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Tell the SBE: Make my Absentee Vote Count! (Urgent)

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 We will post about the critically important voter photo identification/drivers license expiration issue shortly, but the Virginia State Board of Elections (SBE) is considering adoption of another regulation at affects voting, and the deadline for public comment is MONDAY, July 21, 2014, 11:59 pm.  Submit your comment here:

Background:  Voters filing out an absentee ballot are asked to provide certain information – some of the information is considered “material” and if it is not provided, the ballot will not be counted.  The proposed regulations include a couple of unnecessary minor revisions that could result in invalidation of absentee ballots.
Currently, a “generational suffix” – e.g., Jr., Sr. – is not required.  The proposed change would require inclusion of such a suffix, if voters of the same name re registered at the same location and the identity of the voter cannot be determined.  1 VAC 20-70-20.B.3.
More importantly, the rules currently require identification only of a house number and street name, and not the “residential street identifier” – e.g. “St.” “Rd.” or “Drive.”  The proposed change would invalidate ballots if they did not provide the street identifier.  1 VAC 20-70-20.B.4.

Comment:  These changes are unnecessary and will result in the failure to count legitimate votes.  Although, for example, Arlington has a 5th street and a 5th road, it is unlikely that there are voters named John Smith who reside on each of those streets and have each requested an absentee ballot.  In fact, the absentee ballot return envelope includes the full name and address.   In the few cases where there are questions, the registrar can resolve them and make sure that people can exercise their right to vote, without overly-detailed and non-substantive restrictions.