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Virginia > Title 24.2 Elections > Election Offenses Generally; Penalties

§ 24.2-1003 Campaigning at registration locations

Overview of Statute

This section makes it a misdemeanor to campaign while persons are registering to vote.

Statute

Any person who gives or tenders any campaign materials to, or solicits or attempts to influence the vote of, any person while he is at any registration location as defined in Article 3 (§ 24.2-411 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of this title knowing that such person is there for the purpose of registration, shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the distribution of campaign materials outside any building in which a registration activity is being conducted.

1984, c. 480, § 24.1-49.01; 1993, c. 641; 2003, c. 1015.

Annotation: 10/12/2016 10:00 pm

As a criminal statue, this will be strictly construed and require a form of intent. The vast majority of Chapter 10 violations are prosecuted by Commonwealth Attorneys, except where a violation is alleged to involve operation of the State Board or a local electoral board which may involve action by the Attorney General.

Definition [Person]

Any individual or corporation, partnership, business, labor organization, membership organization, association, cooperative, or other like entity.

For the purpose of applying the filing and reporting requirements of this chapter, the term “person” shall not include an organization holding tax-exempt status under § 501(c) (3), 501(c) (4), or 501(c) (6) of the United States Internal Revenue Code which, in providing information to voters, does not advocate or endorse the election or defeat of a particular candidate, group of candidates, or the candidates of a particular political party.

See § 24.2-945.1.

Cases

virginia Cases

Out-of-State Cases

Federal Cases

Case Name: Avedisian v. Holcomb

Citation: 853 F. Supp. 185

Federal District Court: Eastern District of Virginia

Year: 1994

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/ef8d31ed828c02eef450a5a1c89705ba

Case Summary: Holding that plaintiff was not entitled to preliminary injunction preventing Virginia DMV from prohibiting him from soliciting citizens to sign his ballot petition inside branch offices, instead of outside the offices as the DMV instructed. Plaintiff would suffer no irreparable harm, because he had access to the same person outside offices. Likelihood of harm to DMV was greater, because offices were small and crowded; further, giving plaintiff this opportunity may require the DMV to give others the same opportunity. Finally, plaintiff was not likely to succeed on the merits of his First and Fourteenth Amendment claims.