Public Comments for: HB605 - Constitutional amendment; repeal of same-sex marriage prohibition (submitting to qualified voters).
Last Name: Nicholls Locality: Chesapeake

Please move to report HJ9, HB130, HB605, HJ57, HB46, HB305, HB1102. Thank you.

Last Name: McDaniel Locality: Fairfax

I support HB 605. Let's get this done and make it clear that no one is a second-class citizen in Virginia.

Last Name: Stewart Organization: SOCIAL ACTION LINKING TOGETHER Locality: Fairfax

I completely agree with a written statement by the ACLU: Access to the ballot box is the cornerstone of our democracy. Yet Virginia is one of two states that permanently takes away the right to vote from people with felony convictions, including those who have served their time. These returning citizens pay taxes, are contributing members of society, and could be your neighbor. They have completed their sentence, been held accountable for their crime, and been deemed not to be a threat to public safety, yet have a lifetime ban on voting. That’s double jeopardy – punishing people for crimes for which they’ve already paid their debt. Taking away the right to vote should never be used as a punishment for crime. Currently, people with a felony conviction only have one way to gain access to the ballot box –through a governor’s restoration of those rights. This is a power that both Republican and Democrat governors have used to restore rights to thousands of returning citizens. But the process is cumbersome and inconsistent and could be eliminated by future governors. In addition, I am in agreement with a paper prepared by the Racial Justice Ministry at Saint John Neumann Catholic Community in Reston, VA, that made this point: Passing legislation, which moves the proposed constitutional amendment to the voter referendum required by our Constitution, gives Virginia’s voters the opportