Code Section
Virginia > Title 24.2 Elections > The Election Article 4. Conduct of Election; Election Results

§ 24.2-647 Voting systems; demonstration on election day

Overview of Statute

This section requires electoral boards to have a ballot model on display for voters before they enter the voting booth. It also allows voters to request instruction from officers from two different political parties.


The general registrar shall provide at each polling place on election day, for the voting system in use, a model of or materials displaying a portion of its ballot face. The model or materials shall be located on the table of one of the officers or in some other place accessible to the voters. An officer of election shall instruct any voter who requests instruction before voting on the proper manner of voting. The officer may direct the voter’s attention to sample ballots so that the voter may become familiar with the location of questions and names of offices and candidates.

For ballot scanner machines, an officer of election, using a demonstration ballot and machine, shall show each voter who requests, immediately on entry to the polling place, the manner in which the ballot is to be voted.

If any voter, after entering the voting booth, asks for further instructions concerning the manner of voting, two of the officers from different political parties shall give such instructions to him, but no officer shall in any manner request or seek to persuade or induce any such voter to vote for or against any particular ticket, candidate, or question. After giving such instructions and before the voter votes, the officers shall leave the voting booth, and the voter shall cast his ballot in secret.

Code 1950, § 24-309; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-219; 1980, c. 639; 1985, c. 458; 1993, c. 641; 2014, cc. 540, 576; 2016, cc. 18, 492.

Definition [Polling place]

The structure that contains the one place provided for each precinct at which the qualified voters who are residents of the precinct may vote.

See § 24.2-101.

Definition [Voting system]

The electronic voting and counting machines used at elections. This term includes direct recording electronic machines (DRE) and ballot scanner machines.

See § 24.2-101.

Definition [General Registrar]

The person appointed by the electoral board of a county or city pursuant to § 24.2-110 to be responsible for all aspects of voter registration, in addition to other duties prescribed by this title. When performing duties related to the administration of elections, the general registrar is acting in his capacity as the director of elections for the locality in which he serves.

See § 24.2-101.

Definition [Officer of election]

A person appointed by an electoral board pursuant to § 24.2-115 to serve at a polling place for any election.

See § 24.2-101.

Definition [Ballot scanner machine]

The electronic counting machine in which a voter inserts a marked ballot to be scanned and the results tabulated.

See § 24.2-101.

Definition [Election]

A general, primary, or special election.

See § 24.2-101.

Definition [Candidate]

A person who seeks or campaigns for an office of the Commonwealth or one of its governmental units in a general, primary, or special election and who is qualified to have his name placed on the ballot for the office. “Candidate” shall include a person who seeks the nomination of a political party or who, by reason of receiving the nomination of a political party for election to an office, is referred to as its nominee. For the purposes of Chapters 8 (§ 24.2-800 et seq.), 9.3 (§ 24.2-945 et seq.), and 9.5 (§ 24.2-955 et seq.), “candidate” shall include any write-in candidate. However, no write-in candidate who has received less than 15 percent of the votes cast for the office shall be eligible to initiate an election contest pursuant to Article 2 (§ 24.2-803 et seq.) of Chapter 8. For the purposes of Chapters 9.3 (§ 24.2-945 et seq.) and 9.5 (§ 24.2-955 et seq.), “candidate” shall include any person who raises or spends funds in order to seek or campaign for an office of the Commonwealth, excluding federal offices, or one of its governmental units in a party nomination process or general, primary, or special election; and such person shall be considered a candidate until a final report is filed pursuant to Article 3 (§ 24.2-947 et seq.) of Chapter 9.3.

See § 24.2-101.

Regulations & Guidance