If you place the leads of a Volt Meter across the Terminals of a 1 Pole 1 Throw switch, which has either a Ballast or Incandescent Lamp on the Load side (which is not Barbequed / Failed Open - actually works...), you will find:
[*] With Switch Closed - Zero Volts,
[*] With Switch Open - 120 Volts.
FYI: above examples assume the system is 120 VAC, and the Switch Contacts are not pitted to death (make very good contact with less than 1 volt loss across the Switch).
So to answer your Q in full, if the Switch is removed and the Test Leads of a Volt Meter applied in its place, there will be a Voltage reading.
The Lamp will not light up, due to the Volt Meter's Impedance limiting the Current in this Series Circuit.
FYI: The Lamp and Meter will be in series, so it is now a series circuit. Highest Voltage will be measured across the highest Resistance / Impedance.
Hope this is what you are looking for!