Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 24.2. Elections
3/29/2020

Article 5. Officers of Election.

§ 24.2-115. Appointment, qualifications, and terms of officers of election.

Each electoral board at its regular meeting in the first week of February of the year in which the terms of officers of election are scheduled to expire shall appoint officers of election. Their terms of office shall begin on March 1 following their appointment and continue, at the discretion of the electoral board, for a term not to exceed three years or until their successors are appointed. The general registrar shall prepare and submit to the electoral board a plan to ensure that adequate numbers of trained officers of election are available to serve in each election.

Not less than three competent citizens shall be appointed for each precinct. However, a precinct having more than 4,000 registered voters shall have not less than five officers of election serving for a presidential election, and the electoral board shall appoint additional officers as needed to satisfy this requirement. Insofar as practicable, each officer shall be a qualified voter of the precinct he is appointed to serve, but in any case a qualified voter of the Commonwealth. In appointing the officers of election, 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. The representation of the two parties shall be equal at each precinct having an even number of officers and shall vary by no more than one at each precinct having an odd number of officers. If practicable, officers shall be appointed from lists of nominations filed by the political parties entitled to appointments. The party shall file its nominations with the secretary of the electoral board at least 10 days before February 1 each year. The electoral board may appoint additional citizens who do not represent any political party to serve as officers. If practicable, no more than one-third of the total number of officers appointed for each precinct may be citizens who do not represent any political party.

Officers of election shall serve for all elections held in their respective precincts during their terms of office unless a substitute is required to be appointed pursuant to § 24.2-117 or the electoral board decides that fewer officers are needed for a particular election, in which case party representation shall be maintained as provided above. For a primary election involving only one political party, persons representing the political party holding the primary shall serve as the officers of election if possible.

The electoral board shall ensure that one officer is designated as the chief officer of election and one officer is designated as the assistant for each precinct. The officer designated as the assistant for a precinct, whenever practicable, shall not represent the same political party as the chief officer for the precinct. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, where representatives for one or both of the two political parties having the largest number of votes for Governor in the last preceding gubernatorial election are unavailable, citizens who do not represent either of those two political parties may be designated as the chief officer and the assistant chief officer. In such case, the general registrar shall provide notice to representatives of both parties at least 10 days prior to the election that he intends to use nonaffiliated officers so that each party shall have the opportunity to provide additional nominations. The electoral board may also appoint at least one officer of election who reports to the precinct at least one hour prior to the closing of the precinct and whose primary responsibility is to assist with closing the precinct and reporting the results of the votes at the precinct.

The electoral board shall ensure that each chief officer and assistant is instructed in his duties not less than three nor more than 30 days before each election. Each officer of election may be instructed in his duties at an appropriate time or times before each November general election, and training of the officers of election shall be conducted as provided by § 24.2-115.2.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 24.2-117, if an officer of election is unable to serve at any election during his term of office, the electoral board may at any time appoint a substitute who shall hold office and serve for the unexpired term.

Additional officers shall be appointed in accordance with this section at any time that the electoral board determines that they are needed or as required by law.

If practicable, substitute officers or additional officers appointed after the electoral board's regular meeting in the first week of February shall be appointed from lists of nominations filed by the political parties entitled to appointments. The electoral board or the general registrar shall inform the political parties of the decision of the electoral board to make such appointments and the party shall file its nominations with the secretary of the electoral board or the general registrar within five business days.

The secretary of the electoral board or general registrar shall prepare a list of the officers of election that shall be available for inspection and posted in the general registrar's office prior to March 1 each year. Whenever substitute or additional officers are appointed, the secretary of the electoral board or the general registrar shall promptly add the names of the appointees to the public list. Upon request and at a reasonable charge not to exceed the actual cost incurred, the secretary of the electoral board or the general registrar shall provide a copy of the list of the officers of election, including their party designation and precinct to which they are assigned, to any requesting political party or candidate.

Code 1950, §§ 24-30, 24-193, 24-195, 24-199; 1950, p. 164; 1970, c. 462, §§ 24.1-32, 24.1-105, 24.1-106; 1972, c. 620; 1975, c. 515; 1976, c. 616; 1978, cc. 330, 778; 1980, c. 639; 1982, c. 650; 1984, c. 480; 1986, c. 558; 1989, c. 227; 1993, c. 641; 1997, c. 459; 1998, c. 187; 2002, cc. 66, 216; 2003, cc. 232, 1015; 2005, c. 820; 2009, cc. 639, 865, 870, 874; 2010, cc. 190, 347, 769; 2013, c. 461; 2014, cc. 410, 777; 2015, c. 667; 2016, cc. 18, 492, 752, 766.

