|RICHMOND, Va. – Members of the Virginia House Democratic Caucus today held a press conference at which they rolled out several pieces of legislation focused on voting rights.
“Voting is a fundamental right, and we as Democrats believe we should make it easier to vote, not harder, said Caucus Chair Charniele Herring, who has introduced a no excuse absentee voting bill. “We have put forth an aggressive slate of voting rights legislation that will help ensure that the voices of all Virginians are heard. Republicans last year killed eleven voting rights bills by unrecorded voice votes. The bills we have presented this year deserve transparent consideration and recorded votes throughout the committee process.”
“We have an exciting legislative agenda that focuses on making it easier for all Virginians to cast their ballots,” said Delegate Mark Sickles, ranking member of the Privileges and Elections Committee. “Whether it’s pre-registration for young people, online voting for military personnel, or same-day voter registration we are committed to making the bold policy changes that can and should be made with 21st century technology available to enhance and enrich our democratic process.”
Legislation sponsored by Delegate Rip Sullivan that would create no-excuse early voting in Virginia. Sullivan also introduced a bill to add student ID cards from out-of-state universities to the list of acceptable ID.
Legislation sponsored by Delegates-elect Wendy Gooditis and Cheryl Turpinthat would extend the time polls close by one hour.
Legislation sponsored by Delegate-elect Debra Rodman that would institute same-day voter registration.
Legislation sponsored by Delegate Jennifer Boysko and Delegate-elect David Reid that would notify people if their voter registrations have been denied.
Legislation sponsored by Delegate-elect Kathy Tran and Delegate Kathleen Murphy that would allow active duty military members stationed overseas to vote online.
Legislation sponsored by Delegate Alfonso Lopez that would allow 16-and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote so that they would be registered by their 18th birthdays.
A proposed constitutional amendment by Delegate Mark Keam recognizing a right to vote.
Additionally, Delegate Delores McQuinn will introduce a bill to repeal the photo ID requiremen, Delegate Cliff Hayes has introduced a bill to allow those over 65 to vote absentee, Delegate Lamont Bagby has introduced a no excuse absentee voting bill, Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn has introduced a bill that would extend the time for new citizens to register to vote, Delegate John Bell is championing legislation that would require an Intelligent Mail barcode be included on the return envelope provided to absentee voters for the return of the absentee ballot to the general registrar.
House Republicans last year killed eleven voting rights bills in unrecorded voice votes. Meanwhile, they passed legislation, vetoed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, that would have made it harder for people to vote by requiring voters to submit ID when requesting an absentee ballot by mail or fax.