Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 24.2. Elections
5/29/2020

Article 4. Registration of Voters.

§ 24.2-417. Persons to be registered.

Each registrar shall register every resident of his county or city who has the qualifications required by the Constitution of Virginia and this title and who applies for registration or transfer of his registration from another county or city in the Commonwealth at the time and in the manner required by law.

Any person, once properly registered, shall remain registered unless his registration is cancelled pursuant to Article 5 (§ 24.2-427 et seq.) of this chapter.

Code 1950, §§ 24-67, 24-68; 1952, c. 341; 1958, c. 576; 1960, c. 288; 1962, c. 536; 1963, Ex. Sess., c. 2; 1970, c. 462, §§ 24.1-47, 24.1-48; 1971, Ex. Sess., cc. 119, 205; 1972, c. 620; 1974, c. 428; 1977, c. 490; 1980, c. 639; 1989, c. 138; 1992, c. 433; 1993, c. 641; 1996, cc. 72, 73; 2000, c. 857.

§ 24.2-417.1. Registration residence requirements; presumptions in certain cases.

In determining the residence as defined in § 24.2-101 and the domicile and place of abode of a participant in the American Conservation and Youth Service Corps provided for by federal law (42 U.S.C. § 12655 et seq.), there shall be a presumption that a participant in the Corps who was domiciled and had a place of abode in Virginia at the time of entering the Corps continues to be domiciled and retains the same place of abode unless the participant expressly states otherwise.

In determining the residence as defined in § 24.2-101 and domicile and place of abode of a military or merchant marine spouse or dependent, there shall be a presumption that a military or merchant marine spouse or dependent who has established physical presence and a place of abode in the Commonwealth shall also have established domicile in the Commonwealth unless the spouse or dependent expressly states otherwise. Once residence is changed, the military or merchant marine spouse or dependent may not revert to any previous residence without re-establishing new physical presence and intent to remain or return.

1995, c. 231; 2006, c. 391.

§ 24.2-418. Application for registration.

A. Each applicant to register shall provide, subject to felony penalties for making false statements pursuant to § 24.2-1016, the information necessary to complete the application to register. Unless physically disabled, he shall sign the application. The application to register shall be only on a form or forms prescribed by the State Board.

The form of the application to register shall require the applicant to provide the following information: full name; gender; date of birth; social security number, if any; whether the applicant is presently a United States citizen; address of residence in the precinct; place of last previous registration to vote; and whether the applicant has ever been adjudicated incapacitated and disqualified to vote or convicted of a felony, and if so, whether the applicant's right to vote has been restored. The form shall contain a statement that whoever votes more than once in any election in the same or different jurisdictions is guilty of a Class 6 felony. Unless directed by the applicant or as permitted in § 24.2-411.1 or 24.2-411.2, the registration application shall not be pre-populated with information the applicant is required to provide.

B. The form shall permit any individual, as follows, or member of his household, to furnish, in addition to his residence street address, a post office box address located within the Commonwealth to be included in lieu of his street address on the lists of registered voters and persons who voted, which are furnished pursuant to §§ 24.2-405 and 24.2-406, on voter registration records made available for public inspection pursuant to § 24.2-444, or on lists of absentee voter applicants furnished pursuant to § 24.2-706 or 24.2-710. The voter shall comply with the provisions of § 24.2-424 for any change in the post office box address provided under this subsection.

1. Any active or retired law-enforcement officer, as defined in § 9.1-101 and in 5 U.S.C. § 8331(20), but excluding officers whose duties relate to detention as defined in 5 U.S.C. § 8331(20);

2. Any party granted a protective order issued by or under the authority of any court of competent jurisdiction, including but not limited to courts of the Commonwealth of Virginia;

3. Any party who has furnished a signed written statement by the party that he is in fear for his personal safety from another person who has threatened or stalked him, accompanied by evidence that he has filed a complaint with a magistrate or law-enforcement official against such other person;

4. Any party participating in the address confidentiality program pursuant to § 2.2-515.2;

5. Any active or retired federal or Virginia justice or judge and any active or retired attorney employed by the United States Attorney General or Virginia Attorney General; and

6. Any person who has been approved to be a foster parent pursuant to Chapter 9 (§ 63.2-900 et seq.) of Title 63.2.

C. If the applicant formerly resided in another state, the general registrar shall send the information contained in the applicant's registration application to the appropriate voter registration official or other authority of another state where the applicant formerly resided, as prescribed in subdivision 15 of § 24.2-114.

