Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 24.2. Elections
Chapter 5. Candidates for Office
6/24/2021

Chapter 5. Candidates for Office.

Article 1. Qualifications and Requirements of All Candidates.

§ 24.2-500. Qualification of candidates.

In order to qualify as a candidate for any office of the Commonwealth, or of its governmental units, a person must be qualified to vote for and hold that office. In order to hold any office of the Commonwealth or its governmental units, elective by the people, the candidate must have been a resident of the Commonwealth for one year next preceding his election and be qualified to vote for that office.

Code 1950, § 24-132; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-167; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 226; 1973, c. 30; 1975, c. 515; 1976, c. 616; 1977, c. 490; 1978, c. 778; 1980, c. 639; 1982, c. 650; 1984, c. 480; 1987, Sp. Sess., c. 1; 1988, c. 469; 1990, cc. 476, 865; 1991, c. 137; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-501. Statement of qualification as requirement of candidacy.

It shall be a requirement of candidacy for any office of the Commonwealth, or of its governmental units, that a person must file a written statement under oath, on a form prescribed by the State Board, that he is qualified to vote for and hold the office for which he is a candidate. Every candidate for election to statewide office, the United States House of Representatives, or the General Assembly shall file the statement with the State Board. Every candidate for any other office shall file the statement with the general registrar of the county or city where he resides. Each general registrar shall transmit to the State Board, immediately after the filing deadline, a list of the candidates who have filed statements of qualification.

The candidate may state, as part of his statement of qualification, how he would like his name to appear on the ballot; however, all names printed on the ballot shall meet the criteria established by the State Board.

Code 1950, § 24-132; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-167; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 226; 1973, c. 30; 1975, c. 515; 1976, c. 616; 1977, c. 490; 1978, c. 778; 1980, c. 639; 1982, c. 650; 1984, c. 480; 1987, Sp. Sess., c. 1; 1988, c. 469; 1990, cc. 476, 865; 1991, c. 137; 1993, c. 641; 2003, c. 1015.

§ 24.2-502. Statement of economic interests as requirement of candidacy.

It shall be a requirement of candidacy that a written statement of economic interests shall be filed by (i) a candidate for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Attorney General and a candidate for the Senate or House of Delegates with the State Board, (ii) a candidate for a constitutional office with the general registrar for the county or city, and (iii) a candidate for member of the governing body or elected school board of any county, city, or town with a population in excess of 3,500 persons with the general registrar for the county or city. The statement of economic interests shall be that specified in § 30-111 for candidates for the General Assembly and in § 2.2-3117 for all other candidates. The foregoing requirement shall not apply to a candidate for reelection to the same office who has met the requirement of annually filing a statement pursuant to § 2.2-3114, 2.2-3115, 2.2-3116, or 30-110.

The general registrar, the clerk of the local governing body, or the clerk of the school board, as appropriate, shall transmit to the local electoral board, immediately after the filing deadline, a list of the candidates who have filed initial or annual statements of economic interests.

Code 1950, § 24-132; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-167; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 226; 1973, c. 30; 1975, c. 515; 1976, c. 616; 1977, c. 490; 1978, c. 778; 1980, c. 639; 1982, c. 650; 1984, c. 480; 1987, Sp. Sess., c. 1; 1988, c. 469; 1990, cc. 476, 865; 1991, c. 137; 1993, c. 641; 2013, c. 542; 2014, c. 473; 2016, cc. 773, 774; 2017, cc. 829, 832.

§ 24.2-503. Deadlines for filing required statements; extensions.

The written statements of qualification and economic interests shall be filed by (i) primary candidates not later than the filing deadline for the primary, (ii) all other candidates for city and town offices to be filled at a May general election by 7:00 p.m. on the first Tuesday in March, (iii) candidates in special elections by the time of qualifying as a candidate, and (iv) all other candidates by 7:00 p.m. on the second Tuesday in June.

A statement shall be deemed to be timely filed if it is mailed postage prepaid to the appropriate office by registered or certified mail and if the official receipt therefor, which shall be exhibited on demand, shows mailing within the prescribed time limits.

The State Board may grant an extension of any deadline for filing either or both written statements and shall notify all candidates who have not filed their statements of the extension. Any extension shall be granted for a fixed period of time of ten days from the date of the mailing of the notice of the extension.

Code 1950, § 24-132; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-167; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 226; 1973, c. 30; 1975, c. 515; 1976, c. 616; 1977, c. 490; 1978, c. 778; 1980, c. 639; 1982, c. 650; 1984, c. 480; 1987, Sp. Sess., c. 1; 1988, c. 469; 1990, cc. 476, 865; 1991, c. 137; 1993, c. 641; 2000, c. 1045.

§ 24.2-503.1. Repealed.

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

§ 24.2-504. Persons entitled to have name printed on ballot.

Only a person fulfilling all the requirements of a candidate shall have his name printed on the ballot for the election. No person shall have his name printed on the ballot for more than one office at any one election. However, a candidate for federal or statewide office, or a candidate for an office being filled in a special election, may have his name printed on the ballot for two offices at an election.

Code 1950, § 24-132; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-167; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 226; 1973, c. 30; 1975, c. 515; 1976, c. 616; 1977, c. 490; 1978, c. 778; 1980, c. 639; 1982, c. 650; 1984, c. 480; 1987, Sp. Sess., c. 1; 1988, c. 469; 1990, cc. 476, 865; 1991, c. 137; 1993, c. 641; 2000, cc. 513, 552; 2004, c. 881.

Article 2. Independent Candidates.

§ 24.2-505. Declaration of candidacy required of independent candidates.

A. Any person, other than a candidate for a party nomination or a party nominee, who intends to be a candidate for any office to be elected by the qualified voters of the Commonwealth at large or of a congressional district shall file a declaration of candidacy with the State Board, on a form prescribed by the Board, designating the office for which he is a candidate. The written declaration shall be attested by two witnesses who are qualified voters of the Commonwealth or of the congressional district, or acknowledged before some officer authorized to take acknowledgements to deeds. The declaration shall be signed by the candidate, but if he is incapable of writing his proper signature then some mark adopted by him as his signature shall be acknowledged before some officer authorized to take acknowledgments to deeds.

The State Board shall notify the respective secretaries of the appropriate electoral boards of the qualified candidates who have so filed.

B. Any person, other than a candidate for a party nomination or party nominee, who intends to be a candidate for election to the General Assembly shall file a declaration of candidacy with the general registrar of the county or city where he resides. The declaration shall be in all respects the same as that required to be given to the State Board by statewide and congressional district candidates. The general registrar shall, within three days after receiving the declaration, (i) deliver it in person or transmit it by certified mail, along with the petitions required by § 24.2-506 or copies thereof, to the general registrars of the other counties or cities, if any, in the legislative district for delivery to the secretaries of the electoral boards and (ii) deliver the declaration and such petitions to the secretary of his electoral board. He shall transmit the names of the candidates who have filed with him to the State Board immediately after the filing deadline.

