Public Comments for: HB125 - Elections; political campaign advertisements, violations, civil penalties not to exceed $25,000.
Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Beth Alley
All bills that will reflect a stronger more secure election in the future. Considering both sides, Trump and Biden, have spoken in regards to those concerns, these should be reported on with bipartisan approval. Thank you.
The League of Women Voters of Virginia supports HB 125. Current campaign finance laws need to be clarified and strengthened with regard to political campaign advertisements that advocate against a candidate. Under current law, those sponsoring ads, which clearly should be reported even under the spirit of current law, are specifically using vague terms to escape being identified and reported. This bill will eliminate that ambiguity.
Our team from Money Out Virginia, the VA affiliate of the nation-wide American Promise campaign finance reform advocacy organization, worked hard this past year with the "Joint Subcommittee to Study Comprehensive Campaign Finance Reform," and produced a "Citizens' Report" for the Subcommittee that articulated principles and priorities for improving transparency, preventing corrupt campaign finance practices and moving towards more equity in campaign financing in Virginia elections. The partnership between the Subcommittee and Money Out Virginia has resulted in a series of important bills that improve the requirements, process and electronic infrastructure for disclosure of campaign donations. We strongly support Delegate Bulova's HB 492, HB495, and HB500, Delegate Helmer's HB489, Delegate Anderson's HB86 and Delegate Davis' HB125, which provides for penalties for violations of disclosure laws. We also support Delegate Bulova's HJ53 to extend the mandate of the Joint Subcommittee so that we can continue our partnership in developing sensible campaign finance reforms for Virginia.
Nancy Morgan, Coordinator of the VA Chapter of American Promise. We support this bill. It should be noted that the last election was the most expensive in Virginia’s history and a record $7 million in obscure ads were launched, attacking candidates of both parties. There needs to be financial disincentives to launching obscure attack ads against candidates. It should be noted that in order for this legislation to be enacted, HB 492 needs to be passed which is the first step to building an effective monitoring and oversight capacity within the Department of Elections. Right now, the Dept doesn’t have the capacity, either in staff or financing, to undertake effective oversight of any existing campaign finance laws, such as the "Stand-by-your ad" Act.
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.