Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 24.2. Elections
Chapter 10. Election Offenses Generally; Penalties
3/2/2021

Chapter 10. Election Offenses Generally; Penalties.

§ 24.2-1000. Bribery, intimidation, etc., of officers of election.

Any person who, by bribery, intimidation, or other means in violation of the election laws, willfully hinders or prevents, or attempts to hinder or prevent, the officers of election at any precinct from holding an election shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony.

Code 1950, § 24-191; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-264; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-1001. Willful neglect or corrupt conduct.

A. If any officer of election, member of an electoral board, or other person on whom any duty is enjoined by law relative to any election, is guilty of willful neglect of his duty, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

B. If any person listed in subsection A is guilty of any corrupt conduct in the execution of his duty, he shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony.

Code 1950, § 24-212; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-266; 1991, c. 710; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-1002. Interference with registration.

Any person who, by threats or force, interferes with or attempts to interfere with (i) any registrar in the discharge of his duty, (ii) any person applying to register or declining to apply to register, or (iii) any person going to or leaving a registration location as defined in Article 3 (§ 24.2-411 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of this title or a polling place, or (iv) any person going to or leaving any other location at which persons offer mail applications under Article 3.1 (§ 24.2-416.1 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of this title shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 24-116; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-265; 1984, c. 480, § 24.1-49.01; 1993, c. 641; 2003, c. 1015.

§ 24.2-1002.01. Destruction of, or failure to mail or deliver, voter registration application; penalty.

If any person (i) agrees to mail or deliver a signed voter registration application to the voter registrar or other appropriate person authorized to receive the application and (ii) intentionally interferes with the applicant's effort to register either by destroying the application or by failing to mail or deliver the application in a timely manner, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The mailing or delivery of an application shall be deemed timely for the purposes of this section if it is mailed or delivered within 10 days of the applicant's signature or in accordance with the provisions of § 24.2-416.4 for processing before the closing of the registration records for the pending election whichever comes first. This section shall not apply to any state or local government employee acting in his official capacity. If any person intentionally solicits multiple registrations from any one person or intentionally falsifies a registration application, he shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony.

1997, c. 337; 2005, cc. 339, 412; 2013, c. 465.

§ 24.2-1002.1. Unlawful disclosure or use of social security number or part thereof.

Any person who discloses or makes any use of the social security number, or any part thereof, of any applicant for voter registration, except as authorized by law for official use, shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony.

1996, cc. 72, 73; 2007, c. 318.

§ 24.2-1003. Campaigning at registration locations.

Any person who gives or tenders any campaign materials to, or solicits or attempts to influence the vote of, any person while he is at any registration location as defined in Article 3 (§ 24.2-411 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of this title knowing that such person is there for the purpose of registration, shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the distribution of campaign materials outside any building in which a registration activity is being conducted.

1984, c. 480, § 24.1-49.01; 1993, c. 641; 2003, c. 1015.

§ 24.2-1004. Illegal voting and registrations.

A. Any person who wrongfully deposits a ballot in the ballot container or casts a vote on any voting equipment, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

B. Any person who intentionally (i) votes more than once in the same election, whether those votes are cast in Virginia or in Virginia and any other state or territory of the United States, (ii) procures, assists, or induces another to vote more than once in the same election, whether those votes are cast in Virginia or in Virginia and any other state or territory of the United States, (iii) votes knowing that he is not qualified to vote where and when the vote is to be given, or (iv) procures, assists, or induces another to vote knowing that such person is not qualified to vote where and when the vote is to be given is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

C. Any person who intentionally (i) registers to vote at more than one residence address at the same time, whether such registrations are in Virginia or in Virginia and any other state or territory of the United States, or (ii) procures, assists, or induces another to register to vote at more than one address at the same time, whether such registrations are in Virginia or in Virginia and any other state or territory of the United States, is guilty of a Class 6 felony. This subsection shall not apply to any person who, when registering to vote, changing the address at which he is registered, transferring his registration, or assisting another in registering, changing his address, or transferring his registration, provides the information required by § 24.2-418 on the applicant's place of last previous registration to vote.

D. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a covered voter, as defined in § 24.2-452, from casting in the same election both a state ballot and a write-in absentee ballot that is processed in the manner provided by the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (52 U.S.C. § 20301 et seq.). If both ballots are received prior to the close of the polls on election day, the state ballot shall be counted.

Code 1950, §§ 24-450, 24-451; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-268; 1993, c. 641; 2001, c. 636; 2003, c. 1015; 2009, cc. 865, 870, 874; 2012, cc. 652, 667; 2019, cc. 668, 669; 2020, cc. 1149, 1151, 1201.

§ 24.2-1005. Bribery, intimidation, etc., of person receiving ballot.

Any person who (i) by threats, bribery, or other means in violation of the election laws, attempts to influence any person in giving his vote or ballot or by such means attempts to deter him from voting; (ii) furnishes a ballot to a person who he knows cannot understand the language in which the ballot is printed and misinforms him as to the content of the ballot with an intent to deceive him and induce him to vote contrary to his desire; or (iii) changes a ballot of a person to prevent the person from voting as he desired, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

This section applies to any election and to any method used by a political party for selection of its nominees and for selection of delegates to its conventions and meetings.

1970, c. 462, § 24.1-271; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-1005.1. Communication of false information to registered voter.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to communicate to a registered voter, by any means, false information, knowing the same to be false, intended to impede the voter in the exercise of his right to vote. The provisions of this section shall apply to information only about the date, time, and place of the election or the voter's precinct, polling place, or voter registration status.

B. Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

C. A violation of this section may be prosecuted either in the jurisdiction from which the communication was made or in the jurisdiction in which the communication was received.

2007, c. 313.

§ 24.2-1006. Advice or assistance in casting ballot.

Except as provided by § 24.2-649, no person shall directly or indirectly advise or assist any voter as to how he shall cast his ballot after the voter has entered the prohibited area at the polls as designated in § 24.2-604. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 24-237; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-267; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-1007. Soliciting or accepting bribe to influence or procure vote.

No person shall solicit or accept directly or indirectly any money or any thing of value to influence his or another's vote in any election. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

This section applies to any election and to any method used by a political party for selection of its nominees and for selection of delegates to its conventions and meetings.

Code 1950, §§ 24-405, 24-452; 1952, c. 4; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-272; 1976, c. 616; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-1008. Selling, giving away, or counterfeiting ballots.

Any person who (i) wrongfully sells or gives to any person an official ballot or copy or a facsimile of or device or plate used to reproduce such ballot or (ii) counterfeits or attempts to counterfeit the official ballot or the seal used on that ballot, shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony.

Code 1950, § 24-239; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-270; 1991, c. 710; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-1009. Stealing or tampering with ballot containers, voting or registration equipment, software, records or documents.

Any person who (i) steals or willfully, fraudulently, or wrongfully tampers with any part of any ballot container, voting or registration equipment, records, or documents, which are used in any way within the registration or election process, (ii) steals or willfully, fraudulently, or wrongfully tampers with the software used to prepare and operate voting equipment or the software or hardware used to collect and disseminate election returns, (iii) steals or willfully, fraudulently, or wrongfully tampers with an electronic activation device or electronic data storage medium of the type used to prepare, operate or back-up electronic voting equipment, (iv) willfully, fraudulently, or wrongfully intercepts, alters or disrupts the electronic transmission of election returns or the posting of returns on the Internet, (v) fraudulently makes any entry, deletion, or alteration to any item listed in (i), or (vi) aids, abets, or permits any other person to violate the provisions of clauses (i) through (v), shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony.

Code 1950, §§ 24-318, 24-404; 1952, c. 4; 1970, c. 462, §§ 24.1-273, 24.1-275; 1981, c. 425; 1991, c. 710; 1993, c. 641; 2003, c. 1015; 2004, cc. 993, 1010.

