The officers of election of each precinct at which voting or counting machines are used shall meet at the polling place by 5:15 a.m. on the day of the election and arrange the equipment, furniture, and other materials for the conduct of the election. The officers of election shall verify that all required equipment, ballots, and other materials have been delivered to them for the election. The officers shall post at least two instruction cards for direct recording electronic machines conspicuously within the polling place.The keys to the equipment and any electronic activation devices that are required for the operation of electronic voting equipment shall be delivered, prior to the opening of the polls, to the officer of election designated by the electoral board or general registrar in a sealed envelope on which has been written or printed the name of the precinct for which it is intended. The envelope containing the keys and any electronic activation devices shall not be opened until all of the officers of election for the precinct are present at the polling place and have examined the envelope to see that it has not been opened. The equipment shall remain locked against voting until the polls are formally opened and shall not be operated except by voters in voting.Before opening the polls, each officer shall examine the equipment and see that no vote has been cast and that the counters register zero. The officers shall conduct their examination in the presence of the following party and candidate representatives: one authorized representative of each political party or independent candidate in a general or special election, or one authorized representative of each candidate in a primary election, if such representatives are available. Each authorized representative shall be a qualified voter of any jurisdiction of the Commonwealth. Each representative, who is not himself a candidate or party chairman, shall present to the officers of election a written statement designating him to be a representative of the party or candidate and signed by the county or city chairman of his political party, the independent candidate, or the primary candidate, as appropriate. If the county or city chairman is unavailable to sign such a written designation, such a designation may be made by the state or district chairman of the political party. However, no written designation made by a state or district chairman shall take precedence over a written designation made by the county or city chairman. Such statement, bearing the chairman’s or candidate’s original signature, may be photocopied and such photocopy shall be as valid as if the copy had been signed.If any counter, other than a protective or private counter, on a ballot scanner or direct recording electronic machine is found not to register zero, the officers of election shall immediately notify the general registrar, who shall, if possible, substitute a machine in good working order that has been prepared and tested pursuant to § 24.2-634. No ballot scanner or direct recording electronic machine shall be used if any counter, other than a protective or private counter, is found not to register zero.
Code 1950, § 24-306; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-216; 1972, c. 620; 1985, c. 458; 1993, c. 641; 1998, c. 264; 2003, c. 1015; 2004, cc. 993, 1010; 2010, c. 448; 2014, cc. 540, 576; 2015, c. 133; 2016, cc. 18, 492.