Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 24.2. Elections
Chapter 2. Federal, Commonwealth, and Local Officers
12/6/2021

Article 5. Constitutional and Local Officers.

§ 24.2-217. Election and terms of constitutional officers.

The qualified voters of each county shall elect a sheriff, an attorney for the Commonwealth, a treasurer, and a commissioner of the revenue at the general election in November 1995, and every four years thereafter unless a county has adopted an optional form of government which provides that the office be abolished or a county's charter so provides. The qualified voters of each city, unless its charter provides otherwise, shall elect a sheriff, an attorney for the Commonwealth, a treasurer, and a commissioner of the revenue at the general election in November 1997, and every four years thereafter. All shall hold office for a term of four years beginning the January 1 next succeeding their election.

The qualified voters of the several counties shall elect a clerk of the circuit court of the county at the general election in November 1999, and every eight years thereafter. The qualified voters of each city having a circuit court shall elect a clerk of the circuit court at the November 1995, general election and every eight years thereafter. They shall hold office for a term of eight years beginning the January 1 next succeeding their election.

If a county and city share any of the offices to which this section applies, the qualified voters of the city shall cast their votes for that office according to the schedule set forth above for counties.

Code 1950, §§ 24-154, 24-155, 24-161, 24-162, 24-167; 1970, c. 462, §§ 24.1-86, 24.1-87; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 119; 1979, c. 522; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-218. (Effective until January 1, 2022) Election and term of county supervisors.

The qualified voters of each county election district shall elect one or more supervisors at the general election in November 1995, and every four years thereafter for terms of four years, except as provided in § 24.2-219 or as provided by law for those counties having the optional form of government under the provisions of Article 2 (§ 15.2-702 et seq.) of Chapter 7 of Title 15.2.

Code 1950, § 24-157; 1968, c. 639; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-88; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 265; 1973, c. 30; 1976, c. 616; 1981, c. 12; 1982, c. 650; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-218. (Effective January 1, 2022) Election and term of county supervisors.

A. The qualified voters of each county election district shall elect one or more supervisors at the general election in November 1995, and every four years thereafter for terms of four years, except as provided in § 24.2-219 or as provided by law for those counties having the optional form of government under the provisions of Article 2 (§ 15.2-702 et seq.) of Chapter 7 of Title 15.2.

B. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, general or special, in a county that imposes district-based or ward-based residency requirements for members of the board of supervisors, the member elected from each district or ward shall be elected by the qualified voters of that district or ward and not by the county at large.

Code 1950, § 24-157; 1968, c. 639; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-88; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 265; 1973, c. 30; 1976, c. 616; 1981, c. 12; 1982, c. 650; 1993, c. 641; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 225.

§ 24.2-219. Alternative for biennial county supervisor elections and staggered terms.

A. The governing body of any county may by ordinance provide that the county board of supervisors be elected biennially for staggered four-year terms.

In lieu of an ordinance by the board of supervisors, the registered voters of the county may file a petition with the circuit court of the county requesting that a referendum be held on the question of whether the county board of supervisors should be elected biennially for staggered four-year terms. The petition shall be signed by registered voters equal in number to at least ten percent of the number registered in the county on the January 1 preceding its filing.

The court pursuant to §§ 24.2-682 and 24.2-684 shall order the election officials on a day fixed in the order to conduct a referendum on the question. The clerk of the court shall publish notice of the referendum in a newspaper having general circulation in the county once a week for four consecutive weeks and shall post a copy of the notice at the door of the courthouse of the county. The question on the ballot shall be:

"Shall the members of the county board of supervisors be elected biennially for staggered four-year terms?

[ ] Yes

[ ] No"

The referendum shall be held and the results certified as provided in § 24.2-684.

B. If a majority of the voters voting in the referendum voted for biennial election of the members of the board of supervisors for staggered four-year terms, or if the governing body has so provided by ordinance, then the terms of supervisors elected at the next general election for supervisors shall be as follows:

1. If the number of supervisors elected in the county is an even number, half of the successful candidates shall be elected for terms of four years and half of the successful candidates shall be elected for terms of two years; or

2. If the number of supervisors in the county is an odd number, the smallest number of candidates which creates a majority of the elected supervisors shall be elected for terms of four years and all other successful candidates shall be elected for terms of two years.

