​​Chapter 1.7 Contents:​

[REVISED: 9/8/14]

DARS is (per Code of Virginia 24.2-411.2) a state-designated voter registration agency for federal and state elections. 

[REVISED: 7/1/15]

  1. Within DARS, NVRA compliance shall apply to staff of  Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center (WWRC) Admissions Office and DRS Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program and Community Rehabilitation Case Management Services (CRCMS) Program who take in-person applications or client address and name changes. 

  2. Staff shall (per P.L. 103-31 National Voter Registration Act of 1993) participate in annual voter registration training sponsored by the Virginia Department of Elections.

     
  3. The Agency NVRA Liaison shall keep the list of trained staff.

[REVISED: 9/8/14]

  1. Prohibitions.
    Staff shall not (per P.L. 103-31 National Voter Registration Act of 1993) attempt to influence political preference or party affiliation, display material indicating political or candidate or party preference, discourage the client from registering to vote or pressure the client to register to vote, or lead the client to believe that the decision to register or not to register will affect the availability of agency services, or use information regarding voter registration decision for any purpose other than voter registration.

  2. Who to ask and when.
    Each VR, CRCMS, or WWRC client shall (per P.L. 103-31 National Voter Registration Act of 1993) be asked at application intake and again with each notice of client address or name change if the client wishes to register to vote or update registered voter address or name. This is regardless of whether the intake meeting is in the agency office, applicant home, or other place (per Code of Virginia 24.2-411.2). 
    1. This only includes a client under age 18 if the client will be age 18 by the next General Election date, but does not require staff to ask a client who turns age 18 later in the life of the case. 

    1. This includes homeless persons who provide a physical address and mailing address in Virginia so the voter registrar can determine the polling place and mail the Voter Card. 

    1. This includes college students living in Virginia.

    1. This includes a person with a cognitive disability or a legal guardian, unless the incapacity document removed the right to vote (courts provide the list to the Department of Elections so staff in doubt should provide voter registration).

    1. This includes convicted felons whose voting rights have been restored. (Staff in doubt should provide voter registration and may refer the client to Restoration of Rights Division toll-free at 1-855-575-9177, or https://commonwealth.virginia.gov/judicial-system/restoration-of-rights). 

    1. Staff shall not attempt to determine client eligibility to vote, however, staff shall not be required to ask non- US citizens, non-Virginia residents, anyone still serving a felony sentence or probation or parole, or anyone accompanying the applicant or client.

  3. Document compliance at Intake.
    1. DRS VR staff shall document the client decision to register to vote or not to register on the VR Application and Disclosure (RS-5) form and in the voter registration field in AWARE Intake screen. This legally substitutes for the agency certification form as your proof of compliance. It will be kept until AWARE is purged.

    1. CRCMS staff shall (per P.L. 103-31 National Voter Registration Act of 1993) document the client decision to register to vote or not to register on the Voter Registration Agency Certification form (SBE-032-03-945) in the Forms Cabinet, ensure the client name is on it, and keep it in the place designated by the supervisor for at least (per 42 USC § 1974 and  Civil Rights Act of 1960 P. L. 86–449, title III, §301, May 6, 1960, 74 Stat. 88) 22 months after case closure. This is your proof of compliance.

    1. WWRC Admissions staff shall (per P.L. 103-31 National Voter Registration Act of 1993) document the client decision to register to vote or not to register on the Voter Registration Agency Certification form (SBE-032-03-945) in the Forms Cabinet, ensure the client name is on it, and keep it in the place designated by the supervisor for at least (per 42 USC § 1974 and Civil Rights Act of 1960 P. L. 86–449, title III, §301, May 6, 1960, 74 Stat. 88) 22 months after case closure. This is your proof of compliance.

  4. Document compliance at address or name change.
    1. DRS VR staff shall (per P.L. 103-31 National Voter Registration Act of 1993) document the client decision to register to vote or not to register on the Voter Registration Agency Certification form (SBE-032-03-945) in the Forms Cabinet, ensure the client name is on it, and keep it in the place designated by the supervisor for at least (per 42 USC § 1974 and  Civil Rights Act of 1960 P. L. 86–449, title III, §301, May 6, 1960, 74 Stat. 88) 22 months after case closure.  VR staff shall also write a case note in AWARE stating that voter registration was offered and location of the Voter Registration Agency Certification form for the client. The agency certification form must be used because an AWARE field for voter registration compliance is not available for VR cases after Application status. This is your proof of compliance. 

    1. CRCMS staff shall (per P.L. 103-31 National Voter Registration Act of 1993) document the client decision to register to vote or not to register on the Voter Registration Agency Certification form (SBE-032-03-945) in the Forms Cabinet, ensure the client name is on it, and keep it in the place designated by the supervisor for at least (per 42 USC § 1974 and  Civil Rights Act of 1960 P. L. 86–449, title III, §301, May 6, 1960, 74 Stat. 88) 22 months after case closure. This is your proof of compliance.

    2. WWRC Admissions staff shall (per P.L. 103-31 National Voter Registration Act of 1993) document the client decision to register to vote or not to register on the Voter Registration Agency Certification form (SBE-032-03-945) in the Forms Cabinet, ensure the client name is on it, and keep it in the place designated by the supervisor for at least (per 42 USC § 1974 and  Civil Rights Act of 1960 P. L. 86–449, title III, §301, May 6, 1960, 74 Stat. 88) 22 months after case closure. This is your proof of compliance.

[REVISED: 9/8/14]

  1. Assist with Voter Registration Application.
    1. If the client who is offered voter registration wants to register to vote or update the registered voter address or name, staff shall (per P.L. 103-31 National Voter Registration Act of 1993), provide the Virginia Voter Registration Application form. Staff may use the newest form in the Forms Cabinet, use up the supply of old forms on hand, or allow the client to use an agency computer typically available for client use (such as Employment Resource Center computer) to register online at the Virginia Department of Elections Web site.

    1. The Spanish Voter Registration Application is accepted only in Fairfax County.

    1. The client may complete the Voter Registration Application in the office or take it home.

    1. Staff shall (per P.L. 103-31 National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and Code of Virginia 24.2-411.2) provide the same degree of assistance in completing the Voter Registration Application as you provide in completing agency forms, unless the individual refuses assistance. This includes bilingual assistance for clients with limited English proficiency.

    1. The section For Office Use Only on the back of the form is for the local voter registrar use, not DARS use.

    1. Staff may notify the client if required fields on the Voter Registration Application are incomplete, but staff shall not make any changes on the form because it is a legal document. The voter registrar will not process incomplete forms and notifies the applicant.

  2. Transmit the Voter Registration Application.
    1. If the client wants staff to transmit the completed paper Voter Registration Application to the voter registrar, staff shall fill out the tear-off Virginia Voter Registration Application Receipt located on the back of the form and give it to the client. This is the client proof that DARS is transmitting the form. The receipt is not used if the client takes the Voter Registration Application home, or electronically signs and submits the on-line version directly to the Department of Elections, or registers in person at the local voter registrar office.

    1. Staff shall (per Code of Virginia 24.2-411.2) transmit the original Voter Registration Applications to the local voter registrar or Virginia Department of Elections within five business days, or daily when directed by the Virginia Department of Elections. The local voter registrar and Virginia Department of Elections do not (per P.L. 103-31 National Voter Registration Act of 1993) accept photocopies, faxes, and other reproductions of the completed form.

    1. The Voter Registration Application must be received by either the local voter registrar or Virginia Department of Elections at least 22 days before the general election or party primary, or 14 days before a special election.

    1. Staff shall use the official transmittal envelop with “C” in the upper left corner. To order additional envelopes, e-mail Garry Ellis, NRVA Coordinator, Virginia Department of Elections, and include request for “C” envelopes, quantity, and your office mailing address.

    1. The local voter registrar reviews the Voter Registration Application, cross-checks the name against known ineligible voter lists, determines eligibility to vote, and within 30 days mails a Voter Card (or written notification if determined ineligible to vote).

     

[REVISED: 9/8/14]

Effective starting July 2014, state law (per Code of Virginia 24.2-643) requires all voters at the voting place to show a photo ID issued by an employer, federal agency, Virginia state agency, Virginia political subdivision, or Virginia public or private institution of higher education. Staff with a client who does not have an acceptable photo ID may refer the client to the local voter registrar for a free Voter Card Photo ID.

[REVISED: 9/8/14]

A registered voter with a disability may apply annually to vote by absentee ballot. Forms and information are available from the local registrar and the Virginia Department of Elections Web site.

[REVISED: 9/8/14]

If a client inquires about, or has a complaint regarding, voting place or voting equipment or ballot accessibility, staff should refer the client to the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities.