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As Amended 1897-8, p 857.
the said electors of president and vice-president of the United States, and thereupon it shall be the duty of the secretary of the commonwealth to immediately notify the secretary of each electoral board of each county or city of the state ; and it shall then become the duty of the electoral boards of the several counties and cities within the state, within twenty days preceding such election, to cause to be printed on the official ballot provided for in this act the name of each candidate for president and vice-president, and group under the names of the candidates for president and vice-presi. dent of each political party the names of the electors nominated by the political party of such candidates ; and the qualified voters at said election shall designate their preference for any candidates for president and vice-president by scratching the names of the other candidates for president and vice-president, as is provided in section twelve of this act, and the ballots shall be counted as they would be counted if the names of the electors had been scratched.
9. DUTIES OF ELECTORAL BOARD ; SEAL, &C. - It shail be the duty of the electoral board, as soon as possible after the passage of this act, to procure and adopt a seal, which may be changed from time to time in the discretion of said board, which said seal shall not be less than two inches in diameter. Said board shall meet as soon as convenient after the printing of the ballots as provided in the preceding section, of which meeting the judge of the county or corporation court shall be notified, and at which there shall be present the said judge and the members of the said board, but no other persons. And said judge shall thereupon enter of record upon the minutes of the electoral board an affidavit stating that said baljots were counted and sealed in his presence in the manner prescribed by law. And in the event of the inability, through sickness or other incapacity, of the said judge to discharge any of the duties imposed by this act, it shall be lawful for the said duties to be performed by the judge of some other county or corporation. At this meeting the member of the board who shall have secured from the printer the ballots as required by section six shall deliver said ballots to said board. The ballots shall then be carefully counted by said board, and the number thereof entered by the secretary of the board in a book provided by him and kept for such purpose. The board shall affix its seal to every ballot printed as above provided upon the side reverse from that upon which the names of the candidates appear. Of the said ballots they shall make as many packages as there are voting precincts in said county or city, one for each precinct, which package shall contain twice as many official ballots as there are voters registered at the precinct for which it is intended.. Each of these packages shall be securely sealed so that the ballots shall be invisible, and so that they could not be readily opened without detection. Upon each of said packages shall be endorsed the name of the precinct for which it is intended and the number of ballots therein contained. The packages designed for the various precincts shall remain in the exclusive possession of the secretary of the board until delivered by him to the judges or one of the judges of elections of the several precincts as hereinafter provided, or until he shall have delivered the same to one of the other members of the board to be delivered to the judge or judges as required by section ten of this act. The secretary of said electoral board shall keep in his sole custody the seal or stamp of said board and in a sealed package, to be opened only in the presence of the electoral board and the judge of the county or corporation court when in the discharge of their duties as prescribed in this section.
10. HIOW AND WHEN BALLOTS OPENED.—Before every election the secretary of the electoral board shall deliver to the judges, or one of the judges
of election, the package of official ballots for that precinct, taking a receipt therefor and a certificate that the seals appeared to be untampered with. And in the event of the inability, by sickness or other incapacity, of said secretary to deliver said official ballots as herein provided, the said electoral board or the said secretary may cause them to be delivered by another member of said board. Said sealed package, at the opening of the poll, shall be opened in the presence of the clerks and judges of elections, and the ballots in said package shall then be carefully counted. All ballots remaining unused at the close of the polls shall be carefully destroyed before the box is opened. Any person wilfully and corruptly failing to perform the duties required of him, or intentionally violating any of the provisions of this section, or opening any sealed package of official ballots, except as specially provided for herein, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and be punished with a fine of two hundred dollars and imprisonment one month in jail.
11. How VOTING PLACES ARRANGED.-It shall be the duty of the electoral board of the several counties and cities to provide at each of the voting places in their respective counties and cities a small compartment or booth large enough to contain and conceal from general observation a voter, and a desk or other convenience for writing. In said booth there shall be placed pen and ink. Said compartment or booth shall be so erected that a person standing at said desk in said booth or compartment shall be wholly excluded from the observation of the clerks, judges of elections, and other persons. The said board, in its discretion, may have one or more of said booths at said voting places.
12. CHALLENGES.-Except as hereinafter provided for, save the judges of election and clerks, no person other than the elector offering to vote shall be within forty feet of the ballot box. The judges of election shall promptly decide any dispute as to precedence of electors to the right to vote, deciding who first offered, or if two or more offered at the same time selecting the one to whom precedence shall be given; but in case of a challenge the challengers and challenged and the witnesses may appear before the judges; when such challenge is decided, only the elector having the right to vote shall remain within the prescribed limits.
