Bill Text: VA SB1348 | 2021 | Regular Session | Prefiled

Bill Title: Local advisory referenda; exception to rule that prohibits referendum from being placed on ballot.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced - Dead) 2021-01-26 - Passed by indefinitely in Privileges and Elections (9-Y 6-N) [SB1348 Detail]

Download: Virginia-2021-SB1348-Prefiled.html
Offered January 13, 2021
Prefiled January 13, 2021
A BILL to amend and reenact §24.2-684 of the Code of Virginia, relating to elections; referenda; local advisory referenda.
Patron-- Newman
Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That §24.2-684 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§24.2-684. How referendum elections called and held, and the results ascertained and certified.

Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or charter to the contrary, the provisions of this section shall govern all referenda.

No referendum shall be placed on the ballot unless specifically authorized by statute or by charter. However, a locality may provide a process for holding an advisory referendum in the locality by ordinance. Such process shall limit the frequency of advisory referenda on the ballot in the locality to not more than once per calendar year.

Whenever any question is to be submitted to the voters of any county, city, town, or other local subdivision, the referendum shall in every case be held pursuant to a court order as provided in this section. The court order calling a referendum shall state the question to appear on the ballot in plain English as that term is defined in §24.2-687. The order shall be entered and the election held within a reasonable period of time subsequent to the receipt of the request for the referendum if the request is found to be in proper order. The court order shall set the date for the referendum in conformity with the requirements of §24.2-682.

A copy of the court order calling a referendum shall be sent immediately to the State Board by the clerk of the court in which the order was issued.

The ballot shall be prepared by the appropriate general registrar and distributed to the appropriate precincts. On the day fixed for the referendum, the regular election officers shall open the polls and take the sense of the qualified voters of the county, city, town, or other local subdivision, as the case may be, on the question so submitted. The ballots for use at any such election shall be printed to state the question as follows:

"(Here state briefly the question submitted)

[ ] Yes

[ ] No"

The ballots shall be printed, marked, and counted and returns made and canvassed as in other elections. The results shall be certified by the secretary of the appropriate electoral board to the State Board, to the court ordering the election, and to such other authority as may be proper to accomplish the purpose of the election.