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virginia > Title 24.2 Elections > Election Offenses Generally; Penalties

§ 24.2-1005.1 Communication of false information to registered voter

Statute

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to communicate to a registered voter, by any means, false information, knowing the same to be false, intended to impede the voter in the exercise of his right to vote. The provisions of this section shall apply to information only about the date, time, and place of the election or the voter’s precinct, polling place, or voter registration status.

B. Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

C. A violation of this section may be prosecuted either in the jurisdiction from which the communication was made or in the jurisdiction in which the communication was received.

2007, c. 313.

Annotation: 10/12/2016 10:03 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 [Polling place]

The structure that contains the one place provided for each precinct at which the qualified voters who are residents of the precinct may vote.

Definition [Registered voter]

Any person who is maintained on the Virginia voter registration system. All registered voters shall be maintained on the Virginia voter registration system with active status unless assigned to inactive status by a general registrar in accordance with Chapter 4 (§ 24.2-400 et seq.). For purposes of applying the precinct size requirements of § 24.2-307, calculating election machine requirements pursuant to Article 3 (§ 24.2-625 et seq.) of Chapter 6, mailing notices of local election district, precinct or polling place changes as required by subdivision 13 of § 24.2-114 and § 24.2-306, and determining the number of signatures required for candidate and voter petitions, “registered voter” shall include only persons maintained on the Virginia voter registration system with active status. For purposes of determining if a signature on a petition shall be included in the count toward meeting the signature requirements of any petition, “registered voter” shall include only persons maintained on the Virginia voter registration system (i) with active status and (ii) on inactive status who are qualified to vote for the office for which the petition was circulated.

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.

Definition [Election]

A general, primary, or special election.

Definition [Precinct]

The territory designated by the governing body of a county, city, or town to be served by one polling place.