State of Elections

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Tag: removal

Virginia Supreme Court Applies Strict Standard for Removing Elected Officials

By: Cody Brandon

In October of last year, the State of Elections blog previewed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Virginia questioning the requirements of Virginia Code §§ 24.2-233 and 235.  The Court, on March 1, 2018, answered those questions.  As predicted, this decision will have a substantial impact on the process for removing elected officials in Virginia.  For a detailed discussion of the history of the case and the arguments of the parties, read the original post previewing the case.  This post will cover analysis of the opinion and its effect.

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Removing Elected Officials in Virginia: Supreme Court to Clarify Requirements for Petitions for Removal

By: Cody Brandon

The Supreme Court of Virginia is set to consider an appeal that could drastically affect efforts to remove elected officials. Other than those officials for which removal procedures are specified in the Constitution of Virginia, removal procedure is governed by Virginia Code § 24.2-230 et seq. Unlike many other states that use recall elections, these statutes provide for the removal of elected officials by a circuit court for neglect of duty and misuse of office as well as convictions for various drug-related, sexual assault, and hate crimes. The process is initiated when a number of petitioners equal to ten percent of the total number of votes cast at the last election for the office sign a petition for removal stating the grounds for removal. The petitioners must be registered voters residing in the district which the officer serves. Once the action is instituted, the Commonwealth steps in (through a Commonwealth’s Attorney) as the complaining party, and the officer is subjected to a trial of sorts to determine if there are grounds for removal that satisfy § 24.2-233. Continue reading

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