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Virginia > Title 24.2 Elections > The Election

§ 24.2-643 Qualified voter permitted to vote; procedures at polling place; voter identification

Overview of Statute

This section describes the voting day procedure for determining whether a voter is eligible to vote. It contains the photo voter ID requirement. Eligible voters shall be permitted to enter the polling booth and vote.

Statute

A. After the polls are open, each qualified voter at a precinct shall be permitted to vote. The officers of election shall ascertain that a person offering to vote is a qualified voter before admitting him to the voting booth and furnishing an official ballot to him.

B. An officer of election shall ask the voter for his full name and current residence address and the voter may give such information orally or in writing. The officer of election shall repeat, in a voice audible to party and candidate representatives present, the full name and address provided by the voter. The officer shall ask the voter to present any one of the following forms of identification: his valid Virginia driver’s license, his valid United States passport, or any other photo identification issued by the Commonwealth, one of its political subdivisions, or the United States; any valid student identification card containing a photograph of the voter and issued by any institution of higher education located in the Commonwealth or any private school located in the Commonwealth; or any valid employee identification card containing a photograph of the voter and issued by an employer of the voter in the ordinary course of the employer’s business.

Any voter who does not show one of the forms of identification specified in this subsection shall be offered a provisional ballot under the provisions of § 24.2-653. The State Board of Elections shall provide an ID-ONLY provisional ballot envelope that requires no follow-up action by the registrar or electoral board other than matching submitted identification documents from the voter for the electoral board to make a determination on whether to count the ballot.

If the voter presents one of the forms of identification listed above, if his name is found on the pollbook in a form identical to or substantially similar to the name on the presented form of identification and the name provided by the voter, if he is qualified to vote in the election, and if no objection is made, an officer shall enter, opposite the voter’s name on the pollbook, the first or next consecutive number from the voter count form provided by the State Board, or shall enter that the voter has voted if the pollbook is in electronic form; an officer shall provide the voter with the official ballot; and another officer shall admit him to the voting booth. Each voter whose name has been marked on the pollbooks as present to vote and entitled to a ballot shall remain in the presence of the officers of election in the polling place until he has voted. If a line of voters who have been marked on the pollbooks as present to vote forms to await entry to the voting booths, the line shall not be permitted to extend outside of the room containing the voting booths and shall remain under observation by the officers of election.

A voter may be accompanied into the voting booth by his child age 15 or younger.

C. If the current residence address provided by the voter is different from the address shown on the pollbook, the officer of election shall furnish the voter with a change of address form prescribed by the State Board. Upon its completion, the voter shall sign the prescribed form, subject to felony penalties for making false statements pursuant to § 24.2-1016, which the officer of election shall then place in an envelope provided for such forms for transmission to the general registrar who shall then transfer or cancel the registration of such voter pursuant to Chapter 4 (§ 24.2-400 et seq.).

D. At the time the voter is asked his full name and current residence address, the officer of election shall ask any voter for whom the pollbook indicates that an identification number other than a social security number is recorded on the Virginia voter registration system if he presently has a social security number. If the voter is able to provide his social security number, he shall be furnished with a voter registration form prescribed by the State Board to update his registration information. Upon its completion, the form shall be placed by the officer of election in an envelope provided for such forms for transmission to the general registrar. Any social security numbers so provided shall be entered by the general registrar in the voter’s record on the voter registration system.

Code 1950, §§ 24-244, 24-245, 24-248, 24-252, 24-308; 1952, c. 581; 1962, c. 536; 1964, c. 593; 1970, c. 462, §§ 24.1-125, 24.1-126, 24.1-129, 24.1-218; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 247; 1973, c. 30; 1975, c. 515; 1978, c. 778; 1981, c. 425; 1982, c. 650, § 24.1-126.1; 1984, c. 234; 1985, cc. 197, 458; 1987, c. 349; 1993, c. 641; 1995, c. 716; 1996, cc. 72, 73; 1999, c. 725; 2000, cc. 366, 451; 2003, c. 1015; 2004, c. 410; 2005, cc. 496, 539; 2011, cc. 427, 458; 2012, cc. 723, 838, 839; 2013, cc. 725, 746; 2015, cc. 134, 571; 2016, c. 399.

Annotation: 03/24/2016 9:43 pm

Lee v. SBE, 3:15cv357 (E.D.Va. 12/18/2015), declined to dismiss a complaint challenging Virginia’s voter identification law.

Annotation: 10/03/2016 9:35 pm

On May 19, 2016, the E.D. of Va. held that the statute did not violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act or the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The court reasoned that the inconvenience to the voting process affected all voters equally. The photo ID requirement serves the government’s interest electoral integrity and reliability. Although African American and Latino voters are less likely to have the ID than Caucasians, the burden of traveling to obtain a proper ID did not constitute a substantial burden on the right to vote.

This case is currently on appeal in the 4th Circuit. Oral arguments were heard on Sept. 22, 2016. See https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/appeals-court-to-hear-challenge-to-virginias-voter-identification-law/2016/09/21/b8c75674-802e-11e6-8327-f141a7beb626_story.html.

Annotation: 10/11/2016 10:13 pm

For article on how voter fraud (voting by non-citizens) is overstated, see http://electionlawblog.org/?p=87096. Only 31 actual non-citizen voters in Virginia have been identified over the last 10 years.

Annotation: 02/21/2016 8:31 pm

State identification standards cannot limit voter’s right to receive and submit a provisional ballot. EAC Advisory 2005-006.

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 [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 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 [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.

See § 24.2-101.

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.

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 [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 [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.

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.

See § 24.2-101.

Cases

virginia Cases

Out-of-State Cases

Federal Cases

Case Name: Lee v. Va. Bd. of Elections

Case Number: No. 3:15CV357-HEH

Federal District Court: Eastern District of Virginia

Year: 2016

Case URL: http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/electionlaw/litigation/documents/Lee-Opinion051916.pdf

Case Summary: Upholding Virginia voter ID law by finding that plaintiffs had not met their burden of showing by a preponderance of the evidence that the Virginia voter ID law contravened the Voting Rights Act, the First Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, the Fifteenth Amendment, or the Twenty-Sixth Amendment.

Case Name: Lee v. Va. State Bd. of Elections

Citation: 843 F.3d 592

Federal Circuit Court: 4th Circuit Court

Year: 2016

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/cbb152d188b0cc28ba72fd1217a37562

Case Summary: Upholding Virginia voter ID law by finding that plaintiffs had not met their burden of showing by a preponderance of the evidence that the Virginia voter ID law contravened the Voting Rights Act, the First Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, the Fifteenth Amendment, or the Twenty-Sixth Amendment.

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