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virginia > Title 24.2 Elections > General Provisions And Administration

§ 24.2-106 Appointment and terms; vacancies; chairman and secretary; certain prohibitions; training

Overview of Statute

This section describes the appointment process for members of county or city electoral boards, and also describes the terms that electoral board members can serve. Finally, this section restricts the political activities and familial connections that board members may have.

Statute

There shall be in each county and city an electoral board composed of three members who shall be appointed by a majority of the circuit judges of the judicial circuit for the county or city. If a majority of the judges cannot agree, the senior judge shall make the appointment. Any vacancy occurring on a board shall be filled by the same authority for the unexpired term. In the event of the temporary absence, or disability that precludes the performance of duties, of one or more members that prevents attaining a quorum, the senior judge, for good cause, may appoint, on a meeting to meeting basis, a temporary member to the electoral board. The temporary appointee must be eligible for appointment and to the extent practicable maintain representation of political parties under § 24.2-106. The clerk of the circuit court shall send to the State Board a copy of each order making an appointment to an electoral board.

In the appointment of the electoral board, representation shall be given to each of the two political parties having the highest and next highest number of votes in the Commonwealth for Governor at the last preceding gubernatorial election. Two electoral board members shall be of the political party that cast the highest number of votes for Governor at that election. When the Governor was not elected as the candidate of a political party, representation shall be given to each of the political parties having the highest and next highest number of members of the General Assembly at the time of the appointment and two board members shall be of the political party having the highest number of members in the General Assembly. The political party entitled to the appointment shall make and file recommendations with the judges for the appointment not later than January 15 of the year of an appointment to a full term or, in the case of an appointment to fill a vacancy, within 30 days of the date of death or notice of resignation of the member being replaced. Its recommendations shall contain the names of at least three qualified voters of the county or city for each appointment. The judges shall promptly make such appointment (i) after receipt of the political party’s recommendation or (ii) after January 15 for a full term or after the 30-day period expires for a vacancy appointment, whichever of the events described in clause (i) or (ii) first occurs.

The circuit judges of the judicial circuit for the county or city shall not appoint to the electoral board (i) any person who is the spouse of an electoral board member or the general registrar for the county or city, (ii) any person, or the spouse of any person, who is the parent, grandparent, sibling, child, or grandchild of an electoral board member or the general registrar of the county or city, or (iii) any person who is ineligible to serve under the provisions of this section.

Electoral board members shall serve three-year terms and be appointed to staggered terms, one term to expire at midnight on the last day of February each year. No three-year term shall be shortened to comply with the political party representation requirements of this section.

The board shall elect one of its members as chairman and another as secretary. The chairman and the secretary shall represent different political parties, unless the representative of the second-ranked political party declines in writing to accept the unfilled office. At any time that the secretary is incapacitated in such a way that makes it impossible for the secretary to carry out the duties of the position, the board may designate one of its other members as acting secretary. Any such designation shall be made in an open meeting and recorded in the minutes of the board.

The secretary of the electoral board shall immediately notify the State Board of any change in the membership or officers of the electoral board and shall keep the Board informed of the name, residence and mailing addresses, and home and business telephone numbers of each electoral board member.

No member of an electoral board shall be eligible to offer for or hold an office to be filled in whole or in part by qualified voters of his jurisdiction. If a member resigns to offer for or hold such office, the vacancy shall be filled as provided in this section.

No member of an electoral board shall be the spouse, grandparent, parent, sibling, child, or grandchild, or the spouse of a grandparent, parent, sibling, child, or grandchild, of a candidate for or holder of an elective office filled in whole or in part by any voters within the jurisdiction of the electoral board.

No member of an electoral board shall serve as the chairman of a state, local or district level political party committee or as a paid worker in the campaign of a candidate for nomination or election to an office filled by election in whole or in part by the qualified voters of the jurisdiction of the electoral board.

At least one member of the electoral board shall attend an annual training program provided by the State Board.

Code 1950, §§ 24-29, 24-32, 24-33, 24-42; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-29; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 204; 1973, c. 30; 1975, c. 515; 1978, c. 778; 1980, c. 639; 1984, c. 480; 1986, c. 558, § 24.1-33.1; 1993, cc. 480, 641; 1995, cc. 835, 848; 2003, c. 1015; 2005, c. 380; 2011, c. 764; 2013, c. 409.

