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virginia > Title 24.2 Elections > Voter Registration

§ 24.2-424 Change of registered voter’s address within the Commonwealth; pilot project

Overview of Statute

This section requires registered voters to notify their general registrar of any change in their address. Details, including methods of notice and duties of the registrar, are contained in this section.

Statute

A. Whenever a registered voter changes his place of residence within the Commonwealth, he shall promptly notify any general registrar of the address of his new residence. Such notice may be made in person, in writing, by return of the voter registration card noting the new address, or on a form approved by the State Board of Elections, which may be electronic. The notice in writing may be provided by mail or by facsimile and shall be signed by the voter unless he is physically unable to sign, in which case his own mark acknowledged by a witness shall be sufficient signature. Notice may be provided by electronic means as authorized by the State Board and signed by the voter in a manner consistent with the provisions of § 24.2-416.7 and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (§ 59.1-479 et seq.). The fact that a voter provides an address on a candidate or referendum petition that differs from the address for the voter on the voter registration system shall not be sufficient notice to change the voter’s registration address. Any statements made by any voter applying for transfer are subject to felony penalties for making a false statement pursuant to § 24.2-1016.

B. If the voter has moved within the same county or city, on receipt of the notification, the general registrar for that county or city shall (i) enter the new address on the registration record; (ii) if satisfied that the registered voter has moved into another precinct within the same county or city, transfer the registration of the voter to that precinct; and (iii) send the voter confirmation documents. This transfer may be entered in the registration records at any time the registration records are not closed pursuant to § 24.2-416.

C. Any request for transfer or change of address within the Commonwealth delivered to any registrar shall be forwarded to the general registrar for the city or county in the Commonwealth where the voter now resides. When forwarding said notice, or upon request from the registrar for the county or city where the voter now resides, the registrar for the county or city where the voter formerly resided shall forward the original application for registration to the registrar for the voter’s new locality.

D. Upon receipt of the voter’s original registration application, and notice as specified in subsection A of this section indicating the voter’s current residence, the registrar for the county or city in which the voter currently resides shall: (i) enter the new address on the registration record; (ii) if satisfied that the registered voter has moved into a precinct within that county or city, transfer the registration of the voter to that precinct; (iii) send the voter confirmation documents; and (iv) through the Virginia voter registration system, notify the registrar of the locality where the voter formerly resided that the registration has been transferred. This transfer may be entered in the registration records at any time the registration records are not closed pursuant to § 24.2-416.

E. If the original registration application is no longer available to the registrar in the city or county where the voter formerly resided, either of the following shall be sent to and accepted by the registrar in the city or county where the voter now resides in lieu of such application: (i) an unsigned voter card (or conversion card) used as the voter record upon the creation of the statewide voter registration system or (ii) a replacement record provided by the Department to replace damaged files in the registrar’s office. If no other record is available, then the registrar of the voter’s former locality shall provide written notification to the registrar of the locality in which the voter now resides that none of the required documents are available. In this instance only, the registrar of the locality in which the voter now resides shall copy the voter’s record from the Virginia voter registration system and use that record in lieu of the original voter registration application. Any complete voter registration application on a form previously authorized for use in Virginia shall be valid for the purposes of continuing or transferring a voter’s registration within the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 24-85; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-52; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 247; 1977, c. 490; 1993, c. 641; 2000, c. 857; 2001, cc. 615, 625; 2002, c. 279; 2003, c. 1015; 2013, cc. 520, 684; 2015, c. 740.

Definition [Department]

The state agency headed by the Commissioner of Elections.

Definition [Referendum]

Any election held pursuant to law to submit a question to the voters for approval or rejection.

Definition [State Board]

The State Board of Elections.

Definition [Authorized by]

Express approval or express consent by the candidate, the candidate’s campaign committee, or an agent of the candidate or his campaign committee after coordination.

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 [Registration records]

All official records concerning the registration of qualified voters and shall include all records, lists, applications, and files, whether maintained in books, on cards, on automated data bases, or by any other legally permitted record-keeping method.

Definition [Voter registration system]

The automated central record-keeping system for all voters registered within the Commonwealth that is maintained as provided in Article 2 (§ 24.2-404 et seq.) of Chapter 4.

Definition [Virginia voter registration system]

The automated central record-keeping system for all voters registered within the Commonwealth that is maintained as provided in Article 2 (§ 24.2-404 et seq.) of Chapter 4.

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 [Precinct]

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

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: Moseley v. Price

Citation: 300 F. Supp. 2d 389

Federal District Court: Eastern District of Virginia

Year: 2004

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/1593185044c5fe07bcd89bd1915aafa0

Case Summary: Holding that county official did not violate applicant’s rights by referring his possible voter registration fraud to the Commonwealth’s Attorney without filing a formal complaint and without conducting a thorough investigation first, that the desire not to be investigated for this type of fraud is not a fundamental right, and that the fact that an investigation was initiated because applicant was not listed as the owner of the property used on his application did not mean that his right to vote was conditioned on his owning property in violation of the due process clause.