Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 24.2. Elections
5/24/2020

Article 5. Cancellation of Registration.

§ 24.2-426. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1997, c. 805.

§ 24.2-427. Cancellation of registration by voter or for persons known to be deceased or disqualified to vote.

A. Any registered voter may cancel his registration and have his name removed from the central registration records by signing an authorization for cancellation and mailing or otherwise submitting the signed authorization to the general registrar. When submitted by any means other than when notarized or in person, such cancellation must be made at least 22 days prior to an election in order to be valid in that election. The general registrar shall acknowledge receipt of the authorization and advise the voter in person or by first-class mail that his registration has been canceled within 10 days of receipt of such authorization.

B. The general registrar shall cancel the registration of (i) all persons known by him to be deceased or disqualified to vote by reason of a felony conviction or adjudication of incapacity; (ii) all persons known by him not to be United States citizens by reason of reports from the Department of Motor Vehicles pursuant to § 24.2-410.1 or from the Department of Elections based on information received from the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program (SAVE Program) pursuant to subsection E of § 24.2-404 and in accordance with the requirements of subsection B1; (iii) all persons for whom a notice has been received, signed by the voter, or from the registration official of another jurisdiction that the voter has moved from the Commonwealth; and (iv) all persons for whom a notice has been received, signed by the voter, or from the registration official of another jurisdiction that the voter has registered to vote outside the Commonwealth, subsequent to his registration in Virginia. The notice received in clauses (iii) and (iv) shall be considered as a written request from the voter to have his registration cancelled. A voter's registration may be cancelled at any time during the year in which the general registrar discovers that the person is no longer entitled to be registered. The general registrar shall mail notice of any cancellation to the person whose registration is cancelled.

B1. The general registrar shall mail notice promptly to all persons known by him not to be United States citizens by reason of a report from the Department of Motor Vehicles pursuant to § 24.2-410.1 or from the Department of Elections based on information received from the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program (SAVE Program) pursuant to subsection E of § 24.2-404 prior to cancelling their registrations. The notice shall inform the person of the report from the Department of Motor Vehicles or from the Department of Elections and allow the person to submit his sworn statement that he is a United States citizen within 14 days of the date that the notice was mailed. The general registrar shall cancel the registrations of such persons who do not respond within 14 days to the notice that they have been reported not to be United States citizens.

B2. The general registrar shall (i) process the Department's most recent list of persons convicted of felonies within 21 to 14 days before any primary or general election, (ii) cancel the registration of any registered voter shown to have been convicted of a felony who has not provided evidence that his right to vote has been restored, and (iii) send prompt notice to the person of the cancellation of his registration. If it appears that any registered voter has made a false statement on his registration application with respect to his having been convicted of a felony, the general registrar shall report the fact to the attorney for the Commonwealth for prosecution under § 24.2-1016 for a false statement made on his registration application.

C. The general registrar may cancel the registration of any person for whom a notice has been submitted to the Department of Motor Vehicles in accordance with the Driver License Compact set out in Article 18 (§ 46.2-483 et seq.) of Chapter 3 of Title 46.2 and forwarded to the general registrar, that the voter has moved from the Commonwealth; provided that the registrar shall mail notice of such cancellation to the person at both his new address, as reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles, and the address at which he had most recently been registered in Virginia. No general registrar may cancel registrations under this authority while the registration records are closed pursuant to § 24.2-416. No registrar may cancel the registration under this authority of any person entitled to register under the provisions of subsection A of § 24.2-420.1, and shall reinstate the registration of any otherwise qualified voter covered by subsection A of § 24.2-420.1 who applies to vote within four years of the date of cancellation.

Code 1950, §§ 24-59, 24-60, 24-60.1, 24-71 through 24-73, 24-90, 24-93, 24-94, 24-101, 24-111; 1958, c. 576; 1962, cc. 422, 536; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-46(12); 1972, c. 620; 1973, c. 30; 1974, c. 428; 1976, c. 616; 1979, c. 329; 1980, c. 639; 1982, c. 650; 1983, c. 398; 1984, c. 480; 1986, c. 558; 1990, c. 193; 1993, c. 641; 1996, cc. 72, 73; 1997, cc. 801, 805; 1999, c. 851; 2000, c. 857; 2001, c. 634; 2002, cc. 785, 819; 2006, cc. 926, 940; 2007, c. 318; 2008, c. 382; 2012, c. 686; 2013, c. 686; 2015, c. 740.

§ 24.2-428. Regular periodic review of registration records; notice to voters identified as having moved; placement on inactive status for failure to respond to notice.