§ 24.2-115.1. Officers of election; hours of service.

The electoral board or general registrar may provide that the officers of election for one or more precincts may be assigned to work all or a portion of the time that the precinct is open on election day or reassigned to another precinct for the remaining portion of election day, as needed. Any officer of election assisting with the closing of the precinct and reporting the results of the votes at the precinct shall be required to report to the precinct at least one hour prior to the closing of the precinct. However, the chief officer and the assistant chief officer, appointed pursuant to § 24.2-115 to represent the two political parties, shall be on duty at all times. The electoral board or general registrar may provide for the administration of the oath of office provided for in § 24.2-120 and the oath required in § 24.2-611 to be kept with the pollbook at times convenient for officers of election assigned to work only a portion of the time that the precinct is open on election day.

1998, cc. 549, 572; 2001, c. 623; 2009, cc. 396, 865, 870, 874; 2013, cc. 444, 462; 2016, cc. 18, 492.

§ 24.2-115.2. Officers of election; required training.

A. Each officer of election shall receive training consistent with the standards set by the State Board pursuant to § 24.2-103. This training shall be conducted by the electoral boards and general registrars, using the standardized training programs and materials developed by the State Board for this purpose. However, any electoral board and general registrar may instead require that the officers of election complete the online training course provided by the State Board pursuant to subsection B of § 24.2-103. Each officer of election shall receive such training, or complete the online training course, before the first election in which he will be serving as an officer of election. Such requirement shall apply to each term for which the officer of election is appointed.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, each officer of election shall receive additional training or instruction whenever a change to election procedures is made to this title or to regulations that alters the duties or conduct of the officers of election. Such changes shall include changes to voting systems, electronic pollbook equipment or programming, voter identification requirements, and provisional ballot requirements. Such additional training shall be conducted or instruction given promptly after the law or regulation has taken effect, but not less than three days prior to the November general election.

C. Following any training conducted pursuant to this section, the electoral boards shall certify to the State Board that the officers of election in its jurisdiction have received the required training. Such certification shall include the dates of each completed training.

2016, cc. 752, 766.

§ 24.2-116. Compensation of officers; volunteer officers.

The governing body of each county, city, or town shall pay its officers of election at least $75 for each full day's service rendered on each election day. In addition, the governing body shall pay each officer $10 and mileage at the rate payable to members of the General Assembly for each time he delivers pollbooks and ballots to the polling place and each time he delivers returns and ballots to the appropriate official after the polls close. Jurisdictions may increase the salary of the officers collecting and delivering materials by at least $10 and the equivalent of mileage expenses from the furthest polling place in the locality in lieu of calculating the mileage and extra pay required by this section.

An officer of election may waive compensation and serve as an unpaid volunteer officer. Unpaid volunteer officers shall possess the qualifications and fulfill the requirements that apply to paid officers of election.

Code 1950, §§ 24-207 through 24-209; 1950, p. 245; 1956, c. 235; 1968, c. 141; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-107; 1972, c. 620; 1974, c. 428; 1993, c. 641; 2003, c. 1015; 2012, c. 489.

§ 24.2-117. Request for removal of officer of election.

A candidate may require the removal of an officer of election for the election in which he is a candidate by a request in writing, filed at least seven days before the election with the electoral board appointing the officer, on the grounds that the officer is the spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling, child, or grandchild of an opposing candidate. A member of the electoral board may also request the removal of an officer of election whom he knows to be the spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling, child, or grandchild of a candidate in the election by a request in writing, filed at least seven days before the election with the electoral board. Upon receipt of a timely written request pursuant to this section, the electoral board shall ensure that a substitute is appointed to serve for that election.

1982, c. 650, § 24.1-105.1; 1993, c. 641; 2014, c. 410; 2016, cc. 18, 492.

§ 24.2-118. Appointments when officers fail to serve.

If an officer of election is absent or unable to serve and the polls have been open for one hour, the remaining officers of election shall appoint a substitute officer of election for the precinct. The substitute officer shall possess the same qualifications and, after taking the requisite oath, have the same powers as officers appointed by an electoral board.

Code 1950, § 24-197; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-108; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-118.1. Prohibition on discrimination in employment; penalty.

Any person who serves as an officer of election as defined in § 24.2-101 shall neither be discharged from employment, nor have any adverse personnel action taken against him, nor shall he be required to use sick leave or vacation time, as a result of his absence from employment due to such service, provided he gave reasonable notice to his employer of such service. No person who serves for four or more hours, including travel time, on his day of service shall be required to start any work shift that begins on or after 5:00 p.m. on the day of his service or begins before 3:00 a.m. on the day following the day of his service. Any employer violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

2005, c. 790.

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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