Definition [State Board]

The State Board of Elections.

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.

Definition [Political party]

An organization of citizens of the Commonwealth which, at either of the two preceding statewide general elections, received at least 10 percent of the total vote cast for any statewide office filled in that election. The organization shall have a state central committee and an office of elected state chairman which have been continually in existence for the six months preceding the filing of a nominee for any office.

Definition [Qualified voter]

A person who is entitled to vote pursuant to the Constitution of Virginia and who is (i) 18 years of age on or before the day of the election or qualified pursuant to § 24.2-403 or subsection D of § 24.2-544, (ii) a resident of the Commonwealth and of the precinct in which he offers to vote, and (iii) a registered voter. No person who has been convicted of a felony shall be a qualified voter unless his civil rights have been restored by the Governor or other appropriate authority. No person adjudicated incapacitated shall be a qualified voter unless his capacity has been reestablished as provided by law. Whether a signature should be counted towards satisfying the signature requirement of any petition shall be determined based on the signer of the petition’s qualification to vote. For purposes of determining if a signature on a petition shall be included in the count toward meeting the signature requirements of any petition, “qualified voter” shall include only persons maintained on the Virginia voter registration system (a) with active status and (b) with inactive status who are qualified to vote for the office for which the petition was circulated.

Definition [Political party committee]

Any state political party committee, congressional district political party committee, county or city political party committee, other election district political party committee, or organized political party group of elected officials. This definition is subject to the provisions of § 24.2-950.1.

The term shall not include any other organization or auxiliary associated with or using the name of a political party.

Definition [Party]

An organization of citizens of the Commonwealth which, at either of the two preceding statewide general elections, received at least 10 percent of the total vote cast for any statewide office filled in that election. The organization shall have a state central committee and an office of elected state chairman which have been continually in existence for the six months preceding the filing of a nominee for any office.

Definition [Board]

The State Board of Elections.

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.

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 [Candidate]

A person who seeks or campaigns for an office of the Commonwealth or one of its governmental units in a general, primary, or special election and who is qualified to have his name placed on the ballot for the office. “Candidate” shall include a person who seeks the nomination of a political party or who, by reason of receiving the nomination of a political party for election to an office, is referred to as its nominee. For the purposes of Chapters 8 (§ 24.2-800 et seq.), 9.3 (§ 24.2-945 et seq.), and 9.5 (§ 24.2-955 et seq.), “candidate” shall include any write-in candidate. However, no write-in candidate who has received less than 15 percent of the votes cast for the office shall be eligible to initiate an election contest pursuant to Article 2 (§ 24.2-803 et seq.) of Chapter 8. For the purposes of Chapters 9.3 (§ 24.2-945 et seq.) and 9.5 (§ 24.2-955 et seq.), “candidate” shall include any person who raises or spends funds in order to seek or campaign for an office of the Commonwealth, excluding federal offices, or one of its governmental units in a party nomination process or general, primary, or special election; and such person shall be considered a candidate until a final report is filed pursuant to Article 3 (§ 24.2-947 et seq.) of Chapter 9.3.

Definition [Residence]

For all purposes of qualification to register and vote, means and requires both domicile and a place of abode. To establish domicile, a person must live in a particular locality with the intention to remain. A place of abode is the physical place where a person dwells.

Cases

virginia Cases

Out-of-State Cases

Federal Cases

Case Name: McConnell v. Adams

Citation: 829 F.2d 1319

Federal Circuit Court: 4th Circuit Court

Year: 1987

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/a4579de07a60c612f06e5f5cac793939

Case Summary: Holding that (1) Failing to rehire registrars based on political affiliation violated First Amendment; (2) Board members enjoyed qualified immunity when there was a question of whether an exception applied to the prohibition against political affiliation as a consideration for public employment; and (3) Board members were state officers for Eleventh Amendment purposes.

Case Name: Kilgore v. McClelland

Citation: 637 F. Supp. 1241

Federal District Court: Western District of Virginia

Year: 1985

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/78d9659a8ba6fda29562dd018b21997b?query=637%20F[...]

Case Summary: Holding that county electoral board members were not entitled to qualified immunity from suit when they violated clearly established law that firing for political affiliation was unconstitutional.

Regulations & Guidance