual's social security number, or any part thereof, shall be made available for inspection or copying by anyone. The State Board of Elections shall prescribe procedures for local electoral boards and general registrars to make the information in certificates of candidate qualification available in a manner that does not reveal social security numbers or any parts thereof.

Code 1950, §§ 24-34, 24-43; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-30; 1978, c. 778; 1979, c. 27; 1982, c. 290; 1993, c. 641; 1994, c. 656; 2003, c. 1015; 2007, cc. 311, 318; 2013, cc. 461, 525; 2014, c. 395; 2016, c. 403.

§ 24.2-108. Compensation and expenses of members.

The General Assembly shall establish a compensation and expense plan in the general appropriation act for the secretaries and members of the electoral boards. The governing body for the county or city of each electoral board shall pay compensation, expenses, and mileage in accordance with the plan and be reimbursed annually as authorized by the act. The reasonable costs of electoral board members attending annual training programs provided by the State Board shall be included in the expense plan for electoral boards.

Each electoral board member shall submit a written claim for mileage and expenses authorized by the plan. The claim, when filed and found to be correct, shall be paid by the county or city. The county or city shall pay claims for mileage at the rate payable to members of the General Assembly.

The governing body of any county or city may pay to the secretary of the electoral board any additional allowance for expenses it deems appropriate and may pay to a full-time secretary any additional compensation it deems appropriate.

Each county and city shall furnish necessary postage and office supplies for the electoral board.

Code 1950, §§ 24-37, 24-38, 24-40, 24-41; 1952, c. 540; 1956, c. 658; 1958, c. 42; 1964, c. 515; 1966, c. 714; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-31; 1972, c. 620; 1974, c. 428; 1978, c. 778; 1981, c. 425; 1982, c. 650; 1993, c. 641; 2005, c. 380.

§ 24.2-109. Appointment and removal of general registrar and officers of election; powers and duties in general.

A. Each electoral board shall appoint the general registrar for its city or county and officers of election for each precinct who shall serve in all elections, including town elections, as provided in this chapter. The secretary of the electoral board shall promptly notify each appointee of his appointment.

The electoral board by a recorded majority vote may (i) institute proceedings pursuant to § 24.2-234.1 for the removal of any general registrar who fails to discharge the duties of his office according to law or (ii) remove from office, on notice, any officer of election who fails to discharge the duties of his office according to law.

The electoral board shall remove from office, on notice, any general registrar who fails to receive or maintain certification as required by the State Board pursuant to subsection C of § 24.2-103.

B. The electoral board shall perform the duties assigned by this title including, but not limited to, the preparation of ballots, the administration of absentee ballot provisions, the conduct of the election, and the ascertaining of the results of the election.

Code 1950, §§ 24-30, 24-35, 24-36, 24-52, 24-52.1, 24-55, 24-61, 24-65, 24-66, 24-118.1, 24-199; 1954, c. 691; 1962, c. 475; 1964, c. 608; 1968, cc. 97, 141; 1970, c. 462, §§ 24.1-32, 24.1-34, 24.1-43; 1973, c. 30; 1974, c. 428; 1975, c. 515; 1976, c. 12; 1978, c. 778; 1980, c. 639; 1981, c. 425; 1982, cc. 290, 650; 1983, c. 511; 1984, c. 480; 1985, c. 197; 1986, c. 558; 1988, c. 528; 1989, c. 227; 1993, c. 641; 2004, cc. 27, 391; 2020, c. 1148; 2023, cc. 256, 257.

§ 24.2-109.1. Performance review of general registrars.

The electoral board shall conduct an annual performance review of the general registrar for years ending June 30, 2006, and thereafter. The electoral board shall complete the review by August 1 of each year, retain a copy of the performance review, and provide a summary of the review to the State Board. The performance review shall be conducted in accordance with the format and forms provided by the State Board.

2004, cc. 27, 391; 2006, c. 235.