Elections; reforms to improve voter access to polls. (SB1062)

Introduced By

Sen. Mark Herring (D-Leesburg) with support from co-patron Del. Luke Torian (D-Woodbridge)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Elections; voter access reforms. Provides for numerous reforms to improve voter access to the polls, including (i) extending the hour that polls close on election day from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; (ii) allowing for early voting by qualified voters for a period from 10 to three days before the election, or eight to three days before a special election, at the office of the general registrar or secretary of the electoral board and other approved locations; (iii) shortening the deadline to register to vote from 21 days before a general or primary election and either six or 13 days before special elections to three days before any election, which would be the last day of the early voting period; and (iv) authorizing the Secretary of the State Board of Elections to establish a pilot program to allow members of the military on active duty and their spouses, citizens residing outside of the United States, and military voters with disabilities or injuries to vote absentee by secure electronic means or other new technologies. The bill also provides that the State Board shall implement a system to accept absentee ballot applications electronically. Currently, an applicant may request and receive, but not submit, an absentee ballot application electronically. The bill also requires the State Board, in conjunction with the Department of Emergency Management, to create a written plan addressing the continuity of operations of elections in the event of an emergency. The bill also requires that the State Board perform periodic reviews of the conduct of elections and, based on the findings of such reviews, develop a written plan for minimizing the amount of time a voter has to wait to cast his vote on election day. Read the Bill »


01/18/2013: Failed to Pass in Committee


01/08/2013Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/13 13103449D
01/08/2013Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
01/18/2013Passed by indefinitely in Privileges and Elections (8-Y 5-N) (see vote tally)


ACLU-VA Voting Rights, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

The ACLU of Virginia supports legislation that promotes access to the polls, efficiency of elections, and encourages the expansion of the right to vote in Virginia.