Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 24.2. Elections
Chapter 6. The Election
6/13/2021

Article 3. Voting Equipment and Systems.

§ 24.2-625. Application of Title 24.2 and general law.

All of the provisions of this title and general law not inconsistent with the provisions of this article shall apply to elections in counties, cities, and towns adopting and using electronic voting or counting machines.

Code 1950, § 24-315; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-225; 1985, c. 458; 1993, c. 641; 2014, cc. 540, 576.

§ 24.2-625.1. Voting equipment security.

A. Records of the State Board of Elections or of a local electoral board, to the extent such records describe protocols for maintaining the security of ballots or voting and counting equipment, or reveal the results of risk assessments of specific local electoral procedures, the release of which would compromise the security of any election, shall be confidential and excluded from inspection and copying under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).

B. The State Board of Elections or a local electoral board may hold a closed meeting pursuant to the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act for the purpose of discussing protocols for maintaining the security of ballots or voting and counting equipment, or risk assessments of specific local electoral procedures, where discussion of such matters in open meeting would compromise the security of any election. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to authorize a closed meeting to discuss any breach of security in the conduct of an election.

C. Two members of any local electoral board may conduct site visits for the sole purpose of investigating compliance with security policies and procedures. No such visit shall be deemed a meeting under the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. However, prior to conducting such site visits, the board shall hold an open meeting, as defined in the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, and shall identify at that meeting its intention to conduct such site visits, the dates on which such visits will occur, and all polling places or other locations at which such visits will occur, withholding only information identifying secure sites at which voting and counting equipment or ballots are stored. No later than 30 days after any site visit has been conducted pursuant to this paragraph, the board shall hold an open meeting, as defined in the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, at which it shall identify each location visited and the date on which each such location was visited, withholding only information identifying secure sites at which voting and counting equipment or ballots are stored.

D. The electoral board of each county and city that utilizes electronic voting systems shall develop and annually update written plans and procedures to ensure the security and integrity of its electronic voting systems. The general registrar and the State Board shall provide the electoral board assistance, upon request.

E. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the release of information concerning any breach of security in the conduct of an election.

2005, c. 568; 2007, c. 794.

§ 24.2-625.2. Wireless communications at polling places.

There shall be no wireless communications on election day, while the polls are open, between or among voting machines within the polling place or between any voting machine within the polling place and any equipment outside the polling place. For purposes of this section, the term wireless communication shall mean the ability to transfer information via electromagnetic waves without the use of electrical conductors.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to voting machines purchased by any locality before July 1, 2007.

The provisions of this section shall not be construed to prohibit the operation of electronic pollbook devices at polling places on election day.

2007, cc. 939, 943; 2008, cc. 87, 393.

§ 24.2-626. Governing bodies shall acquire electronic voting systems.

A. The governing body of each county and city shall provide for the use of electronic voting systems, of a kind approved by the State Board, at every precinct and for all elections held in the county, the city, or any part of the county or city.

Each county and city governing body shall purchase, lease, lease purchase, or otherwise acquire such systems and may provide for the payment therefor in the manner it deems proper. Systems of different kinds may be adopted for use and be used in different precincts of the same county or city, or within a precinct or precincts in a county or city, subject to the approval of the State Board.

B. On and after July 1, 2020, no county or city shall use any direct recording electronic machine (DRE) in elections in the county or city.

Code 1950, § 242-291; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-203; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 119; 1972, c. 620; 1974, c. 428; 1976, c. 616; 1982, c. 650; 1985, c. 458; 1987, c. 129; 1993, c. 641; 1996, c. 258; 2000, c. 280; 2007, cc. 939, 943; 2009, cc. 751, 759; 2010, cc. 356, 533; 2011, cc. 153, 447, 481; 2014, cc. 540, 576; 2016, c. 464.

§ 24.2-626.1. Acquisition and use of accessible voting devices.

The governing body of any county or city shall provide for the use of a voting or counting system in all elections that shall:

1. Provide for at least one voting system equipped for individuals with disabilities at each polling place, including nonvisual accessibility for the blind and visually impaired, in a manner that provides the same opportunity for access and participation (including privacy and independence) as for other voters; and

2. Provide alternative language accessibility when required by § 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. § 10503).

