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Virginia > Title 24.2 Elections > The Election

§ 24.2-603.1 Postponement of certain elections; state of emergency

Statute

For purposes of this section, “election” means (i) any local or state referendum, (ii) any primary, special, or general election for local or state office except a general election for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and the General Assembly, (iii) any primary for federal office including any primary for the nomination of candidates for the office of President of the United States, or (iv) any federal special election to fill a vacancy in the United States Senate or the United States House of Representatives. In the event of a state of emergency declared by the Governor pursuant to Chapter 3.2 (§ 44-146.13 et seq.) of Title 44 or declared by the President of the United States or the governor of another state pursuant to law and confirmed by the Governor by an executive order, the Governor may postpone an election by executive order in areas affected by the emergency to a date, notwithstanding the provisions of § 24.2-682, not to exceed 14 days from the original date of the election.

If a local governing body determines that a longer postponement is required, it may petition a three-judge panel of the Virginia Supreme Court, to include the Chief Justice as the presiding Justice, for an extension. The Chief Justice shall choose the other two Justices by lot. The Court may postpone the election to a date it deems appropriate, notwithstanding the provisions of § 24.2-682, not to exceed 30 days from the original date of the election.

Only those persons duly registered to vote as of the original date of the election shall be entitled to vote in the rescheduled election.

If, as a direct result of the emergency, any ballots already cast at the polling places or equipment on which ballots have been cast, or any voted absentee ballots already received by the appropriate election officials or any equipment on which absentee ballots have already been cast have been destroyed or otherwise damaged so that such ballots cannot be counted manually or by a voting system, the Governor (i) shall specify that such ballots or votes previously cast by machinery or paper need to be recast on or by the rescheduled election date so that they may be counted and (ii) shall direct the appropriate election officials to immediately send replacement absentee ballots to all absentee voters whose voted ballots are known to have been so destroyed or damaged. Such instructions may be issued by executive order separately from the executive order postponing the election. Any absentee ballots duly cast and received by the rescheduled election date and able to be counted shall be valid and counted when determining the results of the rescheduled election; however, if more than one absentee ballot is received from any voter, only the first absentee ballot received and able to be counted shall be counted. Any person who was duly registered to vote as of the original date of the election, and who has not voted, or who is permitted to recast their ballot due to the emergency, may vote by absentee ballot in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 7 (§ 24.2-700 et seq.) in the rescheduled election. Official ballots shall not be invalidated on the basis that they contain the original election date.

If the postponement of the election is ordered after voting at the polls on the original election date has already commenced, all qualified voters in a precinct in which any voted ballots, voting equipment containing voted ballots or pollbooks recording who has already voted in that precinct have been destroyed or damaged as a direct result of the emergency, so that the votes cannot be counted or it cannot be determined who has already voted, shall be allowed to vote in the rescheduled election, and no votes cast at the polls on the original election date shall be counted. If the postponement of the election is ordered after voting at the polls on the original election date has already commenced and no ballots cast at the polls, voting equipment containing voted ballots, or pollbooks recording who has already voted in that election in that precinct have been destroyed or damaged as a direct result of the emergency, only qualified voters who had not yet voted shall be eligible to vote on the rescheduled election day and all votes cast on the original and postponed election dates shall be counted at the close of the polls on the rescheduled election day.

The provisions of § 24.2-663 requiring the voiding of all ballots received from any voter who votes more than once in the same election shall not apply to ballots otherwise lawfully cast or recast pursuant to this section; however, no more than one ballot may be counted from any voter in the same election. If one ballot has already been counted, any additional ballots from the same voter shall be void and shall not be counted. The provisions of § 24.2-1004 or any other law prohibiting any voter from voting more than once in the same election, or any oath attesting to the same, shall not apply to ballots otherwise lawfully cast or recast pursuant to this section.

No results shall be tallied or votes counted in any postponed election before the closing of the polls on the rescheduled election date. Officers of election in unaffected areas shall count and report the results for the postponed election after the close of the polls on the rescheduled election date. The counting may take place at the precinct or another location determined by the local electoral board.

The State Board shall prescribe appropriate procedures to implement this section.

2002, cc. 785, 819; 2004, c. 205; 2014, cc. 540, 576.

Definition [Referendum]

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

See § 24.2-101.

Definition [State Board]

The State Board of Elections.

See § 24.2-101.

Definition [Polling place]

The structure that contains the one place provided for each precinct at which the qualified voters who are residents of the precinct may vote.

See § 24.2-101.

Definition [Voting system]

The electronic voting and counting machines used at elections. This term includes direct recording electronic machines (DRE) and ballot scanner machines.

See § 24.2-101.

Definition [United States]

Used in the territorial sense, means the several states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, and any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

See § 24.2-452.

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 [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 [Special election]

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

See § 24.2-101.

Definition [Local 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 [Board]

The State Board of Elections.

See § 24.2-101.

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.

See § 24.2-452.

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.