How to Cancel a Virginia Voter Registration
Prince William County Department of Elections sent updated Voter Registration cards recently that reflect the redistricting in Congressional districts. Many people were surprised they received notices for family members who moved to other states for permanent residence there.
Article II section 1 of the Virginia Constitution, Qualifications of Voters states, in part:
The residence requirements shall be that each voter shall be a resident of the Commonwealth and of the precinct where he votes. Residence, for all purposes of qualification to vote, requires both domicile and a place of abode.Article II section 1 of the Virginia Constitution, Qualifications of Voters
A domicile is a home acquired with the intent to remain indefinitely. This does not mean purchase a home, just that a person plans on staying indefinitely (at their abode). It is self-executing that if a person moves out of state and expects to stay indefinitely, he is not qualified to vote in Virginia.
§ 24.2-427. Cancellation of registration by voter or for persons known to be deceased or disqualified to vote, section B, says:
B. The general registrar shall cancel the registration of (i) all persons known by him to be deceased or disqualified to vote by reason of a felony conviction or adjudication of incapacity; (ii) all persons known by him not to be United States citizens by reason of reports from the Department of Motor Vehicles pursuant to § 24.2-410.1 or from the Department of Elections based on information received from the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program (SAVE Program) pursuant to subsection E of § 24.2-404 and in accordance with the requirements of subsection B1; (iii) all persons for whom a notice has been received, signed by the voter, or from the registration official of another jurisdiction that the voter has moved from the Commonwealth; and (iv) all persons for whom a notice has been received, signed by the voter, or from the registration official of another jurisdiction that the voter has registered to vote outside the Commonwealth, subsequent to his registration in Virginia. The notice received in clauses (iii) and (iv) shall be considered as a written request from the voter to have his registration cancelled. A voter’s registration may be cancelled at any time during the year in which the general registrar discovers that the person is no longer entitled to be registered. The general registrar shall mail notice of any cancellation to the person whose registration is cancelled.§ 24.2-427
A registrant can CANCEL his Virginia voter registration to remove himself by filling out the form in this link and mailing it in to the local Department of Elections, and keeping a copy is a great idea. https://www.elections.virginia.gov/media/formswarehouse/veris-voter-registration/cancellation/ELECT-427A.pdf A registrant can also send in his own letter, as long as it is signed, per the Virginia statute above.
Please note the state form above asks for a social security number, but that is not required in the code of Virginia, and looks to be a policy and perhaps not enforceable.
Yes, some states share voter registration data with other states, but imagine weeding through all that data to figure out where everyone lived before they registered in their new state? Prior state voter registrations is probably not even a question on the voter registration form (feel free to email differently). The non-profit ERIC system is supposed to help member states keep their voter rolls clean, but the experience of many is that it does not work. Virginia pays an annual fee to take part in ERIC.
Update: after checking the voter registration update page using my own information the following information showed (I did not process a change):
Yet a family member of mine changed Virginia registration status, in 2020, saying they now live indefinitely in another state, and this was ignored by the Virginia Department of Elections. They kept him on the voter rolls. He was never cancelled, as evidenced by the new voter registration letter received in June 2022 showing his new voting location, and by showing as inactive on the current rolls. He should have been cancelled and removed two years ago. There was no voting violation.