13. METHOD OF VOTING.—Every elector qualified to vote at a precinct shall, when he so demands, be furnished with an official ballot by one of the judges of election selected for that duty by a majority of the judges present. The said elector shall then take the said official ballot and retire to said voting booth. He shall then draw a line with a pen or penci! through the names of the candidates he does not wish to vote for, leaving the name or names of the candidates he does wish to vote for unscratched. No name shall be considered scratched unless the pen or pencil mark extends through three-fourths of the length of said name; and no ballot save an official ballot above provided for shall be counted for any person. When as to any office more than one name remains unscratched the ballot for that particular office shall be void, but the ballot as to any other office for which only one name remains unscratched shall be valid. He shall fold said ballot with the names of the candidates on the inside and hand the same to the judge of election, who shall place the same in the ballot box without any inspection further than to assure himself that the ballot is a genuine ballot, for which purpose he may, without looking at the printed inside of said ballot, inspect the official seal upon the back thereof: provided, it shall be lawful for any voter to erase any or all names printed upon said official ballot and substitute therein in writing the name of any person or persons for any office for which he may desire to vote.
14. BALLOT NOT TO BE CARRIED AWAY OR COPIED; PENALTY.-It shall be unlawful for any elector to carry the official ballot furnished him by the judge of election further than the voting booth or make any copy thereof, and should he, after inspecting said ballot, conclude not to vote, he must immediately return said ballot to the judges of election. Except as hereinafter provided, no person shall advise, counsel, or assist any elector, by writing, word, or gesture, as to how he shall vote or mark his ballot after the same has been delivered to him by the judges of election. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be fined not less than five hun. dred nor more than one thousand dollars and confined in jail six months. To carry any official ballot or copy thereof beyond the voting booth or away from said booth, except to the judges of election, or to vote any ballot except such as shall be received by the elector from the judge of election, shall be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of one hundred dollars; and it shall be the duty of the judges of election to cause, by verbal order or warrant, the instant arrest of any person making such attempt, and he shall be required to vote or surrender said ballot, and he may be confined in jail by the order of said judges of election until he obeys said requirements, not exceeding ten days.
15. TIME ALLOWED FOR VOTING.-No elector shall be allowed by the judges of election to remain in said voting booth provided in this act more than two and one-half minutes, to the obstruction of other electors desiring to vote. Said judges of election shall cause any elector attempting to occupy said voting booth for a longer time to retire and surrender his ballot, and he shall not again be allowed to receive an official ballot unless in the discretion of the judges of election another opportunity to vote will not delay or hinder other electors.
16. DEFACED BALLOTS.-Should any ballot be unintentionally or accidentally defaced, or in any way rendered unfit for voting by such elector, he shall deliver such defaced ballot to the judges of election and receive another upon taking an oath that the defacement of the ballot first delivered to him was not done for the purpose of defacing said official ballot. Any person swearing falsely to such fact shall be deemed guilty of perjury.
17. JUDGES TO ASSIST VOTER.—The judges of election, or a majority of them, shall appoint and designate one of their number, whose duty it shall be, at the request of any elector who may be physically or educationally unable to prepare his ballot, to enter the booth with said elector and ren der him assistance in preparing his ballot by reading the names and offices to be voted for on the ballot and pointing out which name or names the said elector may wish to strike out, or otherwsie aid him in preparing his ballot. In case said elector be blind, said judge of election so appointed and designated as aforesaid shall prepare said ballot for said elector in accordance with his instructions; but the said judge shall not enter the booth with the voter unless requested by him, and shall not in any manner divulge or indicate, by signs or otherwise, the name or names of the person or persons for whom any elector shall vote. The said judges, or a majority of them, shall have power from time to time, when and as often as they may see proper, to change the appointment and designation of the judge who shall discharge the duties prescribed by this act and designate another judge in his place and stead to perform the same. And for a corrupt violation of any of the provisions of this section the person so violating the same shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and be confined in jail not less than one por more than twelve months.
18. CROWDS FORBIDDEN; COUNTERFEIT BALLOTS.-It shall not be lawful, upon the day of election, for persons to congregate and crowd upon the public highway within one hundred feet of any of the voting places, and any persons violating the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction thereof, pay a fine of twenty-five do rs or be confined in jail not exceeding ten days. Any member of the electoral board, the printer who shall print the official ballots provided for by this act, any judge of election, or any person who shall give or sell to any person whomsoever, except where it is distinctly provided by this act any official ballot or copy, or any fac simile of the same, or any information about the same, or shall counterfeit or attempt to counterfeit the same, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be fined five hundred dollars and imprisoned in jail six months. It shall be the duty of the judges of election to see that the provisions of this act are strictly carried out.