Unless the number of members who volunteer to take two-year terms exactly equals the number of two-year terms to be assigned, the electoral board of the county shall assign the individual terms of members by lot at its meeting on the day following the election and immediately upon certification of the results. However, the electoral board may assign individual terms of members by election district in a drawing at a meeting held prior to the last day for a person to qualify as a candidate, if the governing body of the county so directs by ordinance or resolution adopted at least thirty days prior to the last day for qualification and members are elected by district. In all elections thereafter all successful candidates shall be elected for terms of four years.

In any county where the chairman of the board is elected from the county at large pursuant to § 15.2-503 or § 15.2-802, the provisions of this section shall not affect that office. The chairman of the board shall be elected for a term of four years in 1995 and every four years thereafter.

C. If the representation on the board of supervisors among the election districts is reapportioned, or the number of districts is diminished or the boundaries of the districts are changed, elections shall be held in each new district at the general election next preceding the expiration of the term of the office of the member of the board representing the predecessor district of each new district. If the number of districts is increased, the electoral board shall assign a two-year or four-year term for each new district so as to maintain as equal as practicable the number of members to be elected at each biennial election.

Code 1950, § 24-157; 1968, c. 639; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-88; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 265; 1973, c. 30; 1976, c. 616; 1981, c. 12; 1982, c. 650; 1993, c. 641; 2011, c. 455.

§ 24.2-220. Reversion to quadrennial elections.

The governing body of any county, by ordinance, may repeal an ordinance previously adopted to provide for the election of the board of supervisors biennially for staggered four-year terms and provide for the election of the board of supervisors quadrennially for four-year terms. The qualified voters of the county, by petition and referendum in accordance with the requirements and procedures set forth in § 24.2-219, may repeal an ordinance of the board or a referendum previously adopted which authorized the election of the board of supervisors biennially for four-year terms. The question in the referendum to rescind shall be:

"Shall the members of the county board of supervisors be elected quadrennially for four-year terms?

[ ] Yes

[ ] No"

If a majority of the voters voting in the referendum voted for quadrennial election of the members of the board of supervisors for four-year terms, or if the governing body has so provided by ordinance, then the successors to those supervisors whose terms expire in 1995 or any fourth year thereafter shall be elected for a four-year term and immediate successors to those supervisors whose terms expire in 1993 or any fourth year thereafter shall be elected for a two-year term and all subsequent successors for a four-year term.

Code 1950, § 24-157; 1968, c. 639; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-88; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 265; 1973, c. 30; 1976, c. 616; 1981, c. 12; 1982, c. 650; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-221. Time and frequency of referenda on election and term of supervisors.

A referendum as provided in § 24.2-219 or § 24.2-220 shall be held only in the year preceding the year in which a general election for supervisors is to be held. Once a referendum on either question is held, no further referendum on either question may be held in the county for a period of four years.

Code 1950, § 24-157; 1968, c. 639; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-88; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 265; 1973, c. 30; 1976, c. 616; 1981, c. 12; 1982, c. 650; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-222. (Effective until January 1, 2022) Election and terms of mayor and council for cities and towns.

The qualified voters of each city and town shall elect a mayor, if so provided by charter, and a council for the terms provided by charter. Except as provided in § 24.2-222.1, and notwithstanding any other provision of law, general or special: (i) any election of mayor or councilmen of a city or town whose charter provides for such elections at two-year or four-year intervals shall take place at the May general election of an even-numbered year and (ii) any election of mayor or councilmen of a city or town whose charter provides for such elections at one-year or three-year intervals shall take place at the general election in May of the years designated by charter. The persons so elected shall enter upon the duties of their offices on July 1 succeeding their election and remain in office until their successors have qualified.

Code 1950, §§ 24-160, 24-168; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-90; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 119; 1972, c. 747; 1993, c. 641; 2000, c. 1045.

§ 24.2-222. (Effective January 1, 2022) Election and terms of mayor and council for cities and towns.

A. The qualified voters of each city and town shall elect a mayor, if so provided by charter, and a council for the terms provided by charter. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, general or special, in a city or town that imposes district-based or ward-based residency requirements for members of the city or town council, the member elected from each district or ward shall be elected by the qualified voters of that district or ward and not by the locality at large.

B. Except as provided in § 24.2-222.1, and notwithstanding any other provision of law, general or special: (i) any election of mayor or councilmen of a city or town whose charter provides for such elections at two-year or four-year intervals shall take place at the May general election of an even-numbered year and (ii) any election of mayor or councilmen of a city or town whose charter provides for such elections at one-year or three-year intervals shall take place at the general election in May of the years designated by charter. The persons so elected shall enter upon the duties of their offices on July 1 succeeding their election and remain in office until their successors have qualified.