C. Any person, other than a candidate for a party nomination or party nominee, who intends to be a candidate at any election for any other office shall file a declaration of candidacy with the general registrar of the county or city where he resides. The declaration shall be in all respects the same as that required to be given to the State Board by statewide and congressional district candidates. The general registrar shall, within three days after receiving the declaration, deliver it in person or transmit it by certified mail, along with the petitions required by § 24.2-506 or copies thereof, to the secretaries of the electoral boards of the counties or cities whose electors vote for the office. He shall transmit the names of the candidates who have filed with him to the State Board immediately after the filing deadline.

D. If requested in writing by a candidate filing pursuant to subsection B or C, the secretary of the electoral board shall notify him of any irregularity in the declaration or petitions which can be corrected prior to the filing deadline.

Code 1950, §§ 24-130, 24-131, 24-134.1, 24-135; 1958, c. 605; 1960, c. 427; 1962, c. 536; 1964, cc. 540, 541; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-166; 1971, Ex. Sess., cc. 119, 247; 1972, c. 620; 1973, c. 30; 1974, c. 428; 1975, c. 515; 1976, c. 616; 1978, c. 778; 1981, c. 425; 1983, c. 461; 1984, c. 480; 1991, c. 137; 1993, c. 641; 1996, c. 270.

§ 24.2-506. Petition of qualified voters required; number of signatures required; certain towns excepted.

A. The name of any candidate for any office, other than a party nominee, shall not be printed upon any official ballots provided for the election unless he shall file along with his declaration of candidacy a petition therefor, on a form prescribed by the State Board, signed by the number of qualified voters specified in this subsection after January 1 of the year in which the election is held and listing the residence address of each such voter. Each signature on the petition shall have been witnessed by a person who is not a minor or a felon whose voting rights have not been restored and whose affidavit to that effect appears on each page of the petition. Each such person circulating a petition who is not a legal resident of the Commonwealth shall sign a statement on the affidavit that he consents to the jurisdiction of the courts of Virginia in resolving any disputes concerning the circulation of petitions, or signatures contained therein, by that person. The signatures of qualified voters collected by a nonresident petition circulator who fails to sign such statement, or who later fails to appear or produce documents when properly served with a subpoena to do so, shall not be counted towards the minimum number of signatures required pursuant to this subsection.

Each voter signing the petition may provide on the petition the last four digits of his social security number, if any; however, noncompliance with this requirement shall not be cause to invalidate the voter's signature on the petition.

The minimum number of signatures of qualified voters required for candidate petitions shall be as follows:

1. For a candidate for the United States Senate, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Attorney General, 10,000 signatures, including the signatures of at least 400 qualified voters from each congressional district in the Commonwealth;

2. For a candidate for the United States House of Representatives, 1,000 signatures;

3. For a candidate for the Senate of Virginia, 250 signatures;

4. For a candidate for the House of Delegates or for a constitutional office, 125 signatures;

5. For a candidate for membership on the governing body or elected school board of any county or city, 125 signatures; or if from an election district not at large containing 1,000 or fewer registered voters, 50 signatures;

6. For a candidate for membership on the governing body or elected school board of any town that has more than 3,500 registered voters, 125 signatures; or if from a ward or other district not at large, 25 signatures;

7. For a candidate for membership on the governing body or elected school board of any town that has at least 1,500 but not more than 3,500 registered voters, 50 signatures; or if from a ward or other district not at large, 25 signatures;

8. For a candidate for membership on the governing body or elected school board of any town that has fewer than 1,500 registered voters, no petition shall be required;

9. For a candidate for director of a soil and water conservation district created pursuant to Article 3 (§ 10.1-506 et seq.) of Chapter 5 of Title 10.1, 25 signatures; and

10. For any other candidate, 50 signatures.

B. The State Board shall approve uniform standards by which petitions filed by a candidate for office, other than a party nominee, are reviewed to determine if the petitions contain sufficient signatures of qualified voters as required in subsection A.

The State Board of Elections, on or before January 1, 2020, shall revise its processes and associated regulations for reviewing and processing candidate petitions. Such revisions shall provide a process for checking petition signatures that includes a method for determining if a petition signature belongs to an individual whose prior registration has been canceled and the reason for such cancellation. The process shall provide for the tracking of such information associated with each petition. The process shall provide for the escalation of cases of suspected fraud to the electoral board, the State Board, or the office of the attorney for the Commonwealth, as appropriate.

C. If a candidate, other than a party nominee, does not qualify to have his name appear on the ballot by reason of the candidate's filed petition not containing the minimum number of signatures of qualified voters for the office sought, the candidate may appeal that determination within five calendar days of the issuance of the notice of disqualification pursuant to § 24.2-612 or notice from the State Board that the candidate did not meet the requirements to have his name appear on the ballot.

Appeals made by candidates for a county, city, or town office shall be filed with the electoral board. Appeals made by candidates for all other offices shall be filed with the State Board. The appeal shall be heard by the State Board or the electoral board, as appropriate, within five business days of its filing. The electoral board shall notify the State Board of any appeal that is filed with the electoral board.

The State Board shall develop procedures for the conduct of such an appeal. The consideration on appeal shall be limited to whether or not the signatures on the petitions that were filed were reasonably rejected according to the requirements of this title and the uniform standards approved by the State Board for the review of petitions. Immediately after the conclusion of the appeal hearing, the entity conducting the appeal shall notify the candidate and, if applicable, the State Board, of its decision in writing. The decision on appeal shall be final and not subject to further appeal.

Code 1950, § 24-133; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-168; 1971, Ex. Sess., cc. 119, 247; 1978, c. 778; 1980, c. 639; 1982, c. 650; 1983, c. 188; 1987, c. 118; 1989, c. 141; 1992, c. 855; 1993, cc. 407, 641; 1998, cc. 152, 246; 2000, cc. 232, 252; 2001, c. 53; 2003, c. 477; 2010, c. 215; 2012, cc. 166, 538; 2013, c. 684; 2017, c. 355; 2019, c. 682; 2020, c. 501.

§ 24.2-507. Deadlines for filing declarations and petitions of candidacy.

For any office, declarations of candidacy and the petitions therefor shall be filed according to the following schedule:

1. For a general election in November, by 7:00 p.m. on the second Tuesday in June;

2. For a general election in May, by 7:00 p.m. on the first Tuesday in March;

3. For a special election held at the same time as a November general election, either (i) at least 81 days before the election or (ii) if the special election is being held at the second November election after the vacancy occurred, by 7:00 p.m. on the second Tuesday in June before that November election;

4. For a special election held at the same time as a May general election, by 7:00 p.m. on the first Tuesday in March; or

5. For a special election held at a time other than a general election, (i) at least 60 days before the election or (ii) within five days of any writ of election or order calling a special election to be held less than 60 days after the issuance of the writ or order.

Code 1950, §§ 24-130, 24-131, 24-134.1, 24-135; 1958, c. 605; 1960, c. 427; 1962, c. 536; 1964, cc. 540, 541; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-166; 1971, Ex. Sess., cc. 119, 247; 1972, c. 620; 1973, c. 30; 1974, c. 428; 1975, c. 515; 1976, c. 616; 1978, c. 778; 1981, c. 425; 1983, c. 461; 1984, c. 480; 1991, c. 137; 1993, c. 641; 2010, cc. 449, 542, 645; 2011, c. 599.

