Early voting; any registered voter allowed to vote early in any election in which he is qualified. (SB1295)

Introduced By

Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-Winchester)

Progress

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

Description

Elections; early voting. Allows any registered voter to vote early in any election in which he is qualified to vote without providing a reason or making prior application for an absentee ballot. The bill requires that early voting be available beginning the twenty-first day prior to any general election, the seventh day prior to any special election held on a date other than the date of a general election, and the seventh day prior to any primary election and ending at 5:00 p.m. on the Saturday immediately preceding the election. The bill further requires early voting to be available during regular business hours each weekday during the applicable period, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on each Saturday during the applicable period, and from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on each Sunday during the applicable period. The bill removes the current provisions for voting absentee in person but retains those provisions for voting an absentee ballot by mail, including the application requirement and the list of statutory reasons that allow a registered voter to vote absentee by mail. Read the Bill »

Status

01/31/2017: Incorporated into Another Bill

History

DateAction
01/10/2017Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/17 17103008D
01/10/2017Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
01/16/2017Impact statement from DPB (SB1295)
01/31/2017Incorporated by Privileges and Elections (SB844-Howell) (13-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)

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 20 seconds.

Comments

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

The ACLU strongly supports legislation that allows all Virginia voters to vote early or 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.