Absentee voting; no-excuse absentee. (HB1641)

Introduced By

Del. Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria) with support from co-patrons Del. Cia Price (D-Newport News), and Del. Jeion Ward (D-Hampton)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Absentee voting; no-excuse absentee. Permits any registered voter to vote by absentee ballot in any election in which he is qualified to vote. The bill removes the current list of statutory reasons under which a person may be entitled to vote by absentee ballot and removes references to those reasons from other sections of the Code. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


11/26/2018Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/19 19100922D
11/26/2018Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
01/12/2019Assigned P & E sub: Subcommittee #1
01/18/2019Impact statement from DHCD/CLG (HB1641)
01/21/2019Impact statement from DPB (HB1641)
01/29/2019Subcommittee recommends laying on the table (4-Y 2-N)
02/05/2019Left in Privileges and Elections

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: SB1026, SB1035 and SB1672.


Deborah Hawkins writes:

I see no reason why absentee voting should have restrictions. It is all of our best interests to have as many eligible voters vote as possible. This should just be considered early voting. Given available parking, voting machines, voting day workers and other issues, the more people who vote early the better. We need to move to online voting, but given the lack of and expense now for upgraded technology, this is one easy step to improving voter turnout. You could ask for volunteers or even pay day workers to help in registrars' offices on early voting days, just like on voting days now. We could make this happen! I support this bill. Voter in Chesterfield county.

David Pratt writes:

I absolutely support no excuse absentee voting. Requiring an excuse is meant to suppress voting and removing this hurdle will only expand the vote.

ACLU of VA writes:

The ACLU of VA strongly supports this bill.

Joe Schlatter writes:

This bill is a good thing.

HOWEVER -- it's another example of an unfunded mandate on localities.

I am in a small county with only 9,000 voters and 5 polling places. Now, we will have to open another polling place to accommodate early voting. This will cost us:
-- New voting machines: $12,000
-- New electronic pollbooks ($2,700)
-- Salaries for poll workers: Approx $600 per day X 7 days = $4,200
-- Signs and other miscellaneous for the new polling place: $500

Remember -- in my county we will need only one early polling place. It CANNOT be in the registrar's office, which is too small already. So, we have to find a building centrally located in tne county -- that has parking, handicapped access, place to lock up the voting machines at night, restrooms, etc.

In the case of, say, Fairfax County with 800,000 registered voters, we are talking about several early voting places that will cost some real money. The State needs to kick in a lot of financial assistance to the localities.