A. The Department of Elections shall establish a voter list maintenance program using the change of address information supplied by the United States Postal Service through its licensees or by other reliable sources to identify voters whose addresses may have changed. Any such program shall be regular and periodic and shall be conducted at least annually. The program shall be completed not later than ninety days prior to the date of a federal primary or federal general election.

B. If it appears from information provided by the Postal Service or by other reliable sources that a voter has moved to a different address in the same county or city in which the voter is currently registered, the Department shall provide to the general registrar the information necessary to change the registration records to show the new address, and the Department or the general registrar shall send to the new address of the voter by forwardable mail, a notice of the change, along with a postage prepaid, pre-addressed return card by which the voter may verify or correct the address information.

C. If it appears from information provided by the Postal Service or by other reliable sources that a voter has moved to a different address not in the same county or city, the Department or the general registrar shall send to the last known address of the voter by forwardable mail, a notice on a form prescribed by the Department, along with a postage prepaid and pre-addressed return card on which the voter may state his current address.

D. The registered voter shall complete and sign the return card subject to felony penalties for making false statements pursuant to § 24.2-1016.

E. The general registrar shall correct his registration records from the information obtained from the return card. If the information indicates that the registered voter has moved to another general registrar's jurisdiction within the Commonwealth, the general registrar shall transfer the registration record, along with the return card, to the appropriate general registrar who shall treat the request for a change of address as a request for transfer and shall send a voter registration card as confirmation of the transfer to the voter pursuant to § 24.2-424. If the general registrar does not receive the return card provided for in subsection C of this section within thirty days after it is sent to the voter, the registered voter's name shall be placed on inactive status. A registered voter's failure to receive the notice shall not affect the validity of the inactivation.

Code 1950, §§ 24-96, 24-97, 24-107; 1954, c. 690; 1962, c. 536; 1964, c. 538; 1970, c. 462, §§ 24.1-59, 24.1-60; 1972, c. 620; 1973, c. 30; 1975, c. 515; 1976, c. 616; 1982, c. 650; 1986, c. 241; 1990, c. 313; 1991, c. 10; 1993, c. 641; 1996, cc. 72, 73; 2000, c. 857; 2015, c. 740.

§ 24.2-428.1. Other procedures for assigning registered voters to inactive status.

In addition to the voter list maintenance program provided for in § 24.2-428, the general registrar and the registered voter shall follow the confirmation notification procedures set forth in subsections C through E of § 24.2-428 if a voter provides an address on a candidate or referendum petition that differs from the address for the voter on the voter registration system or if any of the following documents sent to the registered voter are returned by the Postal Service as undeliverable:

1. An acknowledgment of registration;

2. An acknowledgment of transfer to a new address;

3. An absentee ballot or application for an absentee ballot sent or provided in accordance with Chapter 7 (§ 24.2-700 et seq.);

4. Notification to a voter after a precinct reassignment;

5. Notification of a change of address sent to a voter in accordance with subsection B of § 24.2-428; or

6. Any official voter registration or election mail.

1996, cc. 72, 73; 2001, c. 625.

§ 24.2-428.2. Return of registered voter to active status.

A registered voter shall be returned to active status from inactive status if, during the period beginning on the date the voter was assigned to inactive status and ending on the day of the second general election for federal office thereafter, the voter:

1. Notifies the general registrar of a change of address within the county or city;

2. Responds to a confirmation notice with information that the voter continues to reside at the registration address;

3. Votes or attempts to vote in a primary or a special or general election and, if necessary, corrects the registration record; or

4. Transfers his registration to another county or city within the Commonwealth, pursuant to § 24.2-424 or subsection E of § 24.2-428.

If the registered voter fails to take such action on or before the day of the second general election for federal office after the voter was placed on inactive status, the general registrar shall cancel the person's voter registration.

The general registrar shall post at the courthouse or have published in a newspaper of general circulation in his county or city a list of names of persons whose registration has been cancelled pursuant to this section. He shall deliver or mail, obtaining a certificate of mailing, a certified copy of the list to the chairman of each political party in his county or city.

1996, cc. 72, 73.

§ 24.2-429. Maintenance of accurate registration records by general registrar; notice and hearing before cancellation.

Whenever a registered voter is alleged to be improperly registered, except for reason of removal of residence from the precinct, either by the general registrar or by any three qualified voters of the county or city who make such an allegation to the general registrar, the registrar shall post at the courthouse or publish in a newspaper of general circulation in his county or city the name of the registered voter on a list of persons whose registrations are to be cancelled by the general registrar. The list shall be certified by the registrar and delivered or sent by mail to the county or city chairman of each political party. If sent by mail, the general registrar shall obtain a certificate of mailing. In addition to the posted or published list, the general registrar shall send a notice by mail to the last known address of each registered voter on the list, stating the reasons provided by law for the cancellation, the facts on which the cancellation is based, and when the registrar, at his office during regular office hours, will hear testimony produced for or against the right of persons named in the notice to be retained on the registration records. The hearings shall be held not less than ten days after the mailing of the notice, and in no event shall be within sixty days of the general election in November or within thirty days of any other election in the county or city.

