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Virginia > Title 24.2 Elections > Absentee Voting

§ 24.2-705 Emergency applications and absentee ballots for persons incapacitated or hospitalized

Overview of Statute

This section allows for emergency absentee ballot applications and absentee ballots for persons who become incapacitated shortly before an election.

Statute

Any person registered and otherwise qualified to vote who becomes incapacitated on or after the seventh day preceding an election may request at any time prior to 2:00 p.m. on the day preceding the election that an emergency absentee ballot application be delivered to him. A voter who becomes hospitalized on or after the fourteenth day preceding the election and who is unable, because of his condition, to request an absentee ballot earlier than the seventh day preceding the election may request at any time prior to 2:00 p.m. on the day before an election that an emergency absentee ballot be delivered to him in the hospital. For purposes of this section, “incapacitated” means hospitalized, ill and confined to his residence, bereaved by the death of a spouse, child, or parent, or otherwise incapacitated by an emergency which is found by the general registrar to justify providing an emergency ballot application; and “hospital” means a hospital as defined in § 32.1-123 or 37.2-100 and any comparable hospital in the District of Columbia or any state contiguous to Virginia.

On receipt of the request, the general registrar shall provide an emergency absentee ballot application to the incapacitated voter’s designated representative who shall deliver the application to the voter. If the voter is hospitalized, the delivery shall be made to him at the hospital; and if the voter is otherwise incapacitated, the delivery shall be made to him at his current residence address as shown on the registration records. The representative shall be age eighteen or older and shall not be an elected official, a candidate for elected office, or the deputy, spouse, parent, or child of an elected official or candidate.

The application shall be on a form prescribed by the State Board and shall require the applicant (i) to state the cause of his incapacity, (ii) to state that he is unable to be present at the polls on election day, and that he was either incapacitated on or after the seventh day preceding the election or hospitalized on or after the fourteenth day preceding the election and unable to request the application earlier than the seventh day preceding the election, (iii) to designate a representative to receive, deliver and return the ballot, and (iv) to provide other information required by law for an absentee ballot application.

If the voter is hospitalized, a hospital administrative official, a licensed physician attending the applicant, or provider as defined in § 37.2-403, shall certify on the form to the hospitalization of the applicant and the applicant’s inability to be present at the polls on election day. If the voter is ill and confined to his residence, a licensed physician, provider as defined in § 37.2-403, or an accredited religious practitioner attending the applicant shall certify on the form to the incapacity of the applicant and the applicant’s inability to be present at the polls on election day. If the voter is bereaved, a licensed physician, an accredited religious practitioner, or a funeral service licensee (as defined in § 54.1-2800) shall certify on the form to the incapacity of the applicant and the applicant’s inability to be present at the polls on election day. If the voter is otherwise incapacitated as determined by the general registrar, the general registrar shall certify on the form to the incapacity of the applicant and the applicant’s inability to be present at the polls on election day. The applicant shall sign the application and state, subject to felony penalties for making false statements pursuant to § 24.2-1016, that to the best of his knowledge and belief the facts contained in the application are true and correct. His signature shall be witnessed by the designated representative who shall sign and return the completed application to the office of the general registrar no later than 5:00 p.m. on the day preceding the election. For the purposes of this section, “accredited religious practitioner” means a person who has been trained in spiritual healing or the other healing arts and has been so accredited by a formal religious order.

On receipt of the completed application and a determination of the qualification of the applicant to vote, the general registrar shall provide, in accordance with the applicable provisions of this chapter, an absentee ballot to the designated representative for delivery to the incapacitated voter.

The incapacitated voter shall vote the absentee ballot as provided by law and mark it in the presence of the designated representative. The representative shall complete a statement, subject to felony penalties for making false statements pursuant to § 24.2-1016, that (i) he is the representative of the incapacitated voter; (ii) he personally delivered the ballot to the voter who applied for it; (iii) in his presence, the voter marked the ballot, the ballot was placed in the envelope provided, the envelope was sealed, and the statement on its reverse side was signed by the incapacitated voter; and (iv) the ballot was returned, under seal, to the general registrar at the registrar’s office.

The ballot shall be counted only if the ballot is received by the general registrar prior to the close of polls, and the general registrar shall deliver the ballot to the officers of election at each appropriate precinct pursuant to § 24.2-710.

1989, c. 192, § 24.1-229.1; 1990, c. 200; 1993, cc. 420, 641; 1996, c. 224; 1997, cc. 523, 539; 1999, c. 590; 2001, c. 622; 2006, c. 297; 2008, c. 880; 2015, cc. 644, 645.

Definition [State Board]

The State Board of Elections.

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 [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.

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.