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virginia > Title 24.2 Elections > Federal, Commonwealth, And Local Officers

§ 24.2-226 Election to fill vacancy

Statute

A. A vacancy in any elected local office, whether occurring when for any reason an officer-elect does not take office or occurring after an officer begins his term, shall be filled as provided by § 24.2-228 or for constitutional officers as provided in § 24.2-228.1, or unless provided otherwise by statute or charter requiring special elections within the time limits provided in this title. The governing body or, in the case of an elected school board, the school board of the county, city, or town in which the vacancy occurs shall, within 15 days of the occurrence of the vacancy, petition the circuit court to issue a writ of election to fill the vacancy as set forth in Article 5 (§ 24.2-681 et seq.) of Chapter 6. Either upon receipt of the petition or on its own motion, the court shall issue the writ ordering the election promptly and shall order the special election to be held on the date of the next general election in November or in May if the vacant office is regularly scheduled by law to be filled in May. However, if the governing body or the school board requests in its petition a different date for the election, the court shall order the special election be held on that date, so long as the date requested precedes the date of such next general election and complies with the provisions of § 24.2-682. If the vacancy occurs within 90 days of the next such general election and the governing body or the school board has not requested in its petition a different date for the election, the special election shall be held on the date of the second such general election. Upon receipt of written notification by an officer or officer-elect of his resignation as of a stated date, the governing body or school board, as the case may be, may immediately petition the circuit court to issue a writ of election, and the court may immediately issue the writ to call the election. The officer’s or officer-elect’s resignation shall not be revocable after the date stated by him for his resignation or after the forty-fifth day before the date set for the special election. The person so elected shall hold the office for the remaining portion of the regular term of the office for which the vacancy is being filled.

B. Notwithstanding any provision of law or charter to the contrary, no election to fill a vacancy shall be ordered or held if the general election at which it is to be called is scheduled within 60 days of the end of the term of the office to be filled.

C. Notwithstanding any provision of law or charter to the contrary, when an interim appointment to a vacancy in any governing body or elected school board has been made by the remaining members thereof, no election to fill the vacancy shall be ordered or held if the general election at which it is to be called is scheduled in the year in which the term expires.

Code 1950, §§ 24-145, 24-147.1; 1958, c. 621; 1970, c. 462, §§ 24.1-76, 24.1-79; 1975, c. 515; 1976, c. 616; 1977, c. 490; 1984, c. 480; 1993, c. 641; 1996, c. 873; 2000, cc. 787, 1045, 1070; 2003, c. 1015; 2010, cc. 431, 449, 645; 2011, c. 206; 2014, c. 476.

Definition [Occurrence]

One broadcast of a radio or television political campaign advertisement.

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.

Definition [Special election]

Any election that is held pursuant to law to fill a vacancy in office or to hold a referendum.

Definition [Constitutional office]

A county or city office or officer referred to in Article VII, Section 4 of the Constitution of Virginia: clerk of the circuit court, attorney for the Commonwealth, sheriff, commissioner of the revenue, and treasurer.

Definition [Constitutional officer]

A county or city office or officer referred to in Article VII, Section 4 of the Constitution of Virginia: clerk of the circuit court, attorney for the Commonwealth, sheriff, commissioner of the revenue, and treasurer.

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.

Cases

virginia Cases

Case Name: Burnett v. Brown

Citation: 194 Va. 103

Year: 1952

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/fa5fcf87ccaaf3e809bcaf1de9e34553

Case Summary: Holding that the circuit court had the authority to declare an office vacant and to make an appointment for the full term when the duly elected officer died prior to the beginning of his term.

Out-of-State Cases

Federal Cases

Case Name: Avens v. Wright

Citation: 320 F. Supp. 677

Federal District Court: Western District of Virginia

Year: 1970

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/235a1c780efc6c233fd7e3239ae63eb4

Case Summary: Holding that statute authorizing circuit judges to increase magisterial districts in a county and to appoint persons to represent new districts did not violate the separation of powers doctrine.

Regulations & Guidance