2007, cc. 939, 943.

§ 24.2-627. Electronic voting systems; number required.

A. The governing body of any county or city that adopts for use at elections ballot scanner machines shall provide for each precinct at least one voting booth with a marking device for each 425 registered voters or portion thereof and shall provide for each precinct at least one scanner. However, each precinct having more than 4,000 registered voters shall be provided with not less than two scanners at a presidential election, unless the governing body, in consultation with the general registrar and the electoral board, determines that a second scanner is not necessary at any such precinct on the basis of voter turnout and the average wait time for voters in previous presidential elections.

B. The local electoral board of any county or city shall be authorized to conduct any May general election, primary election, or special election held on a date other than a November general election with the number of voting systems determined by the board and the general registrar to be appropriate for each precinct, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A.

C. For purposes of applying this section, a general registrar may exclude persons voting absentee in his calculations, and if he does so shall send to the Department a statement of the number of voting systems to be used in each precinct. If the State Board finds that the number of voting systems is not sufficient, it may direct the general registrar to use more voting systems.

1985, c. 458, §§ 24.1-203.1, 24.1-203.2; 1993, c. 641; 1996, c. 271; 1997, cc. 304, 336; 2010, c. 214; 2014, cc. 540, 576; 2015, cc. 667, 740; 2016, cc. 18, 464, 492.

§ 24.2-628. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2014, c. 540, cl. 2, effective April 3, 2014, and c. 576, cl. 2, effective April 4, 2014.

§ 24.2-629. State Board approval process of electronic voting systems.

A. Any person, firm, or corporation, referred to in this article as the "vendor," manufacturing, owning, or offering for sale any electronic voting or counting machine and ballots designed to be used with such equipment may apply to the State Board, in the manner prescribed by the Board, to have examined a production model of such equipment and the ballots used with it. The Board may require the vendor to pay a reasonable application fee when he files his request for testing or certification of new or upgraded voting equipment. Receipts from such fees shall be credited to the Board for reimbursement of testing and certification expenses. In addition to any other materials that may be required, a current statement of the financial status of the vendor, including any assets and liabilities, shall be filed with the Board; if the vendor is not the manufacturer of the equipment for which application is made, such a statement shall also be filed for the manufacturer. These statements shall be exempt from the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.). The Board shall require, at a site of its choosing, a demonstration of such equipment and ballots and may require that a production model of the equipment and a supply of ballots be provided to the Board for testing purposes. The Board shall also require the vendor to provide documentation of the practices recommended by the vendor to ensure the optimum security and functionality of the system.

B. The Board may approve any kind of electronic voting system that meets the following requirements:

1. It shall provide clear instructions for voters on how to mark or select their choice and cast that vote.

2. It shall provide facilities for voting for all offices at any election and on as many questions as may be submitted at any election.

3. It shall be capable of processing ballots for all parties holding a primary election on the same day, but programmable in such a way that an individual ballot cast by a voter is limited to the party primary election in which the voter chooses to participate.

4. It shall require votes for presidential and vice presidential electors to be cast for the presidential and vice presidential electors of one party by one operation. The ballot shall contain the words "Electors for" preceded by the name of the party or other authorized designation and followed by the names of the candidates for the offices of President and Vice President.

5. It shall enable the voter to cast votes for as many persons for an office as lawfully permitted, but no more. It shall prevent the voter from casting a vote for the same person more than once for the same office. However, ballot scanner machines shall not be required to prevent a voter from voting for a greater number of candidates than he is lawfully entitled to.

6. It shall enable the voter to cast a vote on any question on which he is lawfully permitted to vote, but no other.

7. It shall provide the voter with an opportunity to correct any error before a ballot is cast.

8. It shall correctly register or record and accurately count all votes cast for candidates and on questions.

9. It shall be provided with a "protective counter," whereby any operation of the machine before or after the election will be detected.

10. It shall be provided with a counter that at all times during an election shall show how many persons have voted.

11. It shall ensure voting in absolute secrecy. Ballot scanner machines shall provide for the secrecy of the ballot and a method to conceal the voted ballot.

