RICHMOND – The new Democratic majority in the House of Delegates has worked swiftly to expand access to voting in the Commonwealth, including passing “no excuse” absentee voting.
Under current law, Virginia voters are required to provide one of several valid excuses to vote prior to election day. Under HB 1, Virginia voters will now be able to vote absentee, by mail or in person, for any reason.
“Virginia voters shouldn’t need an excuse to vote absentee. There are a multitude of reasons why a voter, in their own personal life, may wish to vote early and now they’ll have that ability.” said Del. Charniele Herring, House Majority Leader, and sponsor of HB 1. “I’m glad that the House of Delegates is approving legislation to make voting easier, I look forward to passage in the Senate and the signature of Governor Northam to make HB 1 and other easy access voting bills law.”
In addition to HB 1, the House of Delegates has also passed:
- HB 207, sponsored by Del. Schuyler VanValkenburg, which would provide a special application for any voter to receive an absentee ballot in all elections that they are eligible to vote in. This would allow voters to essentially permanently enroll in a “vote by mail” program without having to fill out the absentee ballot request several times a year to vote by mail in various elections.
- HB 238, sponsored by Del. Mark Sickles, would provide for any absentee ballot that arrives by noon on the third day after the election but is postmarked on or before the date of the election to be counted.
“The Democratic majority in the House of Delegates has made accessibility to the ballot box one of our top priorities for 2020,” said Del. Rip Sullivan, Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. “We’ve seen record voter turnout in recent years, and we hope that these bills, and others, will help continue that trend so that we make it easier for Virginians to be heard and represented.”