Questions about 1 VAC 20-60-30
Issues in 1 VAC 20-60-30:
- Paragraph (A) forbids the use of cell phones or other electronic devices "provided that the device contains no camera or video recording capacity." This seems to go further than the wording of Va. Code 24.2-604(C) as well as the "Dos and Don'ts," adopted in August 2012. See IV, 9 of the August 2012 "Dos and Don'ts." Admittedly, 24.2-604(C) is ambiguous, though a textual reading of 604(C) seems to forbid---not the presence of phones with camera or video recording capacity---but the use of that capacity to photograph or record things in the polling place.
- Paragraph (A): delete the word "precinct" at the end and replace it with the word "place."
- Paragraph (D): in the phrase "make or receive calls outside the precinct," change the word "precinct" to "polling place." "Precinct" is a legal term defined in 24.2-101, and it refers to the territory served by a polling place.
Amending 1 VAC 20-60-40
A couple of issues with 1 VAC 20-60-40:
- I suggest inserting language in 20-40-60 clarifying when a provisional ballot is "cast." At this time, it does not appear to be clearly covered by any of the scenarios listed in 20-40-60.
- Also, the language pertaining to the casting of a paper ballot indicates that a ballot is cast by a voter ". . . placing a paper ballot in an official ballot container." Because Va. Code 24.2-646 requires that a paper ballot be handed to the appropriate officer of election, and it is the officer of election who places the paper ballot into the ballot container, I suggest amending the wording of 20-60-40 to make the paper ballot references in this part of the Administrative Code conform to the requirements of 24.2-646.
Amending 1 VAC 20-60-50
I suggest the following amendments (changes are bolded and italicized):
- The optical scan ballot container shall be opened in plain sight of any authorized party representatives or other observers and, once the ballots have been deposited into a box or envelope provided for the purpose of packaging used ballots after the close of the polls, both the ballot container and the box, or envelope, shall remain in plain sight in the polling place.
- 2. In a general, special, or dual-party primary election, a minimum of two officers of election, representing both political parties, shall execute such a transfer of ballots. In a single-party primary election, the transfer shall be conducted by a minimum of two officers of election.
The reason for the amendment in paragraph 1 and the deletion of old paragraph 2 is that most, if not all, localities do not have extra ballot boxes---as that term is defined in Va. Code 24.2-623---to use merely for storage at the polling places.
1 VAC 20-60-20
I suggest reviewing 1 VAC 20-60-20 to ensure that the material and nonmaterial omissions rules are comparable to those for candidate petitions. In particular, 20-60-20(E)(2) may need to be changed so that the procedures in 20-60-20 are similar to those governing candidate petitions.
Also, there should be a section in 20-60-20 that clearly states that the provisions of 20-60-20 are subordinate to more particular provisions in city, town, and county charters that pertain to referendum petitions.