Voting equipment; locality that acquired DREs prior to 7-1-07 may temporarily conduct election. (SB988)

Introduced By

Sen. Chuck Colgan (D-Manassas) with support from co-patrons Sen. John Edwards (D-Roanoke), and Sen. Roscoe Reynolds (D-Martinsville)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Elections; acquisition of voting equipment by localities. Deletes the provision enacted in 2007 that prohibits the acquisition of direct recording electronic (DRE) machines by any locality on and after July 1, 2007. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


01/12/2009Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/14/09 095587212
01/12/2009Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
02/03/2009Reported from Privileges and Elections with amendment (12-Y 3-N) (see vote tally)
02/05/2009Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/06/2009Read second time
02/06/2009Reading of amendment waived
02/06/2009Committee amendment agreed to
02/06/2009Engrossed by Senate as amended SB988E
02/06/2009Printed as engrossed 095587212-E
02/09/2009Read third time and passed Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/13/2009Placed on Calendar
02/13/2009Read first time
02/13/2009Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
02/16/2009Assigned P & E sub: Campaign Finance
02/18/2009Subcommittee recommends reporting
02/20/2009Reported from Privileges and Elections (22-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/23/2009Read second time
02/24/2009Passed by for the day
02/25/2009Read third time
02/25/2009Passed House (99-Y 0-N)
02/25/2009VOTE: --- PASSAGE (99-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/04/2009Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB988ER)
03/05/2009Signed by President
03/06/2009Signed by Speaker
03/30/2009G Approved by Governor-Chapter 759 (effective 7/1/09)
03/30/2009G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0759)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 3 clips in all, totaling 4 minutes.

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: HB2422.


Charles Crist writes:

This legislation is very important to Electoral Boards across the Commonwealth and has been strongly endorsed by the Virginia Eelctoral Board Association and the Virginia Registrars Association of Virginia. It repeals the prohibition of the purchase of Direct Recording Electronic voting equipment, voting equipment that has proved reliable, tamper-proof and preferred by the large majority of voters throughout the Commonwealth. 90% of our jurisdictions throughout the state use DREs and beleive that they provide the securest means of insuring the integrity of the vote.

Charles Crist writes:

Clarification: I am the Chair of the Culpeper County Electoral Board.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Unless the state is going to require paper receipts, I certainly hope this doesn't pass. Electronic voting equipment is unverifiable and easily tampered with. I'm a career programmer (heck, I wrote Richmond Sunlight), and I know dozens (hundreds?) of fellow programmers. Not a single one I know thinks that electronic voting is a good idea, because we know how unreliable that it is. Paper receipts, however, change all of that.

Linda writes:

Without a paper trail I do not understand how this form of voting machine can provide the "securist" way of voting. How can you perform a "recount" other than pushing the button again to get the same read-out? Is the software open for public inspection and audit? Doubt it as the software is considered "proprietary" to the manufacturer and not open to outside inspection. What about power failures? At least with opti-scanners you can still vote on the paper ballot and have the ballot collected in a secure box until power returns for later tallying. Would you make an ATM deposit without a receipt and just trust the machine? Even McDonald's offers receipts. Paperless non-verifiable voting processes are not in the best interest of democracy. As a former hardware/software sales person I appreciate the adage of GIGO.