Absentee voting; witness signature not required. (SB1097)

Introduced By

Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Arlington) with support from co-patrons Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington), Del. Kaye Kory (D-Falls Church), Del. Rodney Willett (D-Henrico), Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond), and Sen. Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Absentee voting; witness signature not required during declared state of emergency related to a communicable disease of public health threat. Provides that a voter's failure to have a witness sign the absentee ballot envelope for any election held during a declared state of emergency related to a communicable disease of public health threat shall not be considered a material omission and shall not render the ballot void. The bill directs the Department of Elections to convene a work group to consider and evaluate alternatives to the witness signature requirement for election officials to use to verify that an absentee ballot was cast by the voter identified as having requested and received such ballot. Read the Bill »


03/18/2021: signed by governor


11/09/2020Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/21 21100137D
11/09/2020Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
01/15/2021Impact statement from DPB (SB1097)
01/19/2021Reported from Privileges and Elections (9-Y 6-N) (see vote tally)
01/21/2021Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/22/2021Read second time and engrossed
01/25/2021Read third time and passed Senate (21-Y 18-N) (see vote tally)
02/02/2021Placed on Calendar
02/02/2021Read first time
02/02/2021Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
02/08/2021Continued to Special Session 1 in Privileges and Elections
02/10/2021Assigned P & E sub: Election Administration
02/16/2021House subcommittee amendments and substitutes offered
02/16/2021Subcommittee recommends reporting with substitute (5-Y 3-N)
02/17/2021Reported from Privileges and Elections with substitute (13-Y 9-N) (see vote tally)
02/17/2021Committee substitute printed 21200289D-H1
02/19/2021Impact statement from DPB (SB1097H1)
02/19/2021Read second time
02/22/2021Read third time
02/22/2021Committee substitute agreed to 21200289D-H1
02/22/2021Engrossed by House - committee substitute SB1097H1
02/22/2021Passed House with substitute (55-Y 45-N)
02/22/2021VOTE: Passage (55-Y 45-N)
02/23/2021Reconsideration of House substitute agreed to by Senate (39-Y 0-N)
02/23/2021House substitute agreed to by Senate (22-Y 17-N)
02/23/2021Title replaced 21200289D-H1
02/25/2021Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB1097ER)
02/25/2021Signed by President
02/26/2021Impact statement from DPB (SB1097ER)
02/26/2021Signed by Speaker
03/01/2021Enrolled Bill Communicated to Governor on March 1, 2021
03/01/2021G Governor's Action Deadline 11:59 p.m., March 31, 2021
03/18/2021G Approved by Governor-Chapter 235 (effective 7/1/21)
03/18/2021G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0235)