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Fact Check: The Virginia GOP Has Fought Against Early Voting at Every Turn

"The House Democratic Caucus sets the record straight"

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FACT CHECK: THE VIRGINIA GOP HAS FOUGHT AGAINST EARLY VOTING AT EVERY TURN

The House Democratic Caucus sets the record straight

RICHMOND, VA — Today, the Virginia GOP promoted a new Early Voting push despite having spent the previous legislative session fighting to roll back voting rights across the Commonwealth. While in the Majority, Virginia Democrats worked to expand early voting in Virginia, including taking Virginia from the 49th hardest state to vote to the 11th easiest.

While we applaud any encouragement of civic engagement, we reject the GOP’s hypocrisy in pushing early voting measures all while they have actively worked to make voting more difficult. They are paying lip service to a program that they tried to prevent from ever existing. They’re launching this program now to try and undo a decade of convincing their base of feeding conspiracy theories about voter fraud, election security, and more.

Following the GOP’s announcement on the Republicans’ Early Vote push, House Democratic Leader Don Scott said, “It’s blatant hypocrisy. This is a party that is on the record against early voting. They are doing this whole push to pull the wool over our constituent’s eyes and hide from the fact that they’ve worked to make it harder for Virginians to vote at every turn. They’ve undermined our democratic systems for years and if allowed the Majority, they will vote to restrict voting access.”

Virginia Republicans were an obstacle to early voting at every turn.

This 2023 session, every single GOP House member voted to shorten the early voting period and ban absentee ballot drop boxes. The GOP House majority also passed bills that would have reinstated a strict photo ID law, prohibited ballot drop boxes, reduced early voting, ended same-day registration, canceled the annual vote-by-mail option, and increased purges of voter rolls.

Battleground candidates Amanda Batten (HD-71), Carrie Coyner (HD-75), Karen Greenhalgh (HD-97), Kim Taylor (HD-82), and A.C. Cordordoza (HD-86) all voted to roll back early voting, in line with every Republican in the House of Delegates.

The candidates on the Republican slate have proven that they will march lock-step with the current GOP leadership.

  • During his primary campaign, John Stirrup (HD-21) told the Prince William Times, “too many people have easy access to voting.”
  • On his website, Geary Higgins (HD-30) says he “will support legislation returning to the pre-pandemic election system.”
  • Andy Pittman (HD-94) tweeted “voting in person also dramatically reduces the potential for election fraud” sowing conspiracies about absentee voting.

Virginia Republicans Put Our Democratic Institutions At Risk

Our voting rights and democratic institutions are under attack from the Virginia GOP. Governor Youngkin and the MAGA Republicans have put personal politics over people and are moving us towards a Virginia of the past.

  • Republican Speaker Todd Gilbert defended three members of his caucus who sought to delay certification of Biden’s presidential win in Virginia. In their defense, Gilbert threw Democratic voting policies, perhaps the same that he is touting as effective now, as “greatly contribut[ing] to undermining confidence in the election.”
  • There are Republican Candidates for the General Assembly who participated in election denialism and/or other anti-democratic activity. This includes candidates who tried to overturn the election results for President Trump in Wisconsin, encouraged investigations into the “many irregularities” in the 2020 election, and actively tried (and failed) to challenge the 2020 Presidential Election results in courts in key swing states.

After decades of anti-Democratic activism and fear-mongering, we cannot let Republicans tout their record like this. We will hold them accountable at the ballot box this November. Members of the press interested in speaking to a representative of the Caucus on the early vote, should reach out to Morgan Hopkins at morgan@vahousedems.org.

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The Virginia House Democratic Caucus is running a dynamic slate of 89 smart, accomplished and trusted candidates who reflect the diversity and the culture of the Commonwealth. To learn more about our slate of candidates, visit the House Democratic Caucus website.

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