Article 3. Nominations of Candidates by Political Parties.

§ 24.2-508. Powers of political parties in general.

Each political party shall have the power to (i) make its own rules and regulations, (ii) call conventions to proclaim a platform, ratify a nomination, or for any other purpose, (iii) provide for the nomination of its candidates, including the nomination of its candidates for office in case of any vacancy, (iv) provide for the nomination and election of its state, county, city, and district committees, and (v) perform all other functions inherent in political party organizations.

Code 1950, §§ 24-363, 24-364; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-172; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 119; 1973, c. 30; 1975, c. 515; 1978, c. 778; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-509. Party to determine method of nominating its candidates for office; exceptions.

A. The duly constituted authorities of the state political party shall have the right to determine the method by which a party nomination for a member of the United States Senate or for any statewide office shall be made. The duly constituted authorities of the political party for the district, county, city, or town in which any other office is to be filled shall have the right to determine the method by which a party nomination for that office shall be made.

B. Notwithstanding subsection A, the following provisions shall apply to the determination of the method of making party nominations. A party shall nominate its candidate for election for a General Assembly district where there is only one incumbent of that party for the district by the method designated by that incumbent, or absent any designation by him by the method of nomination determined by the party. A party shall nominate its candidates for election for a General Assembly district where there is more than one incumbent of that party for the district by a primary unless all the incumbents consent to a different method of nomination. A party, whose candidate at the immediately preceding election for a particular office other than the General Assembly (i) was nominated by a primary or filed for a primary but was not opposed and (ii) was elected at the general election, shall nominate a candidate for the next election for that office by a primary unless all incumbents of that party for that office consent to a different method.

When, under any of the foregoing provisions, no incumbents offer as candidates for reelection to the same office, the method of nomination shall be determined by the political party.

For the purposes of this subsection, any officeholder who offers for reelection to the same office shall be deemed an incumbent notwithstanding that the district which he represents differs in part from that for which he offers for election.

Code 1950, §§ 24-348, 24-361, 24-363, 24-364; 1970, c. 462, §§ 24.1-171, 24.1-172; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 119; 1973, c. 30; 1975, c. 515; 1978, c. 778; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-510. Deadlines for parties to nominate by methods other than primary.

For any office, nominations by political parties by methods other than a primary shall be made and completed in the manner prescribed by law according to the following schedule:

1. For a general election in November, by 7:00 p.m. on the second Tuesday in June;

2. For a general election in May, by 7:00 p.m. on the first Tuesday in March;

3. For a special election held at the same time as a November general election, either (i) at least 81 days before the election or (ii) if the special election is held at the second November election after the vacancy occurred, by 7:00 p.m. on the second Tuesday in June before that November election;

4. For a special election held at the same time as a May general election, by 7:00 p.m. on the first Tuesday in March; or

5. For a special election held at a time other than a general election, (i) at least 60 days before the election or (ii) within five days of any writ of election or order calling a special election to be held less than 60 days after the issuance of the writ or order.

In the case of all general elections a party shall nominate its candidate for any office by a nonprimary method only within the 47 days immediately preceding the primary date established for nominating candidates for the office in question. This limitation shall have no effect, however, on nominations for special elections or pursuant to § 24.2-539.

Code 1950, §§ 24-130, 24-131, 24-134.1, 24-135, 24-363, 24-364; 1958, c. 605; 1960, c. 427; 1962, c. 536; 1964, cc. 540, 541; 1970, c. 462, §§ 24.1-166, 24.1-172; 1971, Ex. Sess., cc. 119, 247; 1972, c. 620; 1973, c. 30; 1974, c. 428; 1975, c. 515; 1976, c. 616; 1978, c. 778; 1981, c. 425; 1983, c. 461; 1984, c. 480; 1991, c. 137; 1993, c. 641; 2010, cc. 449, 542, 645; 2011, c. 599.

§ 24.2-511. Party chairman or official to certify candidates to State Board and general registrars; failure to certify.

A. The state, district, or other appropriate party chairman shall certify the name of any candidate who has been nominated by his party by a method other than a primary for any office to be elected by the qualified voters of (i) the Commonwealth at large, (ii) a congressional district or a General Assembly district, or (iii) political subdivisions jointly electing a shared constitutional officer, along with the date of the nomination of the candidate, to the State Board not later than five days after the last day for nominations to be made. The State Board shall notify the general registrars of the names of the candidates to appear on the ballot for such offices.

B. The party chairman of the district or political subdivision in which any other office is to be filled shall certify the name of any candidate for that office who has been nominated by his party by a method other than a primary to the State Board and to the general registrars of the cities and counties in which the name of the candidate will appear on the ballot not later than five days after the last day for nominations to be made. Should the party chairman fail to make such certification, the State Board shall declare that the candidate is the nominee of the particular party and direct that his name be treated as if certified by the party chairman.

C. In the case of a nomination for any office to be filled by a special election, the party chairman shall certify the name of any candidate (i) by the deadline to nominate the candidate or (ii) not later than five days after the deadline if it is a special election held at the second November election after the vacancy occurred.

D. No further notice of candidacy or petition shall be required of a candidate once the party chairman has certified his name to the State Board.

E. In no case shall the individual who is a candidate for an office be the person who certifies the name of the party candidate for that same office. In such case the party shall designate an alternate official to certify its candidate.

Code 1950, §§ 24-134, 24-345.3; 1952, c. 509; 1954, c. 523; 1956, Ex. Sess., c. 1; 1958, c. 309; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 17; 1960, c. 383; 1962, c. 536; 1964, c. 539; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-169; 1972, c. 620; 1978, c. 778; 1982, c. 650; 1993, c. 641; 2006, c. 83; 2014, c. 473; 2016, cc. 18, 492.

Article 4. Conduct of Primaries.

§ 24.2-512. Primaries to be conducted in accordance with article.

A primary when held shall be conducted in all respects under the provisions of this article. All references in this chapter to primaries shall be deemed to mean those elections held for the purpose of nominating candidates as authorized by this article.

Code 1950, § 24-347; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-170; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-513. Provisions as to general elections applicable.

All the provisions and requirements of the laws of this Commonwealth in relation to the holding of elections shall apply to all primaries insofar as they are consistent with this article.

Code 1950, § 24-356; 1952, c. 4; 1964, c. 545; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-178; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-514. To what nominations this article applies.

This article shall apply to the nomination of candidates for offices by a direct primary held on the regular dates established in § 24.2-515 for the conduct of primaries, and to no other nominations.

A primary is not authorized under this article to nominate presidential electors, nor to nominate candidates to fill vacancies unless the candidates for nomination to fill vacancies are to be voted for on the regular date set by this article for primaries.

Code 1950, §§ 24-348, 24-361; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-171; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-515. Presidential election year primaries.

Primaries for the nomination of candidates for offices to be voted on at the general election date in November shall be held on the second Tuesday in June next preceding such election, except that beginning with the year 2012 and in presidential election years thereafter, primaries to choose among presidential candidates may be held as provided in Article 7 (§ 24.2-544 et seq.). Primaries for the nomination of candidates for offices to be voted on at the general election date in May shall be held on the first Tuesday in March next preceding such election.

