Absentee voting; no-excuse in-person available 21 days prior to election. (SB603)

Introduced By

Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston) with support from co-patron Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Arlington)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Absentee voting; no-excuse in-person available 21 days prior to election. Allows for any registered voter to vote by absentee ballot in person in any election in which he is qualified to vote without providing a reason or making prior application for an absentee ballot. The bill makes absentee voting in person available beginning the twenty-first day prior to the election and ending at 5:00 p.m. on the Saturday immediately preceding the election. The bill retains the current provisions for voting an absentee ballot by mail, including the application requirement and the list of statutory reasons. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Failed

History

DateAction
01/13/2016Presented and ordered printed 16103418D
01/13/2016Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
01/18/2016Impact statement from DPB (SB603)
01/26/2016Reported from Privileges and Elections (12-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
01/28/2016Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/29/2016Read second time and engrossed
02/01/2016Read third time and passed Senate (27-Y 13-N) (see vote tally)
02/03/2016Placed on Calendar
02/03/2016Read first time
02/03/2016Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
02/08/2016Assigned P & E sub: Elections
02/16/2016Subcommittee recommends striking from docket
03/08/2016Left in Privileges and Elections

Video

This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 1 clip in all, totaling 2 minutes.

Transcript

This is a transcript of the video clips in which this bill is discussed.

SENATE BILL 603, A BILL RELATING TO ABSENTEE VOTING; NO-EXCUSE IN-PERSON AVAILABLE 21 DAYS PRIOR TO ELECTION. SENATOR HOWELL THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I MOVE THE BILL PASS AND SPEAKING TO THE BILL THE SENATOR HAS THE FLOOR THANK YOU. FOR MANY YEARS THERE HAVE BEEN EFFORTS TO HAVE NO EXCUSE IN PERSON VOTING. AND IN FACT WE JUST VOTED DOWN SUCH A BILL A COUPLE OF MINUTES AGO. I WANT TO POINT OUT THAT THIS BILL IS DIFFERENT SO SOME OF THE OBJECTIONS TO THE PREVIOUS BILL WOULD NOT APPLY HERE. THIS HAS NO EXCUSE ABSENTEE VOTING ONLY WITHIN 21 DAYS OF THE GENERAL ELECTION. SO THAT THAT IS AFTER THE TIME WHEN SOMEONE CAN REGISTER TO VOTE. SO WE WOULD NOT HAVE A SITUATION OF SOMEONE COMING TO THE POLLS, REGISTERING AND THEN VOTING IN PERSON ABSENTEE. THAT WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO HAPPEN. THIS IS A MUCH SMALLER STEP AND I WOULD HOPE THAT IT WOULD BE THE PLEASURE OF THE BODY TO SUPPORT IT

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): THANK YOU, SENATOR. THE QUESTION IS SHALL SENATE BILL 603 PASS. ALL IN FAVOR OF THE MOTION WILLS AYE, THOSE OPPOSED NO. ARE THE SENATORS READY TO VOTE? HAVE ALL THE SENATORS VOTED? DO ANY SENATORS DESIRE TO CH ANGE THEIR VOTE? THE CLERK WILL CLOSE THE ROLL.

[Unknown]: AYES 27 NOS 13 AYES 27, NOS 13. THE BILL PASSES. MR. PRESIDENT, FOR WHAT PURPOSE DOES THE

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: HB531.

Comments

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

The ACLU of Virginia supports legislation that increases access to the ballot and eliminates the excuse-based absentee system for in-person voting. For true reform that makes sense, legislators should enact comprehensive no-excuse absentee voting for both in-person and by-mail methods.