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virginia > Title 24.2 Elections > Candidates For Office

§ 24.2-505 Declaration of candidacy required of independent candidates

Overview of Statute

This section describes the required declaration of candidacy for candidates at the federal, state, and local level. This statute provides requirements for independent candidates, in contrast to candidates for a party nomination or party nominees addressed in § 24.2-511 (nonprimary method) and § 24.2-520 (primaries).

Statute

A. Any person, other than a candidate for a party nomination or a party nominee, who intends to be a candidate for any office to be elected by the qualified voters of the Commonwealth at large or of a congressional district shall file a declaration of candidacy with the State Board, on a form prescribed by the Board, designating the office for which he is a candidate. The written declaration shall be attested by two witnesses who are qualified voters of the Commonwealth or of the congressional district, or acknowledged before some officer authorized to take acknowledgements to deeds. The declaration shall be signed by the candidate, but if he is incapable of writing his proper signature then some mark adopted by him as his signature shall be acknowledged before some officer authorized to take acknowledgments to deeds.

The State Board shall notify the respective secretaries of the appropriate electoral boards of the qualified candidates who have so filed.

B. Any person, other than a candidate for a party nomination or party nominee, who intends to be a candidate for election to the General Assembly shall file a declaration of candidacy with the general registrar of the county or city where he resides. The declaration shall be in all respects the same as that required to be given to the State Board by statewide and congressional district candidates. The general registrar shall, within three days after receiving the declaration, (i) deliver it in person or transmit it by certified mail, along with the petitions required by § 24.2-506 or copies thereof, to the general registrars of the other counties or cities, if any, in the legislative district for delivery to the secretaries of the electoral boards and (ii) deliver the declaration and such petitions to the secretary of his electoral board. He shall transmit the names of the candidates who have filed with him to the State Board immediately after the filing deadline.

C. Any person, other than a candidate for a party nomination or party nominee, who intends to be a candidate at any election for any other office shall file a declaration of candidacy with the general registrar of the county or city where he resides. The declaration shall be in all respects the same as that required to be given to the State Board by statewide and congressional district candidates. The general registrar shall, within three days after receiving the declaration, deliver it in person or transmit it by certified mail, along with the petitions required by § 24.2-506 or copies thereof, to the secretaries of the electoral boards of the counties or cities whose electors vote for the office. He shall transmit the names of the candidates who have filed with him to the State Board immediately after the filing deadline.

D. If requested in writing by a candidate filing pursuant to subsection B or C, the secretary of the electoral board shall notify him of any irregularity in the declaration or petitions which can be corrected prior to the filing deadline.

Code 1950, §§ 24-130, 24-131, 24-134.1, 24-135; 1958, c. 605; 1960, c. 427; 1962, c. 536; 1964, cc. 540, 541; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-166; 1971, Ex. Sess., cc. 119, 247; 1972, c. 620; 1973, c. 30; 1974, c. 428; 1975, c. 515; 1976, c. 616; 1978, c. 778; 1981, c. 425; 1983, c. 461; 1984, c. 480; 1991, c. 137; 1993, c. 641; 1996, c. 270.

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 [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 [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.