Code 1950, §§ 24-28, 24-68; 1952, c. 341; 1958, c. 576; 1960, c. 288; 1962, c. 536; 1968, c. 97; 1970, c. 462, §§ 24.1-22, 24.1-48; 1971, Ex. Sess., cc. 205, 247; 1972, c. 620; 1974, c. 428; 1975, c. 515; 1977, c. 490; 1980, c. 639; 1989, c. 138; 1992, c. 433; 1993, c. 641; 1994, c. 250; 1995, c. 314; 1996, c. 251; 1997, cc. 346, 801; 2001, cc. 612, 626; 2004, c. 184; 2009, cc. 318, 865, 870, 874; 2010, cc. 795, 812; 2012, c. 491; 2013, c. 465; 2015, c. 740; 2016, cc. 630, 633; 2019, c. 342.

§ 24.2-418.1. Receipt for voter registration applicants.

A. The state form for the application to register to vote shall contain a receipt that shall be given to the applicant upon his completion of the form. The receipt shall be completed by the person receiving the form from the applicant and shall include the following information: the name of the office, group, or person receiving the registration application; the date that the office, group, or person received the registration application from the applicant; and the phone number of the general registrar or the toll-free phone number of the Department of Elections that the applicant may call to confirm his registration.

B. The requirement to complete the receipt as provided in subsection A shall not be applicable when a completed form is mailed directly to or completed in the office of a general registrar or the Department.

2008, c. 865; 2015, c. 740.

§ 24.2-419. Extended time for certain persons to register by mail.

The registration application of the following persons may accompany an application for an absentee ballot and shall be on a form prescribed by the State Board, on a federal postcard application, or on a federal write-in absentee ballot:

1. Any member of a uniformed service, as defined in § 24.2-452, who is on active duty;

2. Any spouse or dependent residing with a person listed in subdivision 1; and

3. Any person temporarily residing outside the United States.

The registration application from a person listed in subdivisions 1 and 2 may be accepted notwithstanding the provisions of § 24.2-416 if they are eligible to be registered and if, by reason of active duty, they are normally absent from the city or county in which they reside.

Code 1950, § 24-68; 1952, c. 341; 1958, c. 576; 1960, c. 288; 1962, c. 536; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-48; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 205; 1972, c. 620; 1974, c. 428; 1977, c. 490; 1980, c. 639; 1989, c. 138; 1992, c. 433; 1993, c. 641; 1995, c. 296; 2002, cc. 785, 819; 2004, c. 410; 2012, c. 353.

§ 24.2-420. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1995, c. 296.

§ 24.2-420.1. Extended time for certain persons to register in person.

A. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 24.2-416, the following persons shall be entitled to register in person up to and including the day of the election:

1. Any member of a uniformed service of the United States, as defined in § 24.2-452, who is on active duty;

2. Any person who resides temporarily outside of the United States; and

3. Any spouse or dependent residing with a person listed in subdivision 1 or 2 of this subsection.

The provisions of this subsection shall apply only to those persons who are otherwise qualified to register and who, by reason of such active duty or temporary overseas residency, either (i) are normally absent from the city or county in which they reside or (ii) have been absent from such city or county and returned to reside there during the twenty-eight days immediately preceding the election.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 24.2-416, any person who was on active duty as a member of a uniformed service as defined in § 24.2-452 and discharged from the uniformed service during the sixty days immediately preceding the election, and his spouse or dependent, shall be entitled to register, if otherwise qualified, in person up to and including the day of the election.

C. The Department shall prescribe procedures for the addition of persons registered under this section to the lists of registered voters.

1995, c. 296; 2002, cc. 785, 819; 2015, c. 740.

§ 24.2-421. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1997, cc. 523 and 539.

§ 24.2-422. Appeal of person denied registration.

A. A person denied registration shall have the right to appeal, without payment of writ tax or giving security for costs, to the circuit court of the county or city in which he offers to register by filing with the clerk of the court, within 10 days of being notified of the denial, a petition in writing to have his right to register determined.

The petitioner may file his petition by completing and filing a form which shall be prescribed by the State Board and which shall be used by the general registrar to notify an applicant of the denial of his application to register and of the reasons for the denial. The form shall (i) state that an applicant denied registration has the right to appeal to the circuit court of the county or city in which he offers to register, (ii) give the name and address of the clerk of the circuit court for such county or city (to be supplied by the general registrar), (iii) state that a filing fee of ten dollars must be paid when filing the petition, (iv) contain a statement by which the applicant may indicate his desire to petition the court to have his right to register determined, and (v) provide space for the applicant to state the facts in support of his right to register.

On the filing of a petition to have the right to register determined, the clerk of the court shall immediately bring the matter to the attention of the chief judge of the court for the scheduling of a hearing on the petition. The matter shall be heard and determined on the face of the petition, the answer made in writing by the general registrar, and any evidence introduced as part of the proceedings. The proceedings shall take precedence over all other business of the court and shall be heard as soon as possible.

On the filing of the petition, the clerk of the court shall immediately give notice to the attorney for the Commonwealth for his county or city, who shall appear and defend against the petition on behalf of the Commonwealth.

Judgment in favor of the petitioner shall entitle him to registration. From a judgment rendered against the petitioner, an appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court of Virginia.