Code 1950, § 24-349; 1952, c. 4; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-174; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 119; 1975, c. 515; 1993, c. 641; 1999, c. 972; 2003, cc. 815, 823; 2011, cc. 570, 584.

§ 24.2-515.1. Schedule for primaries in the year 2001 and each tenth year thereafter.

Primaries for the nomination of candidates for the offices listed in Section 4 of Article VII of the Constitution of Virginia to be voted on at the general election in November 2001 and each tenth year thereafter shall be held on the second Tuesday in June next preceding such election notwithstanding any special primary schedule enacted for any other office.

1993, c. 355, § 24.1-174.1; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-516. Party to furnish names of chairmen and notify State Board of adoption of direct primary.

Each political party within the Commonwealth shall furnish to the State Board the names and addresses of its state, county, and city party chairmen in January of each year, and during the remainder of the year it shall notify the Board of any changes in such names and addresses.

At least 135 days prior to the regular date for a primary, the Board shall inquire of each state chairman and each county and city chairman whether a direct primary has been adopted. The Board shall advise each chairman that notification to the Board of the adoption of a direct primary is required and must be filed with the Board not more than 125 days and not less than 105 days before the date set for the primaries.

Each chairman shall file timely written notice with the Board whether or not a primary has been adopted and identify each office for which a primary has been adopted. The requirement to notify the Board of the adoption of a direct primary shall be satisfied when the Board receives by the deadline (i) written notice from the appropriate party chairman or (ii) a copy of the written notice from an incumbent officeholder to his party chairman of the incumbent's selection, pursuant to § 24.2-509, of the primary as the method of nomination.

Code 1950, § 24-351; 1962, c. 536; 1964, c. 545; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-176; 1972, c. 620; 1981, c. 425; 1990, c. 199; 1993, c. 641; 2010, cc. 449, 645.

§ 24.2-517. State Board to order election.

The State Board shall order the holding of a primary election in any county, city, or other district of the Commonwealth in which it is notified pursuant to § 24.2-516 that a primary is intended to be held. The notice ordering the primary shall be sent to the secretary of the electoral board. Within five days of the issuance of the order by the State Board, each secretary shall post a copy of the notice on the official website of the county or city, post copies of the notice at not less than 10 public places in the county or city, or have notice of the election published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the county or city.

Code 1950, § 24-352; 1952, c. 212; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-177; 1972, c. 620; 1993, c. 641; 2012, cc. 328, 486.

§ 24.2-518. County and city treasurers to pay primary expenses; certain uses of machinery by party.

The treasurer of the county or city in which the elections are held shall pay the costs of primary elections.

A political party may hold an election to select the members of its party committee at the same time and in the same places as a primary election without fee or charge for making use of the electoral machinery, provided that a primary to nominate the party's candidate for an office is in fact conducted on that primary date. Such elections for party committee members may be conducted by paper ballots or by voting machines in the discretion of the local electoral board.

The proper political party committee shall pay the costs of using the election machinery at any other time for the purpose of conducting other nominating procedures adopted pursuant to the rules of that party, if such use is authorized by the officials having custody of the machinery.

Code 1950, §§ 24-349, 24-364.1; 1952, c. 4; 1958, c. 580; 1970, c. 462, §§ 24.1-174, 24.1-180; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 119; 1975, c. 515; 1982, c. 650; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-519. Qualification of primary candidates.

In order to qualify as a candidate at any primary, a person must be legally qualified to hold the office for which he is a candidate and be qualified to vote in the primary in which he seeks to be a candidate.

Code 1950, § 24-369; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-183; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 226; 1974, c. 428; 1977, c. 490; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-520. Declaration of candidacy required.

A candidate for nomination by primary for any office shall be required to file a written declaration of candidacy on a form prescribed by the State Board. The declaration shall include the name of the political party of which the candidate is a member, a designation of the office for which he is a candidate, and a statement that, if defeated in the primary, his name is not to be printed on the ballots for that office in the succeeding general election. The declaration shall be acknowledged before some officer who has the authority to take acknowledgments to deeds, or attested by two witnesses who are qualified voters of the election district.

Code 1950, §§ 24-370 through 24-372; 1960, c. 427; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-184; 1978, cc. 239, 778; 1983, c. 461; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-521. Petition required to accompany declaration; number of signatures required.

A. A candidate for nomination by primary for any office shall be required to file with his declaration of candidacy a petition for his name to be printed on the official primary ballot, on a form prescribed by the State Board, signed by the number of qualified voters specified in this section after January 1 of the year in which the election is held or before or after said date in the case of a March primary, and listing the residence address of each such voter. Each signature on the petition shall have been witnessed by a person who is not a minor or a felon whose voting rights have not been restored and whose affidavit to that effect appears on each page of the petition. Each such person circulating a petition who is not a legal resident of the Commonwealth shall sign a statement on the affidavit that he consents to the jurisdiction of the courts of Virginia in resolving any disputes concerning the circulation of petitions, or signatures contained therein, by that person. The signatures of qualified voters collected by a nonresident petition circulator who fails to sign such statement, or who later fails to appear or produce documents when properly served with a subpoena to do so, shall not be counted towards the minimum number of signatures required pursuant to subsection B.

Each voter signing the petition may provide on the petition the last four digits of his social security number, if any; however, noncompliance with this requirement shall not be cause to invalidate the voter's signature on the petition.

B. The minimum number of signatures of qualified voters required for primary candidate petitions shall be as follows:

1. For a candidate for the United States Senate, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Attorney General, 10,000 signatures, including the signatures of at least 400 qualified voters from each congressional district in the Commonwealth;

2. For a candidate for the United States House of Representatives, 1,000 signatures;

3. For a candidate for the Senate of Virginia, 250 signatures;

4. For a candidate for the House of Delegates or for a constitutional office, 125 signatures;

5. For a candidate for membership on the governing body of any county or city, 125 signatures; or if from an election district not at large containing 1,000 or fewer registered voters, 50 signatures;

6. For a candidate for membership on the governing body of any town that has more than 3,500 registered voters, 125 signatures; or if from a ward or other district not at large, 25 signatures;

7. For a candidate for membership on the governing body of any town that has at least 1,500 but not more than 3,500 registered voters, 50 signatures; or if from a ward or other district not at large, 25 signatures;

8. For a candidate for membership on the governing body of any town that has fewer than 1,500 registered voters, no petition shall be required; and

9. For any other candidate, 50 signatures.

Code 1950, § 24-373; 1952, c. 523; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-185; 1971, Ex. Sess., cc. 119, 247; 1972, c. 620; 1978, c. 778; 1980, c. 639; 1982, c. 650; 1983, c. 188; 1989, c. 141; 1992, c. 855; 1993, cc. 407, 641; 1998, cc. 152, 246; 2000, cc. 232, 252; 2003, c. 477; 2010, c. 215; 2012, cc. 166, 538; 2017, c. 355; 2020, c. 501.

§ 24.2-522. When and to whom filings to be made.

A. Declarations of candidacy, petitions, and receipts indicating the payment of filing fees shall be filed not earlier than noon of the ninety-second day and not later than 5:00 p.m. of the seventy-fifth day before the primary.