At the hearing, the registrar shall hear the testimony produced and shall determine if the registered voter named in the notice is qualified to vote in the county or city. If the person is no longer qualified to vote, the registrar shall cancel the voter's registration. Nothing contained in this section shall prevent the registered voter from applying to the general registrar for a transfer to his proper jurisdiction, provided the registration records are not closed as provided by law. The general registrar may continue the hearing for a period of not more than thirty days in order to complete his examination. If the registered voter so challenged fails to appear and defend his right to be registered, his registration shall be cancelled by the general registrar.

Code 1950, §§ 24-59, 24-60, 24-60.1, 24-71 through 24-73, 24-90, 24-93, 24-94, 24-97, 24-98, 24-101, 24-107, 24-108, 24-111; 1954, c. 690; 1958, c. 576; 1962, cc. 422, 536; 1964, c. 538; 1970, c. 462, §§ 24.1-46(13), 24.1-60, 24.1-61; 1972, c. 620; 1973, c. 30; 1974, c. 428; 1976, c. 616; 1979, c. 329; 1980, c. 639; 1982, c. 650; 1983, c. 398; 1984, c. 480; 1986, c. 558; 1990, c. 193; 1991, c. 10; 1993, c. 641; 1996, cc. 72, 73.

§ 24.2-430. Appeal from decision of registrar.

Any person whose registration was cancelled in accordance with the decision of the general registrar pursuant to § 24.2-429, shall have the right of appeal, as provided in § 24.2-422, to the circuit court of the county or city in which he offers to register. Any qualified voter of the county or city shall have the same right of appeal from the decision of the general registrar refusing to cancel the registration of any person alleged to be improperly registered.

Code 1950, §§ 24-99, 24-109; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-62; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-431. Petition to court objecting to registration.

In addition to challenging a voter's registration before the general registrar, any three qualified voters may file with the circuit court of the county or city in which they are registered, a petition stating their objections to the registration of any person whose name is on the registration records for their county or city. However, no petition may be filed if the only objection raised is based on removal of residence from the precinct.

Code 1950, § 24-102; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-63; 1993, c. 641; 1996, cc. 72, 73.

§ 24.2-432. Notice to person objected to and decision of court.

Fifteen days' notice shall be given by the petitioners to any person whose registration is objected to pursuant to § 24.2-431, and the court shall summarily proceed to determine the right of the person to registration. The determination shall be without the necessity of formal pleadings and in preference to all other matters on the docket. An order of the court concerning registration of the voter shall not be limited by the provisions of § 24.2-416 requiring the registration records to be closed.

Code 1950, § 24-103; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-64; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-433. Appeal from decision of court.

From the judgment of the court, an appeal shall lie, as a matter of right, to the Supreme Court of Virginia. The appeal shall be placed on the privileged docket and be heard at the next ensuing session of the court.

Code 1950, § 24-104; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-65; 1974, c. 428; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-434. Presumption if petition not brought within six months of registration.

Unless the petition provided for in § 24.2-431 is filed within six months after the registration of any person, it shall be conclusively presumed in all proceedings where the right of such person to registration arises, by election officers and by judicial tribunals, or in election contests of any kind and character, that such person has complied with all the procedural requirements of the law in making an application for registration.

Code 1950, § 24-105; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-66; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-435. Cancellation records to be retained for specified periods.

The registration records of voters whose registration has been cancelled pursuant to this article shall be retained for two years from the date of cancellation by the general registrar. However, the registration records of voters whose registration has been cancelled because the voter has moved to another state or the voter has submitted changes to his registration records shall be retained for four years.

Code 1950, §§ 24-59, 24-60, 24-60.1, 24-71 through 24-73, 24-90, 24-93, 24-94, 24-96, 24-101, 24-111; 1958, c. 576; 1962, cc. 422, 536; 1970, c. 462, §§ 24.1-46(12), 24.1-59; 1972, c. 620; 1973, c. 30; 1974, c. 428; 1975, c. 515; 1976, c. 616; 1979, c. 329; 1980, c. 639; 1982, c. 650; 1983, c. 398; 1984, c. 480; 1986, cc. 241, 558; 1990, cc. 193, 313; 1993, c. 641; 2003, c. 238.

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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