Absentee voting; no-excuse in-person available 21 days prior to election. (SB136)

Introduced By

Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Absentee voting; no-excuse in-person available 21 days prior to election. Allows any registered voter to vote by absentee ballot in person beginning on the twenty-first day prior to 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 on the forty-fifth 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 or in person prior to the twenty-first day before the election, including the application requirement and the list of statutory reasons for absentee voting. Read the Bill »


01/30/2018: Failed to Pass in Committee


12/20/2017Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/18 18101090D
12/20/2017Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
01/29/2018Impact statement from DHCD/CLG (SB136)
01/29/2018Impact statement from DPB (SB136)
01/30/2018Continued to 2019 in Privileges and Elections (13-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)


Rachel Gatwood writes:

I support this. People should be able to vote early for convenience' sake, without necessarily being out of town or having other excuses.

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

The ACLU of Virginia cannot support legislation that seeks to add new classes of privileged voters to our excused-based absentee voting system or that continues to make it easier for some voters but not others to vote on a day other than election day. The ACLU of Virginia supports legislation that will allow every voter to choose to vote absentee in person or by mail without having to offer an excuse. This bill preserves the excuse based system for mailed absentee ballots but eliminates it for those who can present themselves in person at the registrar's office. This makes it easier for those with cars, who live in urban areas with rapid transit, and those who live close to government offices to vote during the day on weekdays or on weekends but retains the system that requires an excuse and creates privacy issues for those who must or want to vote by mail.