Topics
Code Section
Virginia > Title 24.2 Elections > The Election

§ 24.2-655 Representatives of political parties and candidates to be present on request

Overview of Statute

This section allows representatives of political parties and candidates to be present during vote counting upon request.

Statute

Before proceeding to ascertain the vote, the officers of election shall determine whether no more than two representatives of each political party having candidates in the election and one representative of each independent candidate or primary candidate request to be present while the absentee ballots are cast, votes are counted, and returns are completed.

Each representative shall be a qualified voter of any jurisdiction in the Commonwealth and shall present to the officers of election a written statement certifying that he is an authorized representative, signed by his party chairman for the jurisdiction in which the election is held, the independent candidate, or the candidate in a primary, as appropriate. If the party chairman for the jurisdiction in which the election is held is unavailable to sign such a written designation, such a designation may be made by the state or district chairman of the political party. However, no written designation made by a state or district chairman shall take precedence over a written designation made by the party chairman for the jurisdiction in which the election is held. Such representatives shall be entitled to be present while the votes are counted and shall remain until the returns are completed.

In case such representatives, or any of them, do not request to be present, the officers shall notify the bystanders, if any, and select one or more to be present with any available representatives of the parties or candidates so that there are as many as four bystanders and representatives present.

The representatives and bystanders lawfully present shall have an unobstructed view of the officers of election and their actions while the absentee ballots are cast, votes are counted, and returns are completed. The representatives and bystanders lawfully present are prohibited from interfering with the officers of election in any way.

Code 1950, §§ 24-260, 24-261; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-137; 1974, c. 428; 1993, c. 641; 2006, c. 177; 2010, c. 448; 2015, c. 133.

Annotation: 10/30/2016 1:55 pm

This text was added by Virginia HB 1333 in 2015 to specify that the state or district chairman may designate authorized representatives of political parties if the county or city chairman is unavailable to do so.

Definition [Political 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 [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 [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 [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 [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 [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.

Regulations & Guidance