B. The general registrar shall send a new application for registration to the applicant with the form prescribed in subsection A. The general registrar shall advise the applicant that he may complete and return the new application, in lieu of filing an appeal, if the reason stated for denial is that the applicant has failed to sign the application or failed to provide a required item of information on the application. Any applicant who returns a second application and whose second application is denied shall have the right to appeal provided in subsection A.

C. The provisions of § 24.2-416, pertaining to the closing of registration records in advance of an election, shall apply to any application submitted pursuant to subsection B following a denial of registration.

Code 1950, § 24-112; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-67; 1974, c. 428; 1985, c. 351; 1993, c. 641; 1997, c. 114; 2001, c. 627; 2019, c. 341.

§ 24.2-423. Notice of change of name of registered voter.

Whenever a registered voter changes his legal name, either by marriage, divorce, order of court, or otherwise, the voter shall promptly notify the general registrar of the jurisdiction where he is registered. Such notice may be made in writing or on a form approved by the State Board of Elections, which may be electronic. The notice in writing may be provided by mail or by facsimile and shall be signed by the voter unless he is physically unable to sign, in which case his own mark acknowledged by a witness shall be sufficient signature. Notice may be provided by electronic means as authorized by the State Board and signed by the voter in a manner consistent with the provisions of § 24.2-416.7 and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (§ 59.1-479 et seq.). The general registrar shall enter the new name on the registration records and issue the voter a new voter registration card.

Code 1950, § 24-81; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-51; 1993, c. 641; 2003, c. 1015; 2013, c. 520.

§ 24.2-424. Change of registered voter's address within the Commonwealth; pilot project.

A. Whenever a registered voter changes his place of residence within the Commonwealth, he shall promptly notify any general registrar of the address of his new residence. Such notice may be made in person, in writing, by return of the voter registration card noting the new address, or on a form approved by the State Board of Elections, which may be electronic. The notice in writing may be provided by mail or by facsimile and shall be signed by the voter unless he is physically unable to sign, in which case his own mark acknowledged by a witness shall be sufficient signature. Notice may be provided by electronic means as authorized by the State Board and signed by the voter in a manner consistent with the provisions of § 24.2-416.7 and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (§ 59.1-479 et seq.). The fact that a voter provides an address on a candidate or referendum petition that differs from the address for the voter on the voter registration system shall not be sufficient notice to change the voter's registration address. Any statements made by any voter applying for transfer are subject to felony penalties for making a false statement pursuant to § 24.2-1016.

B. If the voter has moved within the same county or city, on receipt of the notification, the general registrar for that county or city shall (i) enter the new address on the registration record; (ii) if satisfied that the registered voter has moved into another precinct within the same county or city, transfer the registration of the voter to that precinct; and (iii) send the voter confirmation documents. This transfer may be entered in the registration records at any time the registration records are not closed pursuant to § 24.2-416.

C. Any request for transfer or change of address within the Commonwealth delivered to any registrar shall be forwarded to the general registrar for the city or county in the Commonwealth where the voter now resides. When forwarding said notice, or upon request from the registrar for the county or city where the voter now resides, the registrar for the county or city where the voter formerly resided shall forward the original application for registration to the registrar for the voter's new locality.

D. Upon receipt of the voter's original registration application, and notice as specified in subsection A of this section indicating the voter's current residence, the registrar for the county or city in which the voter currently resides shall: (i) enter the new address on the registration record; (ii) if satisfied that the registered voter has moved into a precinct within that county or city, transfer the registration of the voter to that precinct; (iii) send the voter confirmation documents; and (iv) through the Virginia voter registration system, notify the registrar of the locality where the voter formerly resided that the registration has been transferred. This transfer may be entered in the registration records at any time the registration records are not closed pursuant to § 24.2-416.

E. If the original registration application is no longer available to the registrar in the city or county where the voter formerly resided, either of the following shall be sent to and accepted by the registrar in the city or county where the voter now resides in lieu of such application: (i) an unsigned voter card (or conversion card) used as the voter record upon the creation of the statewide voter registration system or (ii) a replacement record provided by the Department to replace damaged files in the registrar's office. If no other record is available, then the registrar of the voter's former locality shall provide written notification to the registrar of the locality in which the voter now resides that none of the required documents are available. In this instance only, the registrar of the locality in which the voter now resides shall copy the voter's record from the Virginia voter registration system and use that record in lieu of the original voter registration application. Any complete voter registration application on a form previously authorized for use in Virginia shall be valid for the purposes of continuing or transferring a voter's registration within the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 24-85; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-52; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 247; 1977, c. 490; 1993, c. 641; 2000, c. 857; 2001, cc. 615, 625; 2002, c. 279; 2003, c. 1015; 2013, cc. 520, 684; 2015, c. 740.

§ 24.2-425. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2016, c 857, cl 2

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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