12. It shall be programmable to allow ballots to be separated when necessary.

13. It shall retain each printed ballot cast.

14. Ballot scanner machines shall report, if possible, the number of ballots on which a voter undervoted or overvoted.

C. After its examination of the equipment, ballots, and other materials submitted by the vendors, the Board shall prepare and file in its office a report of its finding as to (i) the apparent capability of such equipment to accurately count, register, and report votes; (ii) whether the system can be conveniently used without undue confusion to the voter; (iii) its accessibility to voters with disabilities; (iv) whether the system can be safely used without undue potential for fraud; (v) the ease of its operation and transportation by voting equipment custodians and officers of election; (vi) the financial stability of the vendor and manufacturer; (vii) whether the system meets the requirements of this title; (viii) whether the system meets federal requirements; (ix) whether issues of reliability and security identified with the system by other state governments have been adequately addressed by the vendor; and (x) whether, in the opinion of the Board, the potential for approval of such system is such as to justify further examination and testing.

D. If the Board determines that there is such potential and prior to its final determination as to approval or disapproval of such system, the Board shall obtain a report by an independent electronics or engineering consultant as to (i) whether the system accurately counts, registers, and reports votes; (ii) whether it is capable of storing and retaining existing votes in a permanent memory in the event of power failure during and after the election; (iii) the number of separate memory capabilities for the storage of recorded votes; (iv) its mechanical and electronic perfections and imperfections; (v) the audit trail provided by the system; (vi) the anticipated frequency of repair; (vii) the ease of repair; (viii) the anticipated life of the equipment; (ix) its potential for fraudulent use; (x) its accessibility to voters with disabilities; (xi) the ease of its programming, transportation, and operation by voting equipment custodians and officers of election; and (xii) any other matters deemed necessary by the Board. Failure by an applicant to cooperate with the consultant by furnishing information and production equipment and ballots requested shall be deemed a withdrawal of the application, but nothing in this section shall require the disclosure of trade secrets by the applicant. If such trade secrets are essential to the proper analysis of the system and are provided for that reason, the consultant shall subscribe to an oath subject to the penalty for perjury that he will neither disclose nor make use of such information except as necessary for the system analysis. The report of the consultant shall be filed in the office of the Board.

E. In preparing the reports cited in subsections C and D, the Board shall require, as a condition of certification, that the system is comprehensively examined by individuals including at least one expert in election management and one in computer system security. The Board shall develop, in conjunction with the above listed individuals, a specific set of items to be examined and tested as part of the certification process to further elaborate on the requirements identified in this section.

F. If the Board determines that there is potential for approval of the system and prior to its final determination, the Board shall also require that the system be tested in an actual election in one or more counties or cities. Its use at such election shall be as valid for all purposes as if it had been legally approved by the Board and adopted by the counties or cities.

G. If, following testing, the Board approves any voting system and its ballots for use, the Board shall so notify the electoral boards of each county and city. Systems so approved may be adopted for use at elections as herein provided. No form of voting system and ballots not so approved shall be adopted by any county or city. Any voting system and ballots approved for use by the Board shall be deemed to meet the requirements of this title and any applicable federal laws, and their use in any election shall be valid.

H. A vendor whose voting system is approved for use shall provide updates concerning its recommended practices for optimum security and functionality of the system, as may be requested by the Board. Any product for which requested updates are not provided shall be deemed non-compliant and may be decertified at the discretion of the Board.

I. The Board shall have the authority to investigate, at its discretion, any voting system certified in Virginia to ensure that it continues to meet the standards outlined in subsections C and D. The Board may, at its discretion, decertify any voting system based on significant problems detected with the voting system in Virginia or on reports provided by federal authorities or other state election officials.

1985, c. 458, §§ 24.1-207.1; 1986, c. 558, § 24.1-206.3; 1993, c. 641; 1994, cc. 287, 742; 2001, cc. 640, 641; 2003, c. 1015; 2004, cc. 409, 993, 1010; 2007, c. 794; 2008, c. 703; 2014, cc. 540, 576; 2020, c. 294.

§ 24.2-630. Experimental use of approved systems.

With the approval of the State Board, the governing body of any county, city, or town may provide for the experimental use at an election in one or more election districts or precincts of a voting or counting system which it might legally adopt without a formal adoption thereof, and its use at such election shall be valid for all purposes.

