HJ601: Constitutional amendment; free elections, method of voting (first reference).

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 601

Offered January 9, 2013
Prefiled January 5, 2013
Proposing amendments to Section 6 of Article I and Section 3 of Article II of the Constitution of Virginia, relating to elections and methods of voting.
Patron-- Krupicka

Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, a majority of the members elected to each house agreeing, That the following amendments to the Constitution of Virginia be, and the same hereby are, proposed and referred to the General Assembly at its first regular session held after the next general election of members of the House of Delegates for its concurrence in conformity with the provisions of Section 1 of Article XII of the Constitution of Virginia, namely:

Amend Section 6 of Article I and Section 3 of Article II of the Constitution of Virginia as follows:

ARTICLE I
BILL OF RIGHTS

Section 6. Free elections; consent of governed.

That all elections ought to be free, convenient for the voter, and equally provided for throughout the Commonwealth; and that all men, having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to, the community, have the right of suffrage, and cannot be taxed, or deprived of, or damaged in, their property for public uses, without their own consent, or that of their representatives duly elected, or bound by any law to which they have not, in like manner, assented for the public good.

ARTICLE II
FRANCHISE AND OFFICERS

Section 3. Method of voting.

In elections by the people, the following safeguards shall be maintained. Voting shall be by ballot or by machines for receiving, recording, and counting votes cast. No ballot or list of candidates upon any voting machine shall bear any distinguishing mark or symbol, other than words identifying political party affiliation; and their form, including the offices to be filled and the listing of candidates or nominees, shall be as uniform as is practicable throughout the Commonwealth or smaller governmental unit in which the election is held.

In elections other than primary elections, provision shall be made whereby votes may be cast for persons other than the listed candidates or nominees. Secrecy in casting votes shall be maintained, except as provision may be made for assistance to handicapped voters, but the ballot box or voting machine shall be kept in public view and shall not be opened, nor the ballots canvassed nor the votes counted, in secret. Votes may be cast in person or by absentee ballot as provided by law.

In elections other than primary and special elections, provision shall be made whereby votes may be cast starting at least 30 days before the general election date either in person, by mail, or by other means as provided by law without qualification.