19. ELECTION IN TOWNS.—The provisions of this act shall apply to all elections held in this state except as hereinafter provided; and where the election is held in an incorporated town for town officers it shall be the duty of all persons who intend to be candidates for office in said town to give notice of said candidacy to the clerk of the county court of the county in which said town is as provided by the fourth section of this act, and said clerk shall notify the electoral board, and the tickets shall be printed and delivered and the election held and conducted in the manner provided by this act; and where the election is to be held to ascertain the sense of the qualified voters of this state, or of any county, city, town, or district of any county, upon any question submitted to them by law, it shall be the duty of the electoral board of the county or city, or of the county in which said town or district is, as the case may be, to have the words printed upon the tickets directed by the law submitting said question; but in all other respects said elections shall conform to the provisions of this act.
20. OTHER ELECTIONS.-In any county or corporation where no political party nominates candidates for county or corporation offices the above provisions of this act shall not apply; but in such case every elector shall vote by ballot which he himself shall provide, and each person offering to vote shall deliver a single ballot to one of the judges in the presence of the other two judges. The ballot shall be a white paper ticket and containing on the face or inside of it, written or printed, or partly written and partly printed, the names of the persons for whom the elector intends to vote, and designating the office to which each person so named is intended by him to be chosen. The judges to whom any ballot is delivered shall, upon receipt thereof, pronounce with an audible voice the name of the person from whom the ballot is received, and if the name of the person is found upon the registration book and there be no objection made, the said judges shall, without opening said ballot or permitting the same to be examined, except to ascertain whether it is a single ballot, deposit the same in the ballot-box; wbereupon the name of the elector shall be checked on the registration book by one of the judges and entered by the clerks of election on the poll books and correctly numbered in accordance with the number of electors theretofore recorded.
21. PENALTY FOR VIOLATIONS.-Any violation of this act for which no punishment has been otherwise provided shall be deemed a misdemeanor, and punished by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars and imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one month.
22. COST OF ELECTION.—The cost of conducting an election under this act shall be paid by the supervisors out of the cost of the general county levy, and in cities by the council thereof.
As Amended 1889-90, p. 191.
23. All acts or parts of acts in conflict with this act, or any section thereof, are hereby repealed.
Sec. 125. How ballots received and names of voters entered on poll books. –The judge to whom any ballot is delivered shall upon receipt thereof pronounce with an audible voice the name of the person from whom the ballot is received, and if the name of the person is found on the registration book, and there be no objection made, the said judge shall, without opening said ballot or permitting the same to be examined (except to ascertain whether it is a single ballot), deposit the same in the ballot-box; whereupon the name of the elector shall be checked on the registration book by one of the judges, and entered by the clerks of election on the poll books and correctly numbered in accordance with the number of electors theretofore recorded: provided, when a registered voter has changed his place of residence from one election district to another in the same county, if he has a certificate showing that he was duly registered in his former election district in said county, and that his name has since his removal been erased from the registration book of said election district, it shall be sufficient evidence to entitle him to vote in the district in which he resides, and his name shall be registered on the registration book by the registrar if he be present, or by one of the judges of elections : provided, further, that no person who removes from one county to another county or city, or from a city to a county in this state shall be allowed to vote at any election therein without having first registered upon his transfer at the times and in the modes prescribed in sections seventy-eight and eighty of the code of eighteen hundred and eighty-seven : and provided, further, that in cities and in towns containing over two thousand inhabitants the name of such person shall not be entered by the judge, but only by the registrar prior to or on the days named in said seventy-eighth section.
Sec. 130. [3 Va. L. R. 284.]
Sec. 132 a. Destruction of certain poll books and ballots in the clerk's office of the county and corporation courts.-Whenever the poll books and ballots required to be returned by law to the county and corporation clerks' offices of this state shall have remained in said offices for as much as three years, it shall be lawful for the clerks of said offices to destroy these books and ballots upon an order of their respective courts to this effect.
Sec. 133. [91 Va. 684; 93 Va. 491; 2 Va. L. R. 447 ; 3 Va. L. R. 284.]
Sec. 136. Abstracts of votes to be made out and certified ; to whom forwarded.--So soon as the commissioners aforesaid shall determine the persons who have received the highest number of votes for any office, the clerk shall make out abstracts of the votes in the following manner: First, for governor and lieutenant-governor on one sheet ; second, for attorneygeneral on one sheet; third, for member or members of the senate and house of delegates on one sheet; fourth, for a representative in congress on one sheet; fifth, for electors of president and vice-president of the United States on one sheet ; sixth, for county officers on one sheet; seventh, for district officers on one sheet; eighth, for corporation officers on one sheet; which abstracts, being certified and signed by said commissioners and attested by the clerk, shall be deposited in the office of the latter; and certified copies thereof, numbered one, two, three, four, and five (when said officers have been voted for at said elections), under the official seal of said
1897-8, p. 845.
As Amended 1889-90, p. 8. 91 Va. 684.