Code 1950, § 24-295; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-206; 1985, c. 458; 1993, c. 641.

§ 24.2-631. Experimental use of voting systems and ballots prior to approval of the system.

The State Board is authorized to approve the experimental use of voting or counting systems and ballots for the purpose of casting and counting absentee ballots in one or more counties and cities designated by the Board (i) that have established central absentee voter election districts and (ii) whose electoral board and general registrar submit to the Board for approval a plan for the use of such system and ballots. The Board is also authorized to approve the experimental use of voting or counting systems and ballots in one or more precincts in any county or city whose electoral board and general registrar submit to the Board for approval a plan for such use. The use of such systems and ballots at an election shall be valid for all purposes.

1980, c. 639, § 24.1-206.1; 1985, c. 458; 1993, c. 641; 2016, cc. 18, 492.

§ 24.2-632. Voting equipment custodians.

A. For the purpose of programming and preparing voting and counting equipment, including the programming of any electronic activation devices or data storage media used to program or operate the equipment, and maintaining, testing, calibrating, and delivering it, the electoral board and general registrar shall employ one or more persons, to be known as custodians of voting equipment. The custodians shall be fully competent, thoroughly instructed, and sworn to perform their duties honestly and faithfully, and for such purpose shall be appointed and instructed at least 30 days before each election. With the approval of the State Board, the electoral board or general registrar may contract with the voting equipment vendor or another contractor for the purpose of programming, preparing and maintaining the voting equipment. The voting equipment custodians shall instruct and supervise the vendor or contractor technicians and oversee the programming, testing, calibrating and delivering of the equipment. The vendor or contractor technicians shall be sworn to perform their duties honestly and faithfully and be informed of and subject to the misdemeanor and felony penalties provided in §§ 24.2-1009 and 24.2-1010.

The final testing of the equipment prior to each election shall be done in the presence of an electoral board member, a representative of the electoral board, or the general registrar. The electoral board or general registrar may authorize a representative to be present at the final testing only if it is impracticable for a board member or general registrar to attend, and such representative shall in no case be the custodian or a vendor or contractor technician who was responsible for programming the ballot software, electronic activation devices, or electronic data storage media.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, the local electoral board or general registrar may assign a board member or an assistant registrar to serve as a custodian without pay for such service. The board member or assistant registrar serving as custodian shall be fully competent, thoroughly instructed, and sworn to perform his duties honestly and faithfully, and for such purpose shall be appointed and instructed at least 30 days before each election. Whenever the presence of an electoral board member or general registrar and custodian is required by the provisions of this title, the same person shall not serve in both capacities.

Code 1950, §§ 24-296, 24-299; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-209; 1973, c. 30; 1974, c. 428; 1981, c. 570; 1985, c. 458; 1993, c. 641; 1999, c. 219; 2004, cc. 993, 1010; 2016, cc. 18, 492.

§ 24.2-633. Notice of final testing of voting system; sealing equipment.

Before the final testing of voting or counting machines for any election, the general registrar shall mail written notice (i) to the chairman of the local committee of each political party, or (ii) in a primary election, to the chairman of the local committee of the political party holding the primary, or (iii) in a city or town council election in which no candidate is a party nominee and which is held when no other election having party nominees is being conducted, to the candidates.

The notice shall state the time and place where the machine will be tested and state that the political party or candidate receiving the notice may have one representative present while the equipment is tested.

At the time stated in the notice, the representatives, if present, shall be afforded an opportunity to see that the equipment is in proper condition for use at the election. When a machine has been so examined by the representatives, it shall be sealed with a numbered seal in their presence, or if the machine cannot be sealed with a numbered seal, it shall be locked with a key. The representatives shall certify for each machine the number registered on the protective counter and the number on the seal. When no party or candidate representative is present, the custodian shall seal the machine as prescribed in this section in the presence of a member of the electoral board, the general registrar, or a designee of the electoral board or general registrar.

Code 1950, § 24-300; 1962, c. 260; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-210; 1981, c. 425; 1985, c. 458; 1993, c. 641; 1998, c. 264; 2004, cc. 993, 1010; 2014, cc. 540, 576; 2016, cc. 18, 492.

