RD673 - State Board of Elections Annual Report – January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021

Executive Summary:

In accordance with the Code of Virginia § 24.2-103 (J) the State Board of Elections (the Board), through the Department of Elections (ELECT), is pleased to provide to the Governor and the Virginia General Assembly the State Board of Elections Annual Report. Pursuant to §24.2-103 of the Code of Virginia, the Board supervises, coordinates, and adopts regulations governing the work of local electoral boards, registrars, and officers of election to ensure secure, uniform, and trustworthy elections. During the 2021 calendar year (January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021), the Board met a total of twelve times certifying four elections, approving four regulations, adopting six amendments to existing regulations, assessing and addressing a variety of administrative matters, updating and ensuring election security, and defining penalties for Stand By Your Ad (SBYA) violations.

Previously, the Board consisted of three members appointed by the Governor. However, following the passage of Acts of Assembly Chapter 619, during the 2020 Session of the General Assembly, the Board increased to five members.(*1) Three of the Board members are of the political party that cast the highest number of votes at the last preceding gubernatorial election.

On March 12, 2020, Governor Ralph S. Northam declared that a state of emergency exists in the Commonwealth as the result of the potential spread of COVID-19, a communicable disease presenting a threat to public health. On March 30, 2020, the Governor issued an executive order requiring all individuals in Virginia to remain at their place of residence, with certain enumerated exceptions. Accordingly, the State Board of Elections held six meetings through electronic communication means pursuant to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act § 2.2-3708.2, until Governor Northam’s executive order ended on June 30, 2021. This report details the activities of the Board and ELECT during the 2021 calendar year.
(*1) See SB 856 Elections, State Board of; increasing membership, staggering terms, role and eligibility, report.