B. Except as provided in subsection C, candidates for nomination shall file their declarations, petitions, and receipts with the chairman or chairmen of the several committees of the respective parties.

C. Any candidate for nomination for United States Senator, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Attorney General shall file with the State Board (i) his declaration of candidacy, (ii) the petitions for his candidacy, sealed in one or more containers to which is attached a written statement under oath by the candidate giving his name and the number of signatures on the petitions contained in the containers, and (iii) a receipt indicating the payment of his filing fee.

The State Board shall transmit the material so filed to the state chairman of the party of the candidate within 72 hours and not later than the seventy-fourth day before the primary. The sealed containers containing the petitions for a candidate may be opened only by the state chairman of the party of the candidate.

Code 1950, §§ 24-370 through 24-372, 24-374; 1960, c. 427; 1970, c. 462, §§ 24.1-184, 24.1-186; 1978, cc. 239, 778, § 24.1-186.1; 1983, c. 461; 1993, c. 641; 2003, c. 1015; 2010, cc. 449, 645; 2013, c. 443.

§ 24.2-523. Candidates to pay fee before filing.

Every candidate for nomination for any office at any primary shall, before he files his declaration of candidacy, pay a fee equal to two percent of one year's minimum salary attached to the office for which he is candidate in effect in the year in which he files.

In case of an office for which compensation is paid in whole or in part by fees, the amount to be paid by a candidate as his contribution for the payment of the expenses of the primary shall be fixed by the proper committee of the respective parties.

If there is no salary or fee attached to the office, the fee for primary expenses shall be five dollars. This provision includes candidates for party committees in § 24.2-518.

Code 1950, §§ 24-398 through 24-400; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-198; 1976, c. 616; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-524. To whom fees paid; refund of fees.

A. Candidates for United States Senators, for representatives in Congress, and for the offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General shall pay the primary fee to the State Board of Elections. The primary fees shall be credited by the Board to a fund to be known as the "state primary fee fund."

The Board shall refund the fee by warrant upon the state primary fee fund in the event the prospective candidate does not become a candidate, becomes a candidate and is not opposed, or must refile for any reason. All other primary fees paid to the Board shall be paid or placed to the credit of the fund out of which the Board pays the Commonwealth's expenses for the primary.

B. All other candidates shall pay the fee to the treasurer, or director of finance if there is no treasurer, of the city or county in which they reside. The treasurer or director of finance shall pay back the fee in the event the prospective candidate does not become a candidate, or becomes a candidate and must refile for any reason. In the event the candidate is unopposed, the State Board or the local electoral board, as appropriate, shall notify, no less than 60 days before the primary, the treasurer or director of finance to whom the fee was paid that the candidate is unopposed and shall provide the name and mailing address for returning the fee to the candidate. The treasurer or director of finance promptly shall return the fee to the candidate. All other primary fees paid a county or city treasurer or director of finance shall be paid or placed to the credit of the fund of the county or city out of which the expenses of the primary were paid by the county or city.

C. A receipt for the payment of the fee must be attached to the declaration of candidacy; otherwise the declaration shall not be received or filed.

Code 1950, § 24-401; 1962, c. 462; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 247, § 24.1-199; 1982, c. 650; 1988, c. 192; 1993, c. 641; 2005, c. 748; 2010, cc. 449, 645.

§ 24.2-525. Persons entitled to have name printed on ballot.

A. Only a person meeting all the qualifications and fulfilling all the requirements of a candidate, and who has complied with the rules and regulations of his party, shall have his name printed on the ballot provided for the primary election. A person who does not file either or both written statements required by § 24.2-503 by the relevant deadline, or the end of the extension period if an extension has been granted pursuant to that section, shall not have his name printed on the ballot provided for the primary election.

B. No person shall have his name printed on the ballot for more than one office at any one primary election. However, a candidate for federal or statewide office, or a candidate for an office being filled in a special election, may have his name printed on the ballot for two offices at a primary election.

Code 1950, §§ 24-369 through 24-372; 1960, c. 427; 1970, c. 462, §§ 24.1-183, 24.1-184; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 226; 1974, c. 428; 1977, c. 490; 1978, cc. 239, 778; 1983, c. 461; 1993, c. 641; 2000, cc. 513, 552; 2004, c. 881; 2020, c. 850.

§ 24.2-526. Primary not to be held when less than two candidates declare.

Whenever within the time prescribed by this article there is only one declaration of candidacy in a political party for the nomination for any office, the person filing the declaration shall be declared the nominee of the party for the office for which he has announced his candidacy and his name shall not be printed on the ballot for the primary. Whenever within the time prescribed by this article there is no declaration of candidacy in a political party for the nomination for any office, the appropriate committee of the party may provide for an alternative method of nominating a candidate.

Code 1950, § 24-350; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-175; 1983, c. 483; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-527. Chairman or official to furnish State Board and general registrars with names of candidates and certify petition signature requirements met.

A. It shall be the duty of the chairman or chairmen of the several committees of the respective parties to furnish the name of any candidate for nomination for any office to be elected by the qualified voters of the Commonwealth at large or of a congressional district or of a General Assembly district to the State Board, and to furnish the name of any candidate for any other office to the State Board and to the general registrars charged with the duty of preparing and printing the primary ballots. In furnishing the name of any such candidate, the chairman shall certify that a review of the filed candidate petitions found the required minimum number of signatures of qualified voters for that office to have been met. The chairman shall also certify the order and date and time of filing for purposes of printing the ballots as prescribed in § 24.2-529, provided that the State Board shall determine the order and date and time of filing for candidates for United States Senator, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General for such purposes. Each chairman shall comply with the provisions of this section not less than 70 days before the primary.

B. In no case shall the individual who is a candidate for an office be the person who certifies the names of candidates for a primary for that same office. In such case the party shall designate an alternate official to certify the candidates.

Code 1950, § 24-375; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-187; 1976, c. 616; 1978, c. 239; 1979, c. 329; 1993, c. 641; 2006, c. 83; 2010, cc. 449, 645; 2013, c. 443; 2016, cc. 18, 492.

§ 24.2-528. No primary candidate to be nominated by convention.

No party which has adopted the method of making a nomination for an office by primary pursuant to § 24.2-509 shall nominate by a convention any candidate to be voted for at that primary.

Code 1950, § 24-366; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-173; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-529. Primary ballots.

The primary ballots for the several parties taking part in a primary shall be composed, arranged, printed, delivered, and provided in the same manner as the general election ballots except that at the top of each official primary ballot shall be printed in plain black type the name of the political party and the words "Primary Election." The names of the candidates for various offices shall appear on the ballot in an order determined by the priority of the time of filing for the office. In the event two or more candidates file simultaneously, the order of filing shall then be determined by lot by the electoral board or the State Board as in the case of a tie vote for the office. No write-in shall be permitted on ballots in primary elections.

Code 1950, § 24-376; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-188; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 119; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-530. Who may vote in primary.

All persons qualified to vote, pursuant to §§ 24.2-400 through 24.2-403, may vote at the primary. No person shall vote for the candidates of more than one party.

Code 1950, § 24-367; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-182; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 205; 1976, c. 616; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-531. Pollbooks used during primaries.