§ 24.2-634. Locking and securing after preparation.

When voting equipment has been properly prepared for an election, it shall be locked against voting and sealed, or if a voting or counting machine cannot be sealed with a numbered seal, it shall be locked with a key. The equipment keys and any electronic activation devices shall be retained in the custody of the general registrar and delivered to the officers of election as provided in § 24.2-639. After the voting equipment has been delivered to the polling places, the general registrar shall provide ample protection against tampering with or damage to the equipment.

Code 1950, § 24-301; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-211; 1985, c. 458; 1993, c. 641; 1998, c. 264; 2004, cc. 993, 1010; 2014, cc. 540, 576; 2016, cc. 18, 492.

§ 24.2-635. Demonstration of equipment.

In each county, city, or town in which voting or counting equipment is to be used, the electoral board or general registrar may designate times and places for the exhibition of equipment containing sample ballots, showing the title of offices to be filled, and, so far as practicable, the names of the candidates to be voted for at the next election for the purpose of informing voters who request instruction on the use of the equipment. No equipment shall be used for such instruction after being prepared and sealed for use in any election. During exhibitions, the counting mechanism, if any, of the equipment may be concealed from view.

Code 1950, § 24-304; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-214; 1985, c. 458; 1993, c. 641; 2003, c. 1015; 2016, cc. 18, 492.

§ 24.2-636. Instruction as to use of equipment.

No fewer than three nor more than 30 days before each election, the electoral board or general registrar shall instruct, or cause to be instructed, on the use of the equipment and his duties in connection therewith, each officer of election appointed to serve in the election who has not previously been so instructed. The board or the general registrar shall not permit any person to serve as an officer who is not fully trained to conduct an election properly with the equipment. This section shall not be construed to prevent the appointment of a person as an officer of election to fill a vacancy in an emergency.

Code 1950, § 24-303; 1970, c. 462, § 24.2-213; 1972, c. 620; 1985, c. 458; 1993, c. 641; 1998, c. 187; 2016, cc. 18, 492.

§ 24.2-637. Furniture and equipment to be at polling places.

Before the time to open the polls, each electoral board shall ensure that the general registrar has the voting and counting equipment and all necessary furniture and materials at the polling places, with counters on the voting or counting devices set at zero (000), and otherwise in good and proper order for use at the election.

The general registrar shall have the custody of such equipment, furniture, and materials when not in use at an election and shall maintain the equipment in accurate working order and in proper repair.

Code 1950, §§ 24-296, 24-299; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-209; 1973, c. 30; 1974, c. 428; 1981, c. 570; 1985, c. 458; 1993, c. 641; 2016, cc. 18, 492.

§ 24.2-638. Voting equipment to be in plain view; officers and others not permitted to see actual voting; unlocking counter compartment of equipment, etc.

During the election, the exterior of the voting equipment and every part of the polling place shall be in plain view of the officers of election.

No voting or counting machines shall be removed from the plain view of the officers of election or from the polling place at any time during the election and through the determination of the vote as provided in § 24.2-657. However, an electronic voting machine that is so constructed as to be easily portable may be taken outside the polling place pursuant to subsection A of § 24.2-649 and to assist a voter age 65 or older or physically disabled so long as: (i) the voting machine remains in the plain view of two officers of election representing two political parties or, in a primary election, two officers of election representing the party conducting the primary, provided that if the use of two officers for this purpose would result in too few officers remaining in the polling place to meet legal requirements, the machine shall remain in plain view of one officer who shall be either the chief officer or the assistant chief officer; (ii) the voter casts his ballot in a secret manner unless the voter requests assistance pursuant to § 24.2-649; and (iii) there remain sufficient officers of election in the polling place to meet legal requirements. After the voter has completed voting his ballot, the officer or officers shall immediately return the voting machine to its assigned location inside the polling place. The machine number, the time that the machine was removed and the time that it was returned, the number on the machine's public counter before the machine was removed and the number on the same counter when it was returned, the names of the voters who used the machine while it was removed provided that secrecy of the ballot is maintained in accordance with guidance from the State Board, and the name or names of the officer or officers who accompanied the machine shall be recorded on the statement of results. If a polling place fails to record the information required in the previous sentence, or it is later proven that the information recorded was intentionally falsified, the local electoral board or general registrar shall dismiss at a minimum the chief officer or the assistant chief officer, or both, as appropriate, and shall dismiss any other officer of election who is shown to have caused the failure to record the required information intentionally or by gross negligence or to have intentionally falsified the information. The dismissed officers shall not be allowed thereafter to serve as an officer or other election official anywhere in the Commonwealth. In the case of an emergency that makes a polling place unusable or inaccessible, voting or counting machines may be removed to an alternative polling place pursuant to the provisions of subsection D of § 24.2-310.

