|Introduced in House||Passed House||Introduced in Senate||Passed Senate||Became Law|
Absentee voting; emergency voting.
Provides a process by which a qualified voter is permitted to vote by absentee ballot when an emergency either prevented him from applying for an absentee ballot by the deadline or will prevent him from voting in person on election day. The bill also provides for the Commissioner of Elections to take administrative action to facilitate absentee voting by those persons providing emergency or other services in an area in which a state of emergency has been declared. The bill contains technical amendments that consolidate current Code sections regarding emergency absentee voting.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
� 24.2-705. Emergency applications and absentee ballots for individual emergencies.
person registered and otherwise qualified to vote
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 he be
permitted to vote by emergency absentee ballot application be delivered to him with the assistance of his designated
representative. 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 The Department shall prescribe a form and the
instructions for submitting such a request to the general registrar that shows
that the voter requesting an emergency absentee ballot was unable to apply for
an absentee ballot by the deadline due to his hospitalization or illness, or
the hospitalization, illness, or death of a spouse, child, or parent, or other
emergency found to justify receipt of an emergency absentee ballot. On receipt of the request,
the general registrar shall provide an emergency absentee ballot application to
the incapacitated voters 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 designated by a voter for purposes of this
subsection shall be age
eighteen 18 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 applicants 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 applicants 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 applicants 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 applicants inability to be present at the polls on election
day. The applicant requesting voter shall sign
the application form 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 form are true and correct. His
signature shall be witnessed by the designated representative, who shall sign and return the
completed application form 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. If the requesting voter
is blind or physically unable to sign the form, his designated representative
shall write on the signature line that the voter is blind or unable to sign his
On receipt of the completed
and a determination of the qualification of the
applicant requesting voter
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 requesting voter.
incapacitated requesting voter shall vote
the absentee ballot as provided by law and mark it in the presence of the designated
representative. The designated representative shall
complete a statement, subject to felony penalties for making false statements
pursuant to � 24.2-1016, that (i) he is the designated
representative of the incapacitated requesting 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 requesting voter; and (iv) the
ballot was returned, under seal, to the general registrar at the registrars
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.
B. A qualified voter may vote absentee in person in the office of the general registrar through 2:00 p.m. on the day immediately preceding the election by complying with the requirements of � 24.2-643 and affirming that one of the following emergency circumstances will prevent him from voting on election day:
1. After 12:00 p.m. on the Saturday before the election, an obligation arose that requires the voter be absent from his county or city on election day for (i) his business, profession, or occupation; (ii) the hospitalization of the voter or a member of his immediate family; or (iii) the death of a member of his immediate family. For purposes of this subdivision, "immediate family" means the child, grandchild, parent, grandparent, legal guardian, sibling, or spouse of the voter.
2. The voter is an officer of election who was assigned after 12:00 p.m. on the Saturday before the election to work in a precinct other than his own on election day.
C. The Commissioner of Elections may act administratively to facilitate absentee voting by qualified voters who are emergency workers or utility workers or who otherwise respond to and offer assistance to an area in which a state of emergency has been declared by an appropriate authority. These administrative actions may include central issuance and acceptance of absentee ballots for federal and state elections using the systems and procedures developed for voters who are members of a uniformed service.
� 24.2-710. Further duties of electoral board and general registrar; absentee voter applicant lists.
On receipt of an absentee ballot, the electoral board or general registrar shall mark the date of receipt in the appropriate column opposite the name and address of the voter on the absentee voter applicant list maintained in the general registrars office. A board member or registrar shall deposit the return envelope and the unopened ballot envelope in an appropriate container provided for the purpose, in which they shall remain until the day of the election, unless the registrar opts to open sealed ballot envelopes in order to expedite the counting of absentee ballots in accordance with � 24.2-709.1.
On the day before the election, the general registrar shall
(i) make out in triplicate on a form prescribed by the State Board the absentee
voter applicant list containing the names of all persons who applied for an
absentee ballot through the third day before the election and (ii) by noon on
the day before the election, deliver two copies of the list to the electoral
board. The general registrar shall make out a supplementary list containing the
names of all persons voting absentee in person
pursuant to �� 24.2-705.1 and 24.2-705.2, or applying to
vote absentee pursuant to � 24.2-705 , for delivery
by 5:00 p.m. on the day before the election. The supplementary list shall be
deemed part of the absentee voter applicant list and shall be prepared and
delivered in accordance with the instructions of the State Board. The general
registrar shall maintain one copy of the list in his office for two years as a
public record open for inspection upon request during regular office hours.
On the day before the election, the electoral board shall deliver one copy of the list provided to it by the general registrar to the chief officer of election for each precinct. The list shall be attested by the secretary of the electoral board who shall be responsible for the delivery of the attested lists to the chief officer of election for each precinct.
Absentee ballots shall be accepted only from voters whose names appear on the attested list.
Before the polls close on the day of the election, the electoral board shall deliver the absentee ballot containers to, and obtain a receipt from, the officers of election at each appropriate precinct. Any ballot returned to the electoral board or general registrar prior to the closing of the polls, but after the ballot container has been delivered, shall be delivered in an appropriate container to the officers of election at each appropriate precinct. The containers shall be sealed prior to delivery to the officers and shall contain the sealed absentee ballots, the accompanying return envelopes, and a copy of the absentee voter applicant list for each precinct.
If the county or city uses a central absentee voter precinct pursuant to � 24.2-712, the lists and containers shall be delivered, as provided in this section, to the officers of election for the absentee precinct.
Before noon on the day following the election, the general registrar shall deliver all applications for absentee ballots for the election, under seal, to the clerk of the circuit court for the county or city, except that the general registrar may retain all applications for absentee ballots until the electoral board has ascertained the results of the election pursuant to � 24.2-671, and has determined the validity of and counted all provisional ballots pursuant to � 24.2-653, at which point all applications shall then be delivered, under seal, to the clerk of the circuit court for the county or city. The clerk shall retain the sealed applications with the counted ballots.
The secretary of the electoral board shall deliver all absentee ballots received after the election to the clerk of the circuit court.
Upon request, the State Board shall provide an electronic copy of the absentee voter applicant list to any political party or candidate. Such lists shall be used only for campaign and political purposes. In no event shall any list furnished under this section contain (i) any voters social security number or any part thereof, (ii) any voters day and month of birth, or (iii) the residence address of any voter who has provided a post office box address to be used on public lists pursuant to � 24.2-418.
|01/13/2020||House||House: Assigned P & E sub: Elections|
|12/30/2019||House||House: Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/20 20102154D|
|12/30/2019||House||House: Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections|