Public Comments for: HB76 - Absentee voting; reimbursement of costs to counties and cities for cost of conducting.
The Virginia Association of Counties strongly supports efforts to improve resources for election administration and this bill presents an excellent opportunity to make progress in strengthening the state-local partnership in this area. We submitted a letter via email to Committee members underscoring our support for this bill and related proposals before the Committee. Thank you for your consideration.
The League of Women Voters of Virginia strongly supports this bill to have the state reimburse the localities for the costs of absentee voting. Too often we hear of election expenses as "unfunded mandates," with greater and greater demands made of the localities. In some cases the localities do not have the resources to meet the standards required for efficient and secure early voting both in person and by mail, which accounted for over 50% of votes cast in the general election in 2020 and over 36% of total turnout in the 2021 general election.
Voting is a constitutional right. Any law that restricts rather than expands our constitutional right & DUTY to vote is simply voter suppression. We must not repeal any expansions of absentee ballots. Do not decrease early voting. - extend the number of days allowed. Do not eliminate any ballot box locations- expand. We have no need to re-register absentee ballots every year. No excuse absentee voting is absolutely crucial. The state must provide easy and free access to voter ID if a photo is required. Since the USPS has slowed considerably, we must keep the 3 day rule for receiving ballots after election day. All local elections must be on Election Day (in Nov). Election Day should be a holiday. Until we do a complete overhaul of campaign finance & eliminate dark money/special interests there must be no restrictions on outreach, education & registration or from where a candidate may collect funds. Voter registration up to and including Election Day is absolutely crucial to ensure all citizens vote. I support all bills expanding our rights and abilities to make voting as easy as possible. I oppose all bills attempting to restrict any access to our ballot and our vote. The process is too important for the elected officials to be able to restrict us from our duty to be informed voters. Keep expanding our rights. Do not restrict, suppress or subvert them.