§ 24.2-1010. Unauthorized possession or duplication of voting equipment key or electronic activation device.

Any unauthorized person found in possession of any voting equipment key or electronic activation device of the type used to prepare or operate voting equipment or any unauthorized person who duplicates a voting equipment key or electronic activation device shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 24-318; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-275; 1991, c. 710; 1993, c. 641; 2004, cc. 993, 1010.

§ 24.2-1011. Ballot not to be carried away.

It shall be unlawful for any person to carry the official ballot furnished him by the officers of the election further than the voting booth, and should he, after receiving the ballot, conclude not to vote, he shall immediately return the ballot to the officers. Any person who (i) carries an official ballot or copy thereof beyond or away from the voting booth, except to the officers of election, or (ii) votes any ballot except the ballot received from the officers of election, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 24-236; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-269; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-1012. Offenses as to absent voters.

Any person who knowingly aids or abets or attempts to aid or abet a violation of the absentee voting procedures prescribed in § 24.2-649 and Chapter 7 (§ 24.2-700 et seq.) shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony.

Any person attempting to vote by fraudulently signing the name of a qualified voter shall be guilty of forgery and shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony.

Any public official who knowingly violates any of the provisions of the law concerning absent voters and thereby aids in any way the illegal casting, or attempting to cast a vote, or who connives to nullify any provisions of this chapter in order that fraud may be perpetrated, shall forever be disqualified from holding office in the Commonwealth and shall forever be disqualified from exercising the right of franchise.

Code 1950, § 24-345; 1956, c. 382; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-274; 1993, c. 641; 2006, c. 242.

§ 24.2-1013. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2006, cc. 787 and 892, cl. 2.

§ 24.2-1014. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2002, c. 487.

§ 24.2-1014.1. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2006, cc. 787 and 892, cl. 2.

§ 24.2-1015. Conspiracy against rights of citizens under this title.

If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, intimidate, prevent, or hinder any citizen of this Commonwealth in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the provisions of this title, or because of his having so exercised such right, they shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony.

1970, c. 462, § 24.1-278; 1991, c. 710; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-1016. False statements; penalties.

Any willfully false material statement or entry made by any person in any statement, form, or report required by this title shall constitute the crime of election fraud and be punishable as a Class 5 felony. Any preprinted statement, form, or report shall include a statement of such unlawful conduct and the penalty provided in this section.

Code 1950, § 24-68; 1952, c. 341; 1958, c. 576; 1960, c. 288; 1962, c. 536; 1970, c. 462, §§ 24.1-48, 24.1-279; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 205; 1972, c. 620; 1974, c. 428; 1975, c. 515; 1977, c. 490; 1978, c. 778; 1980, c. 639; 1989, c. 138; 1992, c. 433; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-1017. Penalties when not specifically provided elsewhere.

Any conduct made unlawful by this title, for which no punishment has been otherwise provided, shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 24-455; 1970, c. 462, § 280; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-1018. Immunity of witnesses.

No witness called by the court or attorney for the Commonwealth and giving evidence for the prosecution, either before a grand jury or the court in any prosecution under this title, shall ever be proceeded against for any offense made penal by the provisions of this title and committed by him at or in connection with the events germane to the matter being prosecuted; but such witness shall be compelled to testify, and for refusing to answer questions, he may be punished for contempt by the court.

Code 1950, § 24-449; 1954, c. 347; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-281; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-1019. Complaints and allegations concerning election law offenses.

Any complaint or allegation concerning unlawful conduct under this title shall be filed with the attorney for the Commonwealth of the county or city in which the alleged violation occurred. In the case of a complaint or allegation concerning the filing of a false statement in a voter registration application, the violation shall be deemed to have occurred in the county or city where the applicant sought to be registered.

1983, c. 461, § 24.1-282; 1993, c. 641; 1999, c. 374.