There shall be pollbooks in the form set forth in § 24.2-611 provided for use during any primary.

Code 1950, § 24-377; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-189; 1980, c. 639; 1981, c. 425; 1993, c. 641; 2003, c. 1015; 2010, c. 812; 2014, cc. 540, 576.

§ 24.2-532. Abstracts of votes; law-enforcement officer to obtain returns not forwarded.

As soon as the electoral board shall determine the persons who have received the highest number of votes for nomination to any such office, the secretary of the board shall immediately make out abstracts and certificates of the votes cast as provided in § 24.2-675 and forward certified copies thereof to the State Board. The secretary in addition shall place certified copies thereof in an envelope and forward them in person or by certified mail (i) for members of the House of Representatives of the United States, to the chairman of the congressional district committee, (ii) for members of the General Assembly, to the chairman of the Senate or House of Delegates district committee, and (iii) for county and city and district officers, to the chairman of the county or city. "Chairman" means the chairman of the political party under whose auspices the primary is held.

If the abstract of votes shall not have been received by the State Board from any county or city within six days after any state primary election, the Board shall dispatch a law-enforcement officer to obtain them as provided in § 24.2-678.

Code 1950, §§ 24-388, 24-390; 1952, c. 4; 1970, c. 462, §§ 24.1-191, 24.1-193; 1976, c. 616; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-533. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2010, c. 812, cl. 3.

§ 24.2-534. Returns tabulated by State Board; when nominee declared.

As soon as possible after receipt of the certified abstract and not later than fourteen days after the day of the election, the State Board shall open and tabulate the returns. Upon completion of the tabulation the Board shall declare the nominee in the manner and form as it does in general elections.

Code 1950, § 24-389; 1952, c. 4; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-192; 1978, c. 778; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-535. Vote required to nominate.

Any candidate for party nomination to any office who receives a plurality of the votes cast by his party shall be the nominee of his party for that office and his name shall be printed on the official ballots used in the election for which the primary was held.

Code 1950, § 24-359; 1952, c. 4; 1964, c. 616; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-179; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-536. Procedure when a vacancy in office occurs less than 75 days before primary date.

Whenever, by reason of the death, resignation, or removal of the incumbent, a vacancy in any office occurs less than 75 but more than 45 days before the regular date for the holding of a primary, the properly constituted party authorities may permit the filing of declarations and petitions of candidacy for nomination for that office in the primary. Notice of the vacancy and the right to file declarations and petitions of candidacy for nomination to fill it shall be advertised by the party committee or committees in at least one newspaper of general circulation within the Commonwealth if it is an office filled by election by the people at large, and in the manner prescribed by the properly constituted party authorities in the case of all other offices. No declaration and petitions of candidacy shall be filed with the committee or committees until such advertisement is made, nor within 35 days prior to the date for holding the primary. Declarations and petitions of candidacy filed pursuant to this section shall comply in every respect, except for the time of filing, with the requirements established generally for such declarations and petitions in this article.

If more than one person qualifies, the party chairman shall promptly certify their names to the State Board and the appropriate electoral boards as having qualified under the provisions of this section. The electoral boards having charge of the printing of the official ballots for the primary shall either:

1. Cause to be printed on the ballot the name of each person so certified; or

2. If the official ballots have already been printed, cause separate ballots to be printed for the office for which the persons have qualified pursuant to this section.

In the event that only one person qualifies as a candidate under the provisions of this section, the person so qualifying shall be declared the nominee of his party for that office and his name shall not be printed on the primary ballot.

In the event that no person qualifies as a candidate under the provisions of this section, or that the vacancy occurs less than 45 days before the primary, the appropriate committee of the political party shall determine the time and method of nominating its candidate for the office.

Code 1950, § 24-362; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-194; 1993, c. 641; 2010, cc. 449, 645.

§ 24.2-537. Procedure when nominee by default dies or withdraws or nomination is set aside prior to primary.

A. If any person who would have been nominated as the candidate of a political party for any office in any general election by reason of the fact that he was the only person who filed the required declaration of and petition for candidacy dies or withdraws as the party candidate, or his nomination is set aside for any reason, 45 days or more before the day on which the primary would have been held if two or more candidates had qualified, the appropriate committee of the political party shall determine the time and method of nominating its candidate for the office.

B. If the party committee determines that the party's nominee shall be elected at the scheduled primary, any person desiring to become a candidate for nomination by the party at that primary who is otherwise qualified may file a declaration of and petition for his candidacy with the proper chairman of his party committee. No person whose nomination has been set aside for fraud knowingly participated in by the candidate, or other person who knowingly participated in such fraud, shall be deemed qualified. The declaration and petition shall comply in every respect with the requirements established generally for such declarations and petitions in this article, except that the declaration and petition shall be filed at least 35 days before the day on which the primary is to be held.

If more than one person qualifies, the party chairman shall promptly certify their names to the State Board and the appropriate electoral boards as having qualified under the provisions of this section. The electoral boards having charge of the printing of the official ballots for the primary election shall either:

1. Cause to be printed thereon the name of every person so certified; or

2. If the official ballots have already been printed, cause separate ballots to be printed for the office for which two or more persons have qualified pursuant to the provisions of this section.

In the event that only one person qualifies as a candidate in accordance with the provisions of this section, the person so qualifying shall be declared the nominee of his party for that office and his name shall not be printed on the primary ballot.

In the event that no person qualifies as a candidate pursuant to the provisions of this section, or that the death or withdrawal or setting aside of candidacy of any such party nominee should occur at a time which is less than 45 days prior to any such primary, the appropriate committee of the political party shall determine the time and method of nominating its candidate for the office.

C. No party shall nominate any person whose nomination has been set aside for fraud knowingly participated in by the candidate, or any other person who knowingly participated in such fraud.

Code 1950, § 24-391; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-195; 1983, c. 483; 1993, c. 641; 2010, cc. 449, 645.

§ 24.2-538. Procedure when opposed candidate for nomination dies prior to primary.

If any person who is a candidate for nomination by a political party at a primary election, and who, along with one or more other candidates, has qualified to have his name printed on the official ballot for the primary, dies 45 days or more before the day on which the primary is to be held, any person otherwise qualified who desires to be a candidate at that primary may file a declaration of and petition for his candidacy with the proper chairman of his party committee. The declaration and petition shall comply in every respect with the requirements established generally for such declarations and petitions by this article, except that the declaration and petition shall be filed at least 35 days before the day on which the primary is to be held.

The party chairman or chairmen shall promptly certify the names of every such person to the State Board and appropriate electoral boards as having qualified under the provisions of this section. Every electoral board having charge of the printing of official ballots for the primary election shall either:

1. Cause to be printed thereon the name of every person so certified; or

2. If the official ballots have already been printed, cause separate ballots to be printed for the office containing the names of those candidates other than the decedent who have theretofore qualified and the names of those certified to it as having qualified pursuant to the provisions of this section. The board may, in its discretion, cause to be stricken from the ballots already printed the title of the office involved and the names of all candidates for nomination for the office appearing thereon.

Whenever any additional candidate shall qualify pursuant to this section, no ballots theretofore cast by absentee vote for a candidate for such office shall be counted, but any person who has so voted shall be entitled to receive a new ballot and to vote for his choice among all the candidates for such office.