The equipment shall be placed at least four feet from any table where an officer of election is working or seated. The officers of election shall not themselves be, or permit any other person to be, in any position or near any position that will permit them to observe how a voter votes or has voted.

One of the officers shall inspect the face of the voting machine after each voter has cast his vote and verify that the ballots on the face of the machine are in their proper places and that the machine has not been damaged. During an election, the door or other covering of the counter compartment of the voting or counting machine shall not be unlocked or open or the counters exposed except for good and sufficient reasons, a statement of which shall be made and signed by the officers of election and attached to the statement of results. No person shall be permitted in or about the polling place except the voting equipment custodian, vendor, or contractor technicians and other persons authorized by this title.

Code 1950, § 24-305; 1962, c. 260; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-215; 1985, c. 458; 1993, c. 641; 2004, cc. 978, 993, 1006, 1010; 2009, c. 494; 2014, cc. 540, 576; 2016, cc. 18, 492.

§ 24.2-639. Duties of officers of election.

The officers of election of each precinct at which voting systems are used shall meet at the polling place by 5:15 a.m. on the day of the election and arrange the equipment, furniture, and other materials for the conduct of the election. The officers of election shall verify that all required equipment, ballots, and other materials have been delivered to them for the election. The officers shall post at least two instruction cards for direct recording electronic machines conspicuously within the polling place.

The keys to the equipment and any electronic activation devices that are required for the operation of electronic voting equipment shall be delivered, prior to the opening of the polls, to the officer of election designated by the electoral board or general registrar in a sealed envelope on which has been written or printed the name of the precinct for which it is intended. The envelope containing the keys and any electronic activation devices shall not be opened until all of the officers of election for the precinct are present at the polling place and have examined the envelope to see that it has not been opened. The equipment shall remain locked against voting until the polls are formally opened and shall not be operated except by voters in voting.

Before opening the polls, each officer shall examine the equipment and see that no vote has been cast and that the counters register zero. The officers shall conduct their examination in the presence of the following party and candidate representatives: one authorized representative of each political party or independent candidate in a general or special election, or one authorized representative of each candidate in a primary election, if such representatives are available. Each authorized representative shall be a qualified voter of any jurisdiction of the Commonwealth. Each representative, who is not himself a candidate or party chairman, shall present to the officers of election a written statement designating him to be a representative of the party or candidate and signed by the county or city chairman of his political party, the independent candidate, or the primary candidate, as appropriate. If the county or city chairman is unavailable to sign such a written designation, such a designation may be made by the state or district chairman of the political party. However, no written designation made by a state or district chairman shall take precedence over a written designation made by the county or city chairman. Such statement, bearing the chairman's or candidate's original signature, may be photocopied and such photocopy shall be as valid as if the copy had been signed.

If any counter, other than a protective or private counter, on a ballot scanner is found not to register zero, the officers of election shall immediately notify the general registrar, who shall, if possible, substitute a machine in good working order, that has been prepared and tested pursuant to § 24.2-634. No ballot scanner shall be used if any counter, other than a protective or private counter, is found not to register zero.

Code 1950, § 24-306; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-216; 1972, c. 620; 1985, c. 458; 1993, c. 641; 1998, c. 264; 2003, c. 1015; 2004, cc. 993, 1010; 2010, c. 448; 2014, cc. 540, 576; 2015, c. 133; 2016, cc. 18, 464, 492.

§ 24.2-640. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2014, c. 540, cl. 2, effective April 3, 2014, and c. 576, cl. 2, effective April 4, 2014.

