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Virginia > Title 24.2 Elections > General Provisions And Administration

§ 24.2-115 Appointment, qualifications, and terms of officers of election

Statute

Each electoral board at its regular meeting in the first week of February of the year in which the terms of officers of election are scheduled to expire shall appoint officers of election. Their terms of office shall begin on March 1 following their appointment and continue, at the discretion of the electoral board, for a term not to exceed three years or until their successors are appointed. The general registrar shall prepare and submit to the electoral board a plan to ensure that adequate numbers of trained officers of election are available to serve in each election.

Not less than three competent citizens shall be appointed for each precinct. However, a precinct having more than 4,000 registered voters shall have not less than five officers of election serving for a presidential election, and the electoral board shall appoint additional officers as needed to satisfy this requirement. Insofar as practicable, each officer shall be a qualified voter of the precinct he is appointed to serve, but in any case a qualified voter of the Commonwealth. In appointing the officers of election, 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. The representation of the two parties shall be equal at each precinct having an even number of officers and shall vary by no more than one at each precinct having an odd number of officers. If practicable, officers shall be appointed from lists of nominations filed by the political parties entitled to appointments. The party shall file its nominations with the secretary of the electoral board at least 10 days before February 1 each year. The electoral board may appoint additional citizens who do not represent any political party to serve as officers. If practicable, no more than one-third of the total number of officers appointed for each precinct may be citizens who do not represent any political party.

Officers of election shall serve for all elections held in their respective precincts during their terms of office unless a substitute is required to be appointed pursuant to § 24.2-117 or the electoral board decides that fewer officers are needed for a particular election, in which case party representation shall be maintained as provided above. For a primary election involving only one political party, persons representing the political party holding the primary shall serve as the officers of election if possible.

The electoral board shall ensure that one officer is designated as the chief officer of election and one officer is designated as the assistant for each precinct. The officer designated as the assistant for a precinct, whenever practicable, shall not represent the same political party as the chief officer for the precinct. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, where representatives for one or both of the two political parties having the largest number of votes for Governor in the last preceding gubernatorial election are unavailable, citizens who do not represent either of those two political parties may be designated as the chief officer and the assistant chief officer. In such case, the general registrar shall provide notice to representatives of both parties at least 10 days prior to the election that he intends to use nonaffiliated officers so that each party shall have the opportunity to provide additional nominations. The electoral board may also appoint at least one officer of election who reports to the precinct at least one hour prior to the closing of the precinct and whose primary responsibility is to assist with closing the precinct and reporting the results of the votes at the precinct.

The electoral board shall ensure that each chief officer and assistant is instructed in his duties not less than three nor more than 30 days before each election. Each officer of election may be instructed in his duties at an appropriate time or times before each November general election, and training of the officers of election shall be conducted as provided by § 24.2-115.2.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 24.2-117, if an officer of election is unable to serve at any election during his term of office, the electoral board may at any time appoint a substitute who shall hold office and serve for the unexpired term.

Additional officers shall be appointed in accordance with this section at any time that the electoral board determines that they are needed or as required by law.

If practicable, substitute officers or additional officers appointed after the electoral board’s regular meeting in the first week of February shall be appointed from lists of nominations filed by the political parties entitled to appointments. The electoral board or the general registrar shall inform the political parties of the decision of the electoral board to make such appointments and the party shall file its nominations with the secretary of the electoral board or the general registrar within five business days.

The secretary of the electoral board or general registrar shall prepare a list of the officers of election that shall be available for inspection and posted in the general registrar’s office prior to March 1 each year. Whenever substitute or additional officers are appointed, the secretary of the electoral board or the general registrar shall promptly add the names of the appointees to the public list. Upon request and at a reasonable charge not to exceed the actual cost incurred, the secretary of the electoral board or the general registrar shall provide a copy of the list of the officers of election, including their party designation and precinct to which they are assigned, to any requesting political party or candidate.

Code 1950, §§ 24-30, 24-193, 24-195, 24-199; 1950, p. 164; 1970, c. 462, §§ 24.1-32, 24.1-105, 24.1-106; 1972, c. 620; 1975, c. 515; 1976, c. 616; 1978, cc. 330, 778; 1980, c. 639; 1982, c. 650; 1984, c. 480; 1986, c. 558; 1989, c. 227; 1993, c. 641; 1997, c. 459; 1998, c. 187; 2002, cc. 66, 216; 2003, cc. 232, 1015; 2005, c. 820; 2009, cc. 639, 865, 870, 874; 2010, cc. 190, 347, 769; 2013, c. 461; 2014, cc. 410, 777; 2015, c. 667; 2016, cc. 18, 492, 752, 766.

Annotation: 03/10/2016 11:50 pm

The Department of Elections offers online training for officers of election.

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 [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.

See § 24.2-101.

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.

See § 24.2-101.

Definition [General election]

An election held in the Commonwealth on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November or on the first Tuesday in May for the purpose of filling offices regularly scheduled by law to be filled at those times.

See § 24.2-101.

Definition [Primary election]

An election held for the purpose of selecting a candidate to be the nominee of a political party for election to office.

See § 24.2-101.

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.

See § 24.2-101.

Definition [General Registrar]

The person appointed by the electoral board of a county or city pursuant to § 24.2-110 to be responsible for all aspects of voter registration, in addition to other duties prescribed by this title. When performing duties related to the administration of elections, the general registrar is acting in his capacity as the director of elections for the locality in which he serves.

See § 24.2-101.

Definition [Officer of election]

A person appointed by an electoral board pursuant to § 24.2-115 to serve at a polling place for any election.

See § 24.2-101.

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.

See § 24.2-101.

Definition [Board]

The State Board of Elections.

See § 24.2-101.

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 [Primary]

An election held for the purpose of selecting a candidate to be the nominee of a political party for election to office.

See § 24.2-101.

Definition [Election]

A general, primary, or special election.

See § 24.2-101.

Definition [Precinct]

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

See § 24.2-101.

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.

See § 24.2-101.