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Virginia > Title 24.2 Elections > Election Offenses Generally; Penalties

§ 24.2-1010 Unauthorized possession or duplication of voting equipment key or electronic activation device


Any unauthorized person found in possession of any voting equipment key or electronic activation device of the type used to prepare or operate voting equipment or any unauthorized person who duplicates a voting equipment key or electronic activation device shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 24-318; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-275; 1991, c. 710; 1993, c. 641; 2004, cc. 993, 1010.

Annotation: 10/16/2016 10:42 am

Who is authorized to possess the key?
Keys are held by the general registrar or voting equipment custodian ( when the equipment is not in use. Before the election, when the equipment is tested, the voting equipment custodian might hand the keys over to the person testing the equipment. After testing, keys are retained in the custody of the general registrar until they are delivered to the polls on election day ( On election day, the keys are delivered to the polling place in a sealed envelope ( The keys are typically held by the chief officer of election until the polls close. After the polls close, the keys may be used by the officers to open voting equipment for the purpose of counting votes. Once results have been determined, the voting equipment is locked and the keys are sealed in an envelope and sent to the clerk of the court ( The clerk later returns the keys to the general registrar.

Annotation: 10/12/2016 10:06 pm

As a criminal statue, this will be strictly construed and require a form of intent. The vast majority of Chapter 10 violations are prosecuted by Commonwealth Attorneys, except where a violation is alleged to involve operation of the State Board or a local electoral board which may involve action by the Attorney General.

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.