A. After ascertaining the results and before adjourning, the officers shall put the pollbooks, the duplicate statements of results, and any printed inspection and return sheets in the envelopes provided by the State Board. The officers shall seal the envelopes and direct them to the clerk of the circuit court for the county or city. The pollbooks, statements, and sheets thus sealed and directed, the sealed counted ballots envelope or container, and the unused, defaced, spoiled and set aside ballots properly accounted for, packaged and sealed, shall be conveyed by one of the officers to be determined by lot, if they cannot otherwise agree, to the clerk of court by noon on the day following the election.The clerk shall retain custody of the pollbooks, paper ballots, and other elections materials until the time has expired for initiating a recount, contest, or other proceeding in which the pollbooks, paper ballots, and other elections materials may be needed as evidence and there is no proceeding pending. The clerk shall (i) secure all pollbooks, paper ballots and other election materials in sealed boxes; (ii) place all of the sealed boxes in a vault or room not open to the public or to anyone other than the clerk and his staff; (iii) cause such vault or room to be securely locked except when access is necessary for the clerk and his staff; and (iv) upon the initiation of a recount, certify that these security measures have been taken in whatever form is deemed appropriate by the chief judge.After that time the clerk shall deliver the pollbooks to the general registrar who shall return the pollbooks or transfer a copy of the electronic data to the State Board as directed by § 24.2-114 for voting credit purposes. After the pollbooks are returned by the State Board, the general registrar shall retain the pollbooks in his principal office for two years from the date of the election. The clerk shall retain the statement of results and any printed inspection and return sheets for two years and may then destroy them.
B. The local electoral board or general registrar may direct that the officers of election, in lieu of conveying the materials to the clerk of the circuit court as provided in subsection A, shall convey the materials to the principal office of the general registrar on the night of the election or the morning following the election as the board directs. The general registrar shall secure and retain the materials in his office and shall convey to the clerk of the court, by noon of the day following the ascertainment of the results of the election by the electoral board, all of the election materials. The general registrar shall retain for public inspection one copy of the statement of results.
C. If an electronic pollbook is used, the data disc or cartridge containing the electronic records of the election, or, alternately, a printed copy of the pollbook records of those who voted, shall be transmitted, sealed and retained as required by this section, and otherwise treated as the pollbook for that election for all purposes subsequent to the election. Nothing in this title shall be construed to require that the equipment or software used to produce the electronic pollbook be sealed or retained along with the pollbook, provided that the records for the election have been transferred or printed according to the instructions of the State Board.
Code 1950, §§ 24-232, 24-267, 24-268, 24-270; 1970, c. 462, §§ 24.1-143, 24.1-144; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 247; 1972, c. 620; 1973, c. 30; 1975, c. 515; 1978, c. 778; 1981, c. 425; 1992, c. 293; 1993, c. 641; 1995, c. 197; 1996, c. 8; 1997, cc. 438, 456; 2002, c. 190; 2003, c. 1015; 2004, cc. 410, 835; 2007, c. 285; 2016, cc. 18, 492.