Public Comments for: HB398 - Absentee voting; ballots to be sorted and results to be reported by precinct.
Please move to report HB54, 149, 175,310, 398, 441, 945, 956.
I am opposed to HB 54, HB 398, and HB 927 because they require physically sorting ballots by precinct on election day. Important note: I support reporting precinct-level detail on absentee votes. That can be done by the scanning machines being programmed correctly and ballots including correct coding to indicate the precinct to which a voter is assigned. Yes, that requires multiple ballots for each locality but that is do-able (though more expensive). What I am opposed to is the physical sorting of the completed ballots. Having to empty a scanner in the Central Absentee Precinct and hand-sort the ballots into separate piles will be very time-consuming. As these bills are currently written, will have to be done before the election can be closed out on Election Day. That makes an already long day many hours longer and does not add any security or additional information. I support HB 441 which still gives precinct-level absentee ballot counts but does not require physically sorting ballots by precinct before or on Election Day.
Yes to HB 398 for election integrity.
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.