RD598 - Delivering Election Materials by One Officer of Election Representing Both Major Parties – November 1, 2023

  • Published: 2023
  • Author: Department of Elections
  • Enabling Authority: (2023)

Executive Summary:

The Department of Elections (ELECT) submits this report to the Chair of Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections and the Patron of Senate Bill 1251 (SB 1251), pursuant to Rule 20 (o) of the Rules of the Senate of Virginia. This report outlines the feasibility of election materials and results being delivered to the clerk of courts by one officer of election representing each political party as proposed in the legislation.

Key Takeaways

Most localities in Virginia do not consistently receive officer of election (OOE) nominations from each political party. Out of 87 responses to a survey of Virginia’s election officials conducted by ELECT, only 5 respondents state their locality consistently receives OOE party nominations.

The lack of party nominations combined with the challenges of recruiting and retaining OOEs, and concerns regarding travel safety and logistics, presents significant roadblocks to effectively implementing SB 1251.

If equal party representation during the delivery of election results and materials to the clerk is the primary purpose of SB 1251, then the materials should be delivered by the local electoral board to accomplish this goal.