Public Comments for: HB196 - Absentee voting; permanent absentee voter list repealed.
I am in favor of these bills to ensure honest and accurate election counts in the state of Virginia. This would include bills HB 1090, 1101, 1109, 121, 196,24,941,942,945,956 and HJ 65.
I work help desk in my local precinct. I can't believe the number of voters that come in to vote only to find out that they have been issued an absentee ballot. They don't know where the ballot is, did not request it and can't understand why they either have to come up with the absentee ballot or vote provisional. Oh yes, they understand provisional and want no part of it. REPEAL THE PERMANENT ABSENTEE VOTER LIST NOW!! This is a no brainer that we should all be able to agree on!! JWV
I am opposed to proposed legislation that requires excuses for absentee voting, shortens the in-person absentee voting time period, and/or eliminates the permanent Absentee Ballot List. I have worked as an Officer of Election since 2016. I serve as a Precinct Chief on Election Day and work during early voting. 1. Voters enthusiastically embraced "no excuse needed" absentee voting in 2021. I constantly heard them express relief at not having to worry about being sick on Election Day, deal with bad weather, or having an unforeseen emergency arise that would keep them from voting on Election Day. Having people vote absentee also eased the pressure on Officers working on Election day. We were still very busy but the crowds were more manageable than in past years. Requiring an excuse to vote early does not increase security in my opinion. 2. Shortening the in-person early voting period to 11 days (beginning 14 days before the election) also puts voters in a difficult position. Voters prefer to place their completed ballots in a scanner. It is difficult for some people to get time off from work to vote and compressing their access will disenfranchise voters. Also, voting early in person was very popular with college students, as they report they have difficulty receiving mail in a timely manner (I processed a significant number of college students in October when they were home for fall break.) 3. Eliminating the Permanent Absentee Ballot List and requiring annual requests puts an undue burden on those voters who qualify for this process. In particular, elderly and disabled voters should not have to prove their conditions annually.
Please move to report HB34, 35, 36, 39, 178, 528, 1090, 1141 to protect minority votes which can be diluted by fraudulent votes and places blame unfairly on minorities for questionable voting practices. Against HB177, 196 because those can affect handicapped/disabled. If they are left for them, then no problems.
I support HB's: 34, 35, 36, 39, 177, 178, 196, 198, 528, 1141, because we need to have a system where all Virginia voters can have confidence in the integrity of our elections. Without these reforms, loop holes are left open that can allow third party organizations, or campaigns, to manipulate ballets, steal ballets from voters, or manufacture fraudulent voters. We need election reform now! Thank you.
I'm writing in strong opposition to HB34, HB35, HB36, HB39. HB177, HB178, HB196, and HB198. These bills would clearly and undeniably suppress access to the ballot box in Virginia. We know the Senate is going to vote them down, you might as well spare the trouble and kill these bills in subcommittee. The General Assembly ought to be focused on more important issues than suppressing the right to vote.
Voting should be simple, quick, and accesible to everyone. We have a lot of elderly and/or disabled residents, people who don't have access to a car, or members of the military serving overseas. Our legislators in Richmond should be working to make every Virginia's voice is heard. In addition, returning citizens should be eligible to vote once their sentence is completed. If they've served their time in prison as determined by a judge and/or jury, no purpose is served by denying them the right to vote.
Virginia enacted several new voting laws in 2020 and 2021 to make voting more accessible during the pandemic. Early in-person voting hours were increased, mail-in absentee ballots no longer required a witness signature, more drop-box locations were available. These changes led to record voter turnout (with insignificant fraud) in both the 2020 presidential election and the 2021 gubernatorial election. Therefore I oppose any new bill that would restrict our rights to accessible voting.
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.