Code 1950, § 24-392; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-196; 1976, c. 616; 1993, c. 641; 2010, cc. 449, 645.

Article 5. Death, Withdrawal, or Disqualification of Party Nominee.

§ 24.2-539. Party may nominate when nominee dies, withdraws, or nomination is set aside; duty of party chairman.

Should the nominee of any party die, withdraw, or have his nomination set aside for any reason, the party may nominate to fill the vacancy in accordance with its own rules. A candidate who has been disqualified for failing to meet the filing requirements of Article 1 (§ 24.2-500 et seq.) of this chapter shall not be renominated. No party shall renominate any person whose nomination has been set aside for fraud knowingly participated in by the candidate. The party chairman or chairmen shall promptly certify the name of any such nominee to the appropriate electoral boards and the nominee shall promptly comply with the filing requirements of Article 1 of this chapter.

Code 1950, §§ 24-234, 24-235, 24-365; 1952, c. 4; 1970, c. 462, §§ 24.1-110, 24.1-197; 1976, c. 616; 1980, c. 639; 1984, c. 480; 1990, c. 476; 1992, c. 828; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-540. Other parties may also nominate; independent candidates.

Any other political party may also nominate and file the required notice of a new candidate pursuant to § 24.2-539 if the candidate who died, withdrew, or had his nomination set aside was unopposed by that party. A nonparty candidate shall also be permitted to file a notice of candidacy whether or not the candidate who died, withdrew, or had his nomination set aside was opposed by a nonparty or party candidate.

Any such party or nonparty candidate shall file any statement or petition required of him by Article 1 (§ 24.2-500 et seq.) or Article 2 (§ 24.2-505 et seq.) of this chapter.

Code 1950, §§ 24-234, 24-235; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-110; 1976, c. 616; 1980, c. 639; 1984, c. 480; 1990, c. 476; 1992, c. 828; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-541. Printing of names on ballot.

In the case (i) of a candidate who has died if the notice is filed with the proper official at least 25 days before the day on which the election is to be held or (ii) of a candidate who has withdrawn or had his nomination set aside if the notice is filed with the proper official at least 60 days before the day on which the election is to be held, the electoral board or boards having charge of the printing of the ballots for such election shall either:

1. Cause to be printed thereon the name of every person qualifying as provided in this article; or

2. If ballots for the election have already been printed, cause separate ballots to be printed for the office on which shall be printed the name of every person qualifying as provided in this article and of any other party or nonparty candidate for the same office who had already qualified to have his name printed on the ballot. In addition, the electoral board may cause to be stricken from the earlier printed ballots the title of the office involved and the names of all candidates for that office appearing thereon.

If the candidate so dying, withdrawing or having his nomination set aside is a candidate for an office to which more than one person is to be elected and none of the candidates was opposed prior to such death, withdrawal, or setting aside, then the ballots shall be so printed as to permit the electors to vote separately for the remaining unopposed candidate or candidates, and for such persons who filed notice of candidacy as provided in this article.

Whenever any additional candidate qualifies as provided in this article, no votes previously cast by absentee ballot for a candidate for such office shall be counted, but any person who has so voted shall be entitled to receive a new ballot and to vote for his choice among all the candidates for such office.

Code 1950, §§ 24-234, 24-235; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-110; 1976, c. 616; 1980, c. 639; 1984, c. 480; 1990, c. 476; 1992, c. 828; 1993, c. 641; 2003, c. 476.

Article 6. Nominations for Presidential Elections.

§ 24.2-542. State Board to be furnished names of electors selected by political parties; oaths of electors.

In elections for President and Vice President of the United States, the appropriate chairman or secretary of each political party shall furnish to the State Board by noon of the seventy-fourth day before the presidential election (i) the names of the electors selected by the party at its convention held for that purpose, together with the names of the political party and of the candidates for President and Vice President for whom the electors are required to vote in the Electoral College and (ii) a copy of a subscribed and notarized oath by each elector stating that he will, if elected, cast his ballot for the candidates for President and Vice President nominated by the party that selected the elector, or as the party may direct in the event of death, withdrawal or disqualification of the party nominee. In the event of the death or withdrawal of a candidate of a political party for President or Vice President, that party may substitute the name of a different candidate before the State Board certifies to the county and city electoral boards the form of the official ballots. The State Board shall also be furnished, if it requests, with satisfactory evidence that any person undertaking to act as an elector on behalf of any political party is, in fact, duly and properly authorized to do so.

Code 1950, § 24-290.1; 1950, p. 246; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-158; 1982, c. 650; 1984, c. 480; 1993, c. 641; 1996, c. 574; 2001, c. 630.

§ 24.2-542.1. State Board to be furnished names of electors selected by political parties; certain national conventions.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 24.2-542, (i) the state political party chairman of a political party whose national convention has been scheduled to be held after the seventy-fourth day before the presidential election, shall file by noon on the seventy-fourth day before the presidential election, with the certification of its at-large electors, a certification of the persons expected to be nominated for President and Vice President at its national convention; (ii) the State Board of Elections shall certify candidates to the local electoral boards and ballot preparation shall proceed based on the state party chairman's certifications; and (iii) the persons nominated by the party at its national convention shall be certified to the State Board no later than 5:00 p.m. on the sixtieth day before the presidential election.

2003, c. 808.

§ 24.2-543. How other groups may submit names of electors; oaths of electors.

A. A group of qualified voters, not constituting a political party as defined in § 24.2-101, may have the names of electors selected by them, including one elector residing in each congressional district and two from the Commonwealth at large, printed upon the official ballot to be used in the election of electors for President and Vice President by filing a petition pursuant to this section. The petition shall be filed with the State Board by noon of the seventy-fourth day before the presidential election. The petition shall be signed by at least 5,000 qualified voters and include signatures of at least 200 qualified voters from each congressional district. The petition shall be signed by petitioners on and after January 1 of the year of the presidential election only and contain the residence address of each petitioner. The signature of each petitioner shall be witnessed either by a person who is a constitutionally qualified candidate for President of the United States, who may witness his own petition, or by a person who is not a minor or a felon whose voting rights have not been restored and whose affidavit to that effect appears on each page of the petition. Each such person circulating a petition who is not a legal resident of the Commonwealth shall sign a statement on the affidavit that he consents to the jurisdiction of the courts of Virginia in resolving any disputes concerning the circulation of petitions, or signatures contained therein, by that person. The signatures of qualified voters collected by a nonresident petition circulator who fails to sign such statement, or who later fails to appear or produce documents when properly served with a subpoena to do so, shall not be counted towards the minimum number of signatures required pursuant to this subsection.

The petition shall state the names of the electors selected by the petitioners, the party name under which they desire the named electors to be listed on the ballot, and the names of the candidates for President and Vice President for whom the electors are required to vote in the Electoral College. The persons filing the petition shall file with it a copy of a subscribed and notarized oath by each elector stating that he will, if elected, cast his ballot for the candidates for President and Vice President named in the petition, or as the party may direct in the event of death, withdrawal or disqualification of the party nominee. In order to utilize a selected party name on the ballot, the petitioners shall have had a state central committee composed of registered voters from each congressional district of the Commonwealth, a party plan and bylaws, and a duly designated chairman and secretary in existence and holding office for at least six months prior to filing the petition. The State Board may require proof that the petitioners meet these requirements before permitting use of a party name on the ballot. The party name shall not be identical with or substantially similar to the name of any political party qualifying under § 24.2-101 and then in existence.