§ 24.2-641. Sample ballot.

The electoral board or general registrar shall provide for each precinct in which any voting or counting machines are used two sample ballots for each ballot style in use at that precinct. Such sample ballots shall be posted for public inspection at each polling place during the day of election.

Code 1950, § 24-298; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-208; 1985, c. 458; 1993, c. 641; 2014, cc. 540, 576; 2016, cc. 18, 492; 2018, c. 464.

§ 24.2-642. Inoperative equipment.

A. When any voting or counting machine becomes inoperative in whole or in part while the polls are open, the officers of election shall immediately notify the electoral board or general registrar. If possible, the electoral board or general registrar shall dispatch a qualified technician to the polling place to repair the inoperative machine. All repairs shall be made in the presence of two officers of election representing the two political parties or, in the case of a primary election for only one party, two officers representing that party. If the machine cannot be repaired on site, the general registrar shall, if possible, substitute a machine in good order for the inoperative machine and at the close of the polls the record of both machines shall be taken and the votes shown on their counters shall be added together in ascertaining the results of the election.

No voting or counting machines, including inoperative machines, shall be removed from the plain view of the officers of election or from the polling place at any time during the election and through the determination of the vote as provided in § 24.2-657 except as explicitly provided pursuant to the provisions of this title.

No voting or counting machine that has become inoperative and contains votes may be removed from the polling place while the polls are open and votes are being ascertained. If the officers of election are unable to ascertain the results from the inoperative machine after the polls close in order to add its results to the results from the other machines in that precinct, the officers of election shall lock and seal the machine without removing the memory card, cartridge, or data storage medium and deliver the machine to either the clerk of court or registrar's office as provided for in § 24.2-659. On the day following the election, the electoral board shall meet and ascertain the results from the inoperative machine in accordance with the procedures prescribed by the machine's manufacturer and add the results to the results for the precinct to which the machine was assigned.

Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit the removal of an inoperative machine from a precinct prior to the opening of the polls or the first vote being cast on that machine. Any machine so removed shall be placed in the custody of an authorized custodian, technician, general registrar, or electoral board representative. If the inoperative machine can be repaired, it shall be retested and resealed pursuant to § 24.2-634 and may be returned to the precinct by an authorized custodian, technician, general registrar, or electoral board representative. The officers of election shall then open the machine pursuant to § 24.2-639.

B. In any precinct that uses a ballot that can be read without the use of the ballot scanner machine, if the ballot scanner machine becomes inoperative and there is no other available scanner, the uncounted ballots shall be placed in a ballot container or compartment that is used exclusively for uncounted ballots. If an operative scanner is available in the polling place after the polls have closed, such uncounted ballots shall be removed from the container and fed into the scanner, one at a time, by an officer of election in the presence of all persons who may be lawfully present at that time but before the votes are determined pursuant to § 24.2-657. If such a scanner is not available, the ballots may be counted manually or as directed by the electoral board.

C. An officer of election may have copies of the official paper ballot reprinted or reproduced by photographic, electronic, or mechanical processes for use at the election if (i) the inoperative machine cannot be repaired in time to continue using it at the election, (ii) a substitute machine is needed to conduct the election but is not available for use, (iii) the supply of official printed ballots that can be cast without use of the inoperative machine is not adequate, and (iv) the local electoral board approves the reprinting or reproducing of the official paper ballot. The voted ballot copies may be received by the officers of election and placed in the ballot container and counted with the votes registered on the voting or counting machines, and the result shall be declared the same as though no machine has been inoperative. The voted ballot copies shall be deemed official ballots for the purpose of § 24.2-665 and preserved and returned with the statement of results and with a certificate setting forth how and why the same were voted. The officer of election who had the ballot copies made shall provide a written statement of the number of copies made, signed by him and subject to felony penalties for making false statements pursuant to § 24.2-1016, to be preserved with the unused ballot copies.

Code 1950, § 24-311; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-221; 1981, c. 570; 1985, c. 458; 1993, c. 641; 2000, c. 282; 2003, c. 1015; 2004, cc. 978, 993, 1006, 1010; 2014, cc. 540, 576; 2016, cc. 18, 492.