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Virginia > Title 24.2 Elections > Election Offenses Generally; Penalties

§ 24.2-1008 Selling, giving away, or counterfeiting ballots


Any person who (i) wrongfully sells or gives to any person an official ballot or copy or a facsimile of or device or plate used to reproduce such ballot or (ii) counterfeits or attempts to counterfeit the official ballot or the seal used on that ballot, shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony.

Code 1950, § 24-239; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-270; 1991, c. 710; 1993, c. 641 .

Annotation: 10/16/2016 10:36 am

Would this statute apply to ballot trading?
“Ballot trading” or “vote pairing” ( is legal in the 9th Circuit. See Porter v. Bowen, 496 F.3d 1009 (9th Cir. 2007)( finding this to be political speech protected under the 1st Amendment.

Annotation: 10/12/2016 10:05 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.


Virginia Cases

Case Name: Xippas v. Commonwealth

Citation: 126 S.E. 207

Year: 1925

Case URL:[...]

Case Summary: Holding that offense as to giving away or selling official ballot was not limited in scope to the day of the election; it was expressly contended to include any day on which the act done may affect secrecy, regularity, fairness, or purity of the election or primary at which official ballot is to be used.

Out-of-State Cases

Federal Cases