In the event of the death or withdrawal of a candidate for President or Vice President qualified to appear on the ballot by party name, that party may substitute the name of a different candidate before the State Board certifies to the county and city electoral boards the form of the official ballots.

In the event that a group of qualified voters meets the requirements set forth in this section except that they cannot utilize a party name, the electors selected and the candidates for President and Vice President shall be identified and designated as "Independent" on the ballot. Substitution of a different candidate for Vice President may be made by the candidate for President before the State Board certifies to the county and city electoral boards the form of the official ballot.

In the event of the death or disqualification of any person listed as an elector for candidates for President and Vice President on a petition filed pursuant to this section, the party or candidate for President, as applicable, may substitute the name of a different elector. Such substitution shall not invalidate any petition of qualified voters circulated with the name of the deceased or disqualified elector provided that notice of the substitution is filed with the State Board by noon of the seventy-fourth day before the presidential election. Notice of the substitution and the name of any substitute elector shall be submitted on a form prepared by the State Board.

B. If the State Board determines that a candidate for President does not qualify to have his name appear on the ballot pursuant to this section by reason of the candidate's filed petition not containing the minimum number of signatures of qualified voters for the office sought, the candidate may appeal the determination to the State Board within seven calendar days of the issuance of the notice of disqualification. The notice of disqualification shall be sent by email or regular mail to the address on file for the candidate, and such notice shall be deemed sufficient. The State Board shall hear the appeal within three business days of its filing.

The State Board shall develop procedures for the conduct of such an appeal. The consideration on appeal shall be limited to whether or not the signatures on the petitions that were filed were reasonably rejected according to the requirements of this title and the rules and procedures set forth by the State Board for checking petitions. Immediately after the conclusion of the appeal hearing, the State Board shall notify the candidate of its decision in writing. The decision on appeal shall be final and not subject to further appeal.

Code 1950, § 24-290.3; 1952, c. 330; 1964, c. 542; 1968, c. 284; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-159; 1982, c. 650; 1984, c. 480; 1993, c. 641; 1994, c. 149; 1998, cc. 152, 246; 2000, cc. 232, 252; 2001, c. 630; 2003, c. 477; 2012, cc. 166, 538; 2013, cc. 521, 550, 684; 2020, c. 501.

Article 7. Presidential Year Primaries.

§ 24.2-544. Time presidential primaries to be held and completion of duties by officers of election; age qualifications for participation.

A. Primaries for the nomination of candidates for the office of President of the United States to be voted on at the November 2012 general election and the November general election in each presidential election year thereafter shall be held on the first Tuesday in March preceding the November general election.

B. The provisions of this title shall apply to the conduct of presidential election year primaries including the time limits applicable to notices and candidate filing deadlines and the closing of registration records before the primary. The State Board shall provide a schedule for the notices and filing deadlines by the August 1 prior to the March primary including a campaign finance disclosure report filing schedule adjusted to reflect the differences between the June date for other primaries and the March date for the presidential primary and primaries for the nomination of candidates for offices to be voted on at the general election date in May.

C. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, any officer of election who serves at any election held on the first Tuesday in March shall be required to complete his official duties relating to that election whether or not he has been reappointed to serve for the ensuing year.

D. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, any person who is otherwise qualified and will be 18 years of age on or before the day of the next November general election shall be permitted to register in advance of and also vote in any presidential primary and any other primary held on the same day.

1999, c. 972; 2000, cc. 1, 856; 2003, cc. 815, 823; 2006, c. 205; 2011, cc. 570, 584.

§ 24.2-545. Presidential primary.

A. The duly constituted authorities of the state political party shall have the right to determine the method by which the state party will select its delegates to the national convention to choose the party's nominees for President and Vice President of the United States including a presidential primary or another method determined by the party. The state chairman shall notify the State Board of the party's determination at least 90 days before the primary date. If the party has determined that it will hold a presidential primary, each registered voter of the Commonwealth shall be given an opportunity to participate in the presidential primary of the political party, as defined in § 24.2-101, subject to requirements determined by the political party for participation in its presidential primary. The requirements may include, but shall not be limited to, the signing of a pledge by the voter of his intention to support the party's candidate when offering to vote in the primary. The requirements applicable to a party's primary shall be determined at least 90 days prior to the primary date and certified to, and approved by, the State Board.

B. Any person seeking the nomination of the national political party for the office of President of the United States, or any group organized in the Commonwealth on behalf of, and with the consent of such person, may file with the State Board petitions signed by at least 5,000 qualified voters, including at least 200 qualified voters from each congressional district in the Commonwealth, who attest that they intend to participate in the primary of the same political party as the candidate for whom the petitions are filed. Such petitions shall be filed with the State Board by the primary filing deadline. The petitions shall be on a form prescribed by the State Board and shall be sealed in one or more containers to which is attached a written statement giving the name of the presidential candidate and the number of signatures on the petitions contained in the containers. Such person or group shall also attach a list of the names of persons who would be elected delegates and alternate delegates to the political party's national convention if the person wins the primary and the party has determined that its delegates will be selected pursuant to the primary. The slate of delegates and alternates shall comply with the rules of the national and state party.

The State Board shall transmit the material so filed to the state chairman of the party of the candidate immediately after the primary filing deadline. The sealed containers containing the petitions for a candidate may be opened only by the state chairman of the party of the candidate. The state chairman of the party shall, by the deadline set by the State Board, furnish to the State Board the names of all candidates who have satisfied the requirements of this section. In furnishing the name of each such candidate, the state chairman shall certify that a review of the filed candidate petitions found the required minimum number of signatures of qualified voters for that office to have been met. Whenever only one candidate for a party's nomination for President of the United States has met the requirements to have his name on the ballot, he will be declared the winner and no presidential primary for that party will be held.

C. The names of all candidates in the presidential primary of each political party shall appear on the ballot in an order determined by lot by the State Board.

D. The State Board shall certify the results of the presidential primary to the state chairman. If the party has determined that its delegates and alternates will be selected pursuant to the primary, the slate of delegates and alternates of the candidate receiving the most votes in the primary shall be deemed elected by the state party unless the party has determined another method for allocation of delegates and alternates. If the party has determined to use another method for selecting delegates and alternates, those delegates and alternates shall be bound to vote on the first ballot at the national convention for the candidate receiving the most votes in the primary unless that candidate releases those delegates and alternates from such vote.

E. The election, or binding of votes, of delegates to a political party's national convention for the nomination of that party's candidates for President and Vice President of the United States through the presidential primary process shall be considered to be equivalent to a primary for the nomination of a party's candidate.

F. The cost of the presidential primary shall be paid by the Commonwealth pursuant to the provisions of the appropriation act.

1999, c. 972; 2000, c. 379; 2003, c. 1015; 2011, cc. 570, 584; 2013, cc. 443, 521, 550.