Sunday, February 23, 2020
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Republican House Passes Bill That Could Disenfranchise 20% of Virginia Seniors?!?

This morning in the Republican-controlled Virginia House of Delegates, a nasty piece of voter disenfranchisement legislation, HB 9, passed out of committee on a 15-6 vote. Sponsored by Del. Mark Cole (R-Spotsylvania), this bill would effectively "suppress the vote of the elderly, the young, the poor and minorities," whil addressing the non-existent, figment-of-Republicans'-fevered-imaginations problem known as "voter fraud." Here's what ProgressVA has to say about this abomination. Also, check out the audio of Del. Cole admitting that he has no knowledge of any instances of voter fraud. Finally, check out what AARP Virginia thinks, which is that "Passing this measure could disenfranchise nearly one-fifth of the older population because nearly one in five people over age 65 do not have a government issued photo ID." Wow, I wonder what Republican seniors will think of this?!?
ProgressVA Statement on House Privileges and Elections Committee Vote to Report HB9

ProgressVA, a progressive advocacy organization, released the following statement from Executive Director Anna Scholl on the House Privileges and Elections Committee vote this morning to report HB to the full House. HB 9, sponsored by Delegate Mark Cole, would make it significantly harder for thousands of Virginians to vote.

"We're deeply disappointed by this vote to advance unnecessary legislation that will make it harder for thousands of registered Virginia voters to cast a ballot. Both Delegate Cole, the sponsor of this measure, and Justin Reimer of the State Board of Elections have admitted during debate on this bill that they know of no documented cases of the voter fraud. Quite simply, our voting system isn't broke, so why on earth are our representatives advancing unneeded and potentially expensive solutions to "fix" it? Voting is a fundamental American right and freedom. Making it harder for Virginians to vote in order to fix a problem that doesn't exist is a waste of the legislature's time and taxpayer money."

Background:
During a January 12th meeting of the House Privileges and Elections Committee Elections Subcommittee, Del. Sickles inquired as to whether Del. Cole was aware of any instances of voter fraud, which HB 9 is designed to combat. He responded "No, not to my knowledge." (Audio of that meeting is available online.)

During the House Privileges and Elections Committee hearing this morning, Delegate Alexander asked Justin Reimer of the State Board of Elections: "Do you have a quantified number, do you receive numbers from the registrars or others that report to you that they have had voter identification fraud at their polling places?" Mr. Reimer responded: "Delegate, I have no specific statistics on that.{

Sen. Steve Martin’s Legislative “Mistake” – For the 3rd Year In...

Crossposted at ProgressVA.
stephen martin.jpg
State Senator Steve Martin told CBS 6 yesterday that the requirement in his bill, SB 1 (the very first bill prefiled in the Senate), that voter registration cards no longer be an acceptable form of identification when voting was a "mistake." That's quite a mistake considering this is the 3rd year in a row he has introduced this language. Kent Willis, the executive director of the ACLU of Virginia, called Martin's bill "a clear violation of voter rights," and "any kind of restrictions you impose on ID disproportionately affect the elderly, low-income residents and racial minorities."

Sen. Martin introduced virtually identical language in 2010 and 2011. He also, coincidentally, pulled a lot of the legislative language from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). He's one of ALEC's two Virginia state chairmen and has spent over $22,000 dollars in taxpayer money traveling around to their conferences to meet with corporate lobbyists behind closed doors (View his ALEC profile here).

Attempting to pass legislation that would disenfranchise many Virginia voters once would indeed be quite a "mistake". File your "mistaken" legislation three years in a row and people might start to think your campaign for voter disenfranchisement was intentional.

Election Day; Polls Open 6 am-7 pm in Virginia

It's 6 am, and the polls are now open in Virginia. If possible, try to vote first thing, before you go to work -- and of course vote Democratic!  Today, I'll be voting in Arlington to reelect Jim Moran to the U.S. House of Representatives; to reelect Chris Zimmerman to the County Board; to reelect Sally Baird to the School Board; AGAINST all three constitutional amendment questions; and FOR all proposed county bond referenda. I'm hoping to volunteer at a poll today as well, just waiting to hear back from the volunteer coordinator to find out which one and when.

So, when and where are you voting today, who and what are you voting for, and what are you hearing? Please use this as an "open thread." Thanks.

P.S. You can find out where to vote by clicking here.