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Virginia > Title 24.2 Elections > Election Offenses Generally; Penalties

§ 24.2-1016 False statements; penalties


Any willfully false material statement or entry made by any person in any statement, form, or report required by this title shall constitute the crime of election fraud and be punishable as a Class 5 felony. Any preprinted statement, form, or report shall include a statement of such unlawful conduct and the penalty provided in this section.

Code 1950, § 24-68; 1952, c. 341; 1958, c. 576; 1960, c. 288; 1962, c. 536; 1970, c. 462, §§ 24.1-48, 24.1-279; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 205; 1972, c. 620; 1974, c. 428; 1975, c. 515; 1977, c. 490; 1978, c. 778; 1980, c. 639; 1989, c. 138; 1992, c. 433; 1993, c. 641 .

Annotation: 10/16/2016 10:39 am

Does this apply to absentee ballot applications? Yes. This statute is presumably what is referenced in Boxes 9 and 10 on the application (

Annotation: 10/12/2016 10:08 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 [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.


Virginia Cases

Case Name: Williams v. Commonwealth

Citation: 595 S.E.2d 497

Year: 2004

Case URL:

Case Summary: Holding that when defendant indicated on a voter registration form that he had not been convicted of a felony, even though he had been, his election fraud conviction would be sustained, even though the form did not contain a warning that a willfully false statement constituted election fraud.

Case Name: Waller v. Commonwealth

Case Number: No. 0934-01-2

Year: 2002

Case URL:

Case Summary: Holding that Commonwealth’s evidence on the issue of defendant’s intent to make a false statement was insufficient to support the inference that his applications indicated willful intent to defraud, because possibility existed that defendant could have attempted to correct an improper statement in his first application by filing a second.

Case Name: Waldrop v. Commonwealth

Citation: 478 S.E.2d 723

Year: 1996

Case URL:

Case Summary: Holding that reasonable juror could infer that defendant who received money following the election to defray costs of a recount proceeding and then failed to include this money in his report of contributions that he signed under oath intentionally did not disclose that money and willfully swore falsely that his report was complete.

Case Name: Wilson v. Commonwealth

Citation: No. 2061-98-4, 2000 WL 527681

Year: 2000

Case URL:

Case Summary: Holding that evidence was sufficient to support a defendant’s conviction for election fraud where the evidence established that the voter registration card or form filled out by the defendant included a statement that was required by this title, and defendant provided an address that was not the address of her residence.

Out-of-State Cases

Federal Cases