Topics
Code Section
Virginia > Title 24.2 Elections > General Provisions And Administration

§ 24.2-104 Requesting assistance for attorney for the Commonwealth; investigative committees

Overview of Statute

This section gives authority to the Attorney General to enforce and prosecute election law violations. This section also describes how the State Board may request the Attorney General to assist in the event of violations. Further, the Commonwealth attorney or an electoral board member may request that the Attorney General appoint an investigative committee to look into election practices.

Statute

A. The Attorney General shall have full authority to do whatever is necessary or appropriate to enforce the election laws or prosecute violations thereof. The Attorney General shall exercise the authority granted by this section to conduct an investigation, prosecute a violation, assure the enforcement of the elections laws, and report the results of the investigation to the State Board.

B. When the State Board is of the opinion that the public interest will be served, it may request the Attorney General, or other attorney designated by the Governor for such purpose, to assist the attorney for the Commonwealth of any jurisdiction in which election laws have been violated. When the State Board makes its request pursuant to a unanimous vote of all members, the Attorney General, or other attorney designated by the Governor, shall exercise the authority granted by this section to conduct an investigation, prosecute a violation, assure the enforcement of the election laws, and report the results of the investigation to the State Board. The Attorney General, or the other attorney designated by the Governor, shall have full authority to do whatever is necessary or appropriate to enforce the election laws or prosecute violations thereof.

C. The attorney for the Commonwealth or a member of the electoral board of any county or city may make a request, in writing, that the Attorney General appoint a committee to make an immediate investigation of the election practices in that city or county, accompanied by a statement under oath that substantial violations of this title have allegedly occurred which may alter or have altered the outcome of an election. On receipt of the request and statement, the Attorney General shall forthwith appoint a committee of two or more persons qualified to make the investigation. Members, officers, and employees of the Board, local electoral boards, and registrars’ offices shall not serve on the committee but may provide assistance to the committee.

The Attorney General shall direct the committee to observe, investigate or supervise the election if supervision appears necessary. The committee shall make a preliminary report to the Attorney General within five days of its appointment. If its report shows that violations of this title have occurred, the Attorney General may, notwithstanding any other provision of law, authorize the prosecution of those responsible for the violations.

Code 1950, § 24-27; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-21; 1989, c. 111; 1993, c. 641; 2002, cc. 785, 819; 2013, c. 768.

Definition [State Board]

The State Board of Elections.

See § 24.2-101.

Definition [Electoral board]

A board appointed pursuant to § 24.2-106 to administer elections for a county or city. The electoral board of the county in which a town or the greater part of a town is located shall administer the town’s elections.

See § 24.2-101.

Definition [Local electoral board]

A board appointed pursuant to § 24.2-106 to administer elections for a county or city. The electoral board of the county in which a town or the greater part of a town is located shall administer the town’s elections.

See § 24.2-101.

Definition [Board]

The State Board of Elections.

See § 24.2-101.

Definition [State]

A state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

See § 24.2-452.

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.

Definition [Election]

A general, primary, or special election.

See § 24.2-101.

Regulations & Guidance