Absentee voting; no-excuse, in-person available 21 days prior to election. (SB1002)

Introduced By

Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) with support from co-patrons Del. Roslyn Tyler (D-Jarratt), and Sen. Lynwood Lewis (D-Accomac)

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 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 a prior application for an absentee ballot. Absentee voting in person will be available in the office of the general registrar or the secretary of the electoral board and may be available at additional locations if approved by the local electoral board. The period for absentee voting in person will begin on the twenty-first day prior to any election and will end at 5:00 p.m. on the Saturday immediately preceding the election. The bill retains the current provisions for voting absentee by mail, including the application process and list of eligibility reasons. Amends § 24.2-612, § 24.2-700, § 24.2-701, § 24.2-706, § 24.2-707, of the Code of Virginia. Read the Bill »

Status

01/31/2017: Incorporated into Another Bill

History

DateAction
01/03/2017Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/17 17102185D
01/03/2017Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
01/16/2017Impact statement from DPB (SB1002)
01/31/2017Incorporated by Privileges and Elections (SB844-Howell) (13-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: HB1935.

Comments

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

The ACLU strongly supports legislation that allows all Virginia voters to vote by absentee ballot either by mail or in-person without providing a reason. The ACLU of Virginia continues to be concerned about the effects and limitations of the current excuse-based system and encourages legislators to enact a truly equal “no-excuse” absentee voting law that is available in-person and by mail for all Virginia voters. If Virginia law limits no-excuse absentee voting to in-person only, qualified voters may be excluded from participating based upon a lack of readily accessible transportation, geography, income status, and the constraints of modern-day individuals and families. The “excuse-based” absentee voting law also continues to present concerns that certain classes of voters are being elevated. The excused-based system also continues to threaten the privacy of voters who vote by absentee ballot. The law currently requires voters to disclose private and sensitive information in order to vote by absentee ballot. And, this information is being required by a law that provides no assurance that the information will be held confidential and secure, or that it will be available to defend against allegations of absentee ballot fraud, which is a class 4 felony for which there is no statute of limitations. We strongly advocate that all voters should be permitted to vote by absentee ballot.

Eva King writes:

I strongly support this bill. Democracy depends on good voter turn-out, and easy early voting options encourages election participation by eligible voters.