Absentee voting; no-excuse absentee. (SB1026)

Introduced By

Sen. Lionell Spruill (D-Chesapeake) with support from co-patron Del. Kaye Kory (D-Falls Church)

Progress

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

Description

Absentee voting; no-excuse in-person available beginning on second Saturday immediately preceding election. Allows for any registered voter to vote by absentee ballot in person beginning on the second Saturday immediately preceding 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 second Saturday immediately preceding the election, including the application requirement and the list of statutory reasons for absentee voting. The provisions of the bill do not become effective until the November 3, 2020, general election, and the State Board of Elections is required to submit a report on the procedures and instructions it promulgates for conducting absentee voting pursuant to the provisions of the bill. Amends § 24.2-1004, § 24.2-416.1, § 24.2-452, § 24.2-612, § 24.2-700, § 24.2-701, § 24.2-702.1, § 24.2-703.1, § 24.2-703.2, § 24.2-706, § 24.2-709, of the Code of Virginia. Read the Bill »

Status

02/19/2019: Passed the House

History

DateAction
10/17/2018Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/19 19100137D
10/17/2018Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
01/18/2019Impact statement from DHCD/CLG (SB1026)
01/21/2019Impact statement from DPB (SB1026)
01/29/2019Reported from Privileges and Elections with substitute (14-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/29/2019Committee substitute printed 19106127D-S1
01/29/2019Incorporates SB1035 (Locke)
01/29/2019Incorporates SB1075 (Howell)
01/29/2019Incorporates SB1198 (Dance)
01/31/2019Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/01/2019Read second time
02/01/2019Reading of substitute waived
02/01/2019Committee substitute agreed to 19106127D-S1
02/01/2019Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SB1026S1
02/04/2019Read third time and passed Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/05/2019Impact statement from DPB (SB1026S1)
02/06/2019Placed on Calendar
02/06/2019Read first time
02/06/2019Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
02/06/2019Assigned P & E sub: Subcommittee #1
02/12/2019Subcommittee recommends reporting (6-Y 0-N)
02/15/2019House committee, floor amendments and substitutes offered
02/15/2019Reported from Privileges and Elections with amendments (18-Y 4-N) (see vote tally)
02/18/2019Read second time
02/19/2019Read third time
02/19/2019Committee amendments agreed to
02/19/2019Engrossed by House as amended
02/19/2019Passed House with amendments (89-Y 10-N)
02/19/2019VOTE: PASSAGE (89-Y 10-N) (see vote tally)
02/20/2019House amendments agreed to by Senate (38-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
02/20/2019Reconsideration of House amendments agreed to by Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/20/2019Passed by for the day
02/21/2019Passed by temporarily
02/21/2019House amendments agreed to by Senate (37-Y 3-N) (see vote tally)

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: SB1035, HB1641 and SB1672.

Comments

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.

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