Code 1950, §§ 24-160, 24-168; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-90; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 119; 1972, c. 747; 1993, c. 641; 2000, c. 1045; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 225.

§ 24.2-222.1. Alternative election of mayor and council at November general election in cities and towns.

A. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 24.2-222, and notwithstanding any contrary provisions of a city or town charter, the council of a city or town may provide by ordinance that the mayor, if an elected mayor is provided for by charter, and council shall be elected at the November general election date of any cycle as designated in the ordinance, for terms to commence January 1. No such ordinance shall be adopted between January 1 and the May general election date of the year in which city or town elections regularly are scheduled to be held therein.

B. Alternatively, the registered voters of a city or town may file a petition with the circuit court of the city or of the county within which the town is located asking that a referendum be held on the question of whether the city or town should elect the mayor, if an elected mayor is provided for by charter, and council members at the November general election date of any cycle as designated in the petition. The petition shall be signed by registered voters equal in number to at least ten percent of the number registered in the city or town on the January 1 preceding the filing.

The court, pursuant to § 24.2-684, shall order the election officials on a day fixed in the order to conduct a referendum on the question, provided that no such referendum shall be scheduled between January 1 and the May general election date of the year in which city or town elections regularly are scheduled to be held therein. The clerk of the court shall publish notice of the referendum once a week for the three consecutive weeks prior to the referendum in a newspaper having general circulation in the city or town, and shall post a copy of the notice at the door of the courthouse of the city or county within which the town is located. The question on the ballot shall be:

"Shall the (city or town) change the election date of the mayor (if so provided by charter) and members of council from the May general election to the November general election (in even-numbered or odd-numbered years or as otherwise designated in the petition)?"

If members of the school board in the city or town are elected by the voters, the ballot question also shall state that the change in election date applies to the election of school board members.

The referendum shall be held and the results certified as provided in § 24.2-684. If a majority of the voters voting in the referendum vote in favor of the change, the mayor and council thereafter shall be elected at the November general election date for terms to commence January 1.

C. Except as provided in subsection D, no term of a mayor or member of council shall be shortened in implementing the change to the November election date. Mayors and members of council who were elected at a May general election and whose terms are to expire as of June 30 shall continue in office until their successors have been elected at the November general election and have been qualified to serve.

D. In any city or town that elects its council biennially or quadrennially and that changes to the November general election date in odd-numbered years from the May general election date in even-numbered years, mayors and members of council who were elected at a May general election shall have their term of office shortened by six months but shall continue in office until their successors have been elected at the November general election and have been qualified to serve.

2000, c. 1045; 2002, c. 30; 2016, c. 402.

§ 24.2-223. (Effective until January 1, 2022) Election and term of school board members.

In any county, city or town wherein members of the school board are elected, pursuant to Article 7 (§ 22.1-57.1 et seq.) of Chapter 5 of Title 22.1, elections shall be held to coincide with the election of members of the governing body at the regular general election in November or the regular general election in May, as the case may be. Elected school board members shall serve terms which are the same as those of the governing body, to commence on January 1 following their election or July 1 following their election, as the case may be.

1993, c. 641; 2000, c. 1045.

§ 24.2-223. (Effective January 1, 2022) Election and term of school board members.

In any county, city or town wherein members of the school board are elected, pursuant to Article 7 (§ 22.1-57.1 et seq.) of Chapter 5 of Title 22.1, elections shall be held to coincide with the election of members of the governing body at the regular general election in November or the regular general election in May, as the case may be. Elected school board members shall serve terms that are the same as those of the governing body, to commence on January 1 following their election or July 1 following their election, as the case may be.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, general or special, in a locality that imposes district-based or ward-based residency requirements for members of the school board, the member elected from each district or ward shall be elected by the qualified voters of that district or ward and not by the locality at large.

1993, c. 641; 2000, c. 1045; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 225.

§ 24.2-224. Local elections not otherwise provided for.

The election to any public office required to be filled by the qualified voters of any county, city, town, or election district for which an election time is not provided by law shall be held at the general election immediately preceding the time provided for the term of such office to commence.

Code 1950, § 24-143; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-74; 1993, c. 641.