Office of the Attorney General, 202 North Ninth Street . var addy_text89905f8a24c095455fe72a99b316ed9d = 'cgomer' + '@' + 'oag' + '.' + 'state' + '.' + 'va' + '.' + 'us';document.getElementById('cloak89905f8a24c095455fe72a99b316ed9d').innerHTML += ''+addy_text89905f8a24c095455fe72a99b316ed9d+'<\/a>'; ~ Herring issues advisory opinion outlining protections in both state and federal law against voter intimidation in response to recent events ~, RICHMOND (September 24, 2020) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring has issued an advisory opinion outlining protections in both state and federal law against voter intimidation in response to “reports of activity near polling places that led some voters to fear for their safety while waiting to cast their vote, or led them to believe that they would be harmed for supporting a particular candidate.”, “Voting is a fundamental right and the bedrock of our democracy. Fair Housing Regulations » Part II. Campaigning is allowed -- from a distance. Phone: (804)786-1022  RICHMOND — Today, Virginia House Bill 2081, which would ban firearms at polling places, passed the Virginia House of Delegates and now advances to the state Senate. Review of High-Risk Solicitations and Contracts, Sexually Violent Predators Civil Commitment, Virginia's Challenge to President Trump's Immigration Ban, Military and Veteran Legal Resource Guide, Invite Attorney General Herring to your Event, Frequently Asked Questions - Legal Assistance, Health Care Fraud & Elder Abuse Community Outreach, Section 24.2-607(A) makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor “’for any person to hinder, intimidate, or interfere with any qualified voter so as to prevent the voter from casting a secret ballot.’”, Section 24.2-1005 makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to use “’threats, bribery, or other means in violation of the election laws’ to ‘attempt[] to influence any person in giving his vote or ballot or . Threatening, intimidating, or interfering with persons in their enjoyment of a dwelling because of the race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, elderliness, national origin, source of funds, sexual orientation, gender identity, or status as a veteran, of such persons or of visitors or associates of such persons. Stalking; harassment; penalties; definitions. All rights reserved. [Page 3], Virginia law makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to “falsely assume[] or exercise[] the functions, powers, duties, and privileges incident to the office of sheriff, police officer, marshal, or other peace officer, or any local, city, county, state, or federal law-enforcement officer.” This criminal prohibition can apply to “a group of private militia members coming as a unit, heavily armed with assault-style weapons, dressed in fatigues and other military accessories, and acting in a coordinated fashion” where the “militia members patrol[] a line of citizens” and “project[] authority to manage the crowd.” [Page 3], Attorney General of Virginia: back to home page. B. The opinion outlines applicable provisions in the Code of Virginia “ [that] expressly prohibit [] voter intimidation” including: Section 24.2-607 (A) makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor “’for any person to hinder, intimidate, or interfere with any qualified voter so as to prevent the voter from casting a secret ballot.’”. Most laws covering workplace harassment are federal. Information regarding the harassment, intimidation or bullying policy must also be incorporated into each school's current employee training program. Here’s what you need to know about Virginia’s laws. The idea of witness tampering or intimidation probably brings to mind a defendant in a criminal case threatening a witness, but the addy89905f8a24c095455fe72a99b316ed9d = addy89905f8a24c095455fe72a99b316ed9d + 'oag' + '.' + 'state' + '.' + 'va' + '.' + 'us'; This email address is being protected from spambots. Retaliating against any person because that person has made a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in a proceeding under the fair housing law. Proud Boys at Virginia 2nd Amendment Rally (2020 Jan) by Anthony Crider | Flickr CC BY 2.0. Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. Issuing a threat of harm is a Class 6 felony under Virginia criminal laws, which carries with it a penalty of 1-5 years in prison. [Page 2], Virginia law also prohibits carrying or possessing firearms or weapons at specific locations that may be used as polling places, such as schools and courthouses. Police Officer Using Intimidation at Questioning. Blue Virginia has published more than 2,000 articles covering Virginia politics in the last year, reaching 2.2 million visitors and generating 7.1 million pageviews. 4. In Maryland To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation. deter him from voting.’”, Section 24.2-1015, makes it a Class 5 felony to “’conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, intimidate, prevent, or hinder any citizen of this Commonwealth in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the provisions of [the election laws].’”, Section 24.2-607(B) that says “’[n]o person shall conduct himself in a noisy or riotous manner at or about the polls so as to disturb the election.’”, “While polls are open, it is unlawful to ‘loiter or congregate,’ ‘give, tender, or exhibit any . The definition of bullying in the Code of Virginia is “any aggressive and unwanted behavior that is intended to harm, intimidate, or humiliate the victim; involves a real or perceived power imbalance between the aggressor or aggressors and victim; and is repeated over time or … If that threat is terroristic in nature, with the intent to commit terrorism, it is a Class 5 felony, which has penalties of 1-10 years in prison if you are found guilty. Anyone planning on scaring voters at the polls had better be ready to go to jail, said Attorney General Josh Kaul. [Page 1], Federal criminal law similarly provides that any person who “intimidates, threatens, [or] coerces” another person “for the purpose of interfering with the right of such other person to vote or to vote as he may choose” in a federal election—or “attempts” to do the same—may be fined and/or imprisoned for up to one year. Mobile: (804) 512-2552 var addy89905f8a24c095455fe72a99b316ed9d = 'cgomer' + '@'; The opinion outlines applicable provisions in the Code of Virginia “[that] expressly prohibit[] voter intimidation” including: The opinion also highlights provisions in the Virginia state code that “prohibit[] certain conduct at polling places that might interfere with the right to vote free from influence,” including: Additionally, the opinion notes that “Virginia and federal law provide that voters shall not be harassed for exercising their rights”, highlighting that “[b]oth state and local law protect citizens from violent threats, and in particular from being threatened with firearms” and that “[i]t is a criminal offense for private individuals to usurp the role of actual law enforcement, and it is accordingly unlawful to appear at the polls attempting to exercise roles that rightfully belong to law enforcement.” Attorney General Herring says that “[t]hese types of protection have an important history in our law. 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