The Constitution of Virginia establishes the requirement that each county and city shall have a three member electoral board to carry out the election duties for their jurisdiction as required by law. This constitutional requirement is satisfied in the Code of Virginia in 24.2-106.
Appointments to the Electoral Board
Each electoral board consists of three members, appointed by a majority of the circuit judges of the judicial circuit for Chesterfield County. If a majority of the judges cannot agree on an appointment, then the senior judge is directed by law to make the appointment.
Representation among the three members of the electoral board is to be given to each of the two political parties having the highest and next highest number of votes in the Commonwealth for Governor at the last preceding gubernatorial election. Two of the electoral board members shall be of the political party which cast the highest number of votes for Governor at that election (the same party as the winning candidate for Governor) and the remaining member shall be of the political party which had the next highest number of votes (the runner-up in the election for Governor). (There are legal provisions in the event that the winning candidate for Governor is not from a political party.) The law disallows the reduction of a three year term in order to comply with the political party representation.
The members of the electoral board serve staggered terms of three years, each term commencing on March 1 and expiring the last day of February three years hence. A vacancy occurring during the three year term of any member shall be filled for the balance of that term, using the same general criteria for appointment.
Eligibility for Appointment and Restrictions during Tenure
Besides the political party representation mentioned above, there are additional requirements set forth in the law and by the Court to be met by those under consideration for appointment to the electoral board.
- The appointee may not be the spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling, child or grandchild of a sitting Chesterfield Electoral Board member.
- The appointee may not be the spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling, child or grandchild of the Chesterfield General Registrar.
- The appointee may not be employed in any government position, including federal, state, or local governments.
- The appointee may not hold an elected or appointed office.
- The appointee may not serve as the chairman of a state, local, or district level political party committee.
- The appointee may not serve as paid worker in the campaign of a candidate for nomination or election to an office filled by Chesterfield County voters.
Board Members are appointed by the Circuit court to administer elections. The Court has historically appointed Board Members who are willing to literally comply with their oath to discharge all duties
Duties of the Electoral Board (not all inclusive)
There are many duties designated in the Code of Virginia as reserved for the electoral board. Examples of these duties are:
- Appointment of the Chesterfield General Registrar for a four year term;
- Appointment of the officers of election for a one year term;
- Receive reports of campaign contributions and expenditures; and
- Conduct the canvass of election on the day following any election and determining the official results of the election.
There are other duties included in the Code of Virginia, many of which historically have been delegated to the Chesterfield General Registrar. This is necessary because of the size of Chesterfield County, which has the fourth largest number of registered voters in the Commonwealth.
On any election day, the electoral board meets and conducts inspections of each of the precincts in operation (62 at this writing) to ensure that election laws governing polling places are being followed. They also deliver to the chief officers any subsequent listing of those who voted absentee in person.
The canvass mentioned above takes place on the day following the election. This activity includes reviewing the statement of results from each polling place and reconciling those figures with numbers from the electronic vote counters. The electoral board determines the final results from each polling place and Chesterfield County on the whole. Identification of all those names which make up write in votes is also completed during the canvass. These official results are reported to the State Board of Elections and made part of the public record.
Electoral Board Organization
The Chesterfield Electoral Board is made up of a chairman, vice chairman, and a secretary. The secretary is considered to be the member in authority. The chairman and secretary must be from different political parties (unless waived in writing).
The board is required to meet to appoint officers of election in February and to meet in March to reorganize following the (re)appointment of a member. In reality there is at least one meeting a quarter.
Current Board Members
- Rosemarie Y. Hart
- Lu H. Henderson
- Robert A. Hodges