Here are some of the bills being considered in the Virginia General Assembly that affect voting (courtesy of Project Vote). You can go to the Virginia Legislative Information System website and type in the bill number for more information. Then contact your State Senator or Delegate and tell them to support or oppose the bill.
List Maintenance bill HB 1315 was reported from Privileges and Elections with substitute. The bill requires jury commissioners to transmit to the general registrar lists of persons not qualified to serve on a jury as a result of non-citizenship, lack of residency in Virginia or the county or city, felony conviction without rights restored, or having been adjudicated incapacitated. The general registrar would be required to utilize the information received pursuant to identify voters who are no longer qualified to vote and to initiate list maintenance procedures pursuant to state or federal law.
Voter ID bill HB 1318 was printed as engrossed. This bill would require that any voter submitting an application for an absentee ballot by mail or fax must submit with the voter’s application a copy of one of the forms of photo identification acceptable under current law for voting in person. The bill provides an exception for military and overseas voters and voters with disabilities. Currently, only a voter who completes his application for an absentee ballot in person is required to show a form of identification.
Voter ID bill HB 1538 was reported from Privileges and Elections with amendments. The bill requires that for the purpose of the ID presented by the voter, the voter’s name as found on the pollbook matches or is reasonably similar to the name listed on the form of identification presented and the name stated by the voter.
Proof of Citizenship bill HB 1574 was reviewed by the House Subcommittee on General Government and Capital Outlay, which recommends laying on the table. As substituted, this bill would require that Virginia voter registration forms state that intentionally making a false statement concerning citizenship constitutes election fraud, and provides that intentionally making a false statement concerning citizenship on the form is a class 6 felony.
Voter ID Expansion bill HB 1653 was read a first time in the House. This bill would allow for the use of valid student photo IDs that are issued by any private school located in the Commonwealth as voter ID.
List Maintenance bill HB 2379 was referred to the Committee on Privileges and Elections. The bill requires the State Board to use data regarding voter registration and voter history from the member states in the interstate cross-check system and compare it with the state voter registration list and initiate list maintenance procedures under applicable state and federal law.
Early Voting bill SB 677 was incorporated with SB 954. This bill would allow any registered voter to vote absentee in person without excuse. The bill retains the statutory list of specific reasons allowing a voter to cast an absentee ballot by mail. This bill would also establish minimum times and hours for the conduct of absentee in-person voting, including the option for additional locations other than election offices.
Absentee Voting bill SB 747 was assigned to the House Committee on Privileges and Elections. This bill would change the deadline for applying other than in person to vote absentee from the seventh day before the election to the eleventh day before the election.
Voter ID Expansion bill SB 820 was incorporated with SB 688. This bill would add to the list of accepted forms of ID for purposes of voting valid student photo ID cards issued by any private school located in Virginia. Students of public high schools are currently permitted to use their student photo ID cards for purposes of voting because current law allows the use of photo ID issued by the Commonwealth or one of its political subdivisions. Current law also allows students from both public and private institutions of higher education located in the Commonwealth to use their student photo ID cards for purposes of voting.
Voter Registration bill SB 711 was incorporated by Privileges and Elections. This bill requires that general registrars conduct and complete the cross-checking of registered voters through the use of interstate cross-check systems within 30 days of receiving precinct lists, with an extension option. At minimum, registrars would be required to compare the Virginia registration and voting history with the out-of-state registration data; if the facts show a voter has moved out of the Commonwealth, the voter’s Virginia registration record must be processed in accordance with existing law regarding notice to the voter and a waiting period before removal. The bill provides that no voter’s registration may be canceled within 90 days prior to any primary or general election solely on the basis of an interstate cross-check.
Voter ID Expansion bill SB 1061 was assigned to the House Committee on Privileges and Elections. As substituted, the bill would provide that if the electronic pollbook contains the photograph and identifying information received from the Department of Motor Vehicles for the voter, the pollworker must access the photograph and identifying information for that voter and the voter would not be required to present a photo ID to vote. If the voter does not appear to be the same person depicted in the photo in the ID presented or in the photo in the electronic pollbook, the officer of election must challenge the voter’s vote.
Felon Voting Rights bill SJ 238 was referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections. This bill would allow the General Assembly to provide for the restoration of civil rights to persons who have been convicted of nonviolent felonies and who have completed service of their sentences, including any period or condition of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence, subject to the conditions, requirements, and definitions set forth in that law.
Felon Voting Rights bill SJ 293 passed indefinitely in Privileges and Elections. This proposed constitutional amendment would allow the legislature to provide for the restoration of civil rights to any person who has been convicted of a felony and who has completed service of his sentence, subject to the conditions, requirements, and definitions set forth in that law.
List Maintenance bill HB 1496 was Tabled in Privileges and Elections. This bill relates to Virginia’s interstate cross-check program. The bill prohibits election officials from canceling the registration of voters who are believed to no longer reside in the jurisdiction unless corroborating evidence is found. The processing must be completed by the general registrar within 90 days following the receipt of the list from the State Board, but not 60 days before a primary or general election.
Voter ID bill HB 1538 failed to report (defeated) in Privileges and Elections. The bill requires that for the purpose of the ID presented by the voter, the voter’s name as found on the pollbook matches or is reasonably similar to the name listed on the form of identification presented and the name stated by the voter.
Voter Registration bill HB 1574 was referred to Committee on Appropriations. This bill would require that Virginia voter registration forms state that intentionally making a false statement concerning citizenship constitutes election fraud, and provides that intentionally making a false statement concerning citizenship on the form is a class 6 felony.
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