Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 24.2. Elections
Chapter 7. Absentee Voting
9/26/2021

§ 24.2-708. Return of unused ballots; voting by applicant who did not receive or lost ballot; defaced ballots. (2021 updated section)

A. Any person who has applied for and received an absentee ballot may choose not to vote absentee and shall be entitled to cast a ballot in accordance with the provisions of this subsection.

1. The voter may, prior to the day of the election, return the ballot to the general registrar (i) unopened in the sealed envelope in which it was sent to him or (ii) opened and unmarked.

The general registrar shall note on the voter's record, opposite the name of the voter, the fact that the ballot was returned unused and the date of the return and shall carefully preserve the ballot with all ballots returned unused. Such ballots shall be delivered, with other returned ballots, to the officers of election on election day. The voter shall then be entitled to vote a regular ballot in the office of the general registrar, or he may choose to vote at his proper polling place or at a central absentee voter precinct on the day of the election. On the day of the election, (a) if the general registrar or an officer of election is able to confirm the return of the unused ballot, the voter shall be entitled to vote a regular ballot and (b) if the general registrar or an officer of election is unable to confirm the return of the unused ballot, the voter shall be entitled to cast a provisional ballot pursuant to § 24.2-653.1.

2. The voter may, on the day of the election, return his unused ballot to his proper polling place or central absentee voter precinct, and the unused ballot shall be preserved with other unused ballots. The voter shall then be entitled to vote a regular ballot.

3. The voter may, on the day of the election, offer to vote at his proper polling place or at a central absentee voter precinct without returning his unused ballot, and he shall be entitled to cast a provisional ballot pursuant to § 24.2-653.1.

B. Any person who has applied for and has been sent an absentee ballot but does not receive the ballot or loses the ballot shall be entitled to cast a ballot in accordance with the provisions of this subsection.

1. The voter may, prior to the day of the election, present to the general registrar or officer of election a statement signed by him that he did not receive the ballot or has lost the ballot. Such statement shall be made subject to felony penalties for making false statements as pursuant to § 24.2-1016, and the voter shall then be entitled to cast a regular ballot.

2. The voter may, on the day of the election, offer to vote at his proper polling place or at a central absentee voter precinct, and he shall be entitled to cast a provisional ballot pursuant to § 24.2-653.1.

C. Any person who has applied for and has been sent an absentee ballot that has been unintentionally or accidentally defaced and rendered unfit for voting shall be entitled to cast a ballot in accordance with the provisions of this subsection.

1. The voter may, prior to the day of the election, present the defaced ballot to the general registrar or an officer of election, and the ballot shall be marked spoiled by the general registrar or an officer of election and placed in a spoiled-ballot envelope to be retained with the ballots for the election. The voter shall then be entitled to vote a regular ballot in the office of the general registrar, or he may choose to vote at his proper polling place or at a central absentee voter precinct on the day of the election. On the day of the election, (i) if the general registrar or an officer of election is able to confirm the return of the defaced ballot, the voter shall be entitled to vote a regular ballot and (ii) if the general registrar or an officer of election is unable to confirm the return of the defaced ballot, the voter shall be entitled to cast a provisional ballot pursuant to § 24.2-653.1.

2. The voter may, on the day of the election, present his defaced or unfit ballot to his proper polling place or central absentee voter precinct, and the defaced or unfit ballot shall be preserved with other spoiled ballots. The voter shall then be entitled to vote a regular ballot.

Code 1950, §§ 24-336, 24-340.1; 1954, c. 511; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-233; 1974, c. 428; 1978, c. 778; 1993, c. 641; 1999, c. 725; 2006, c. 283; 2010, c. 348; 2012, c. 645; 2014, c. 600; 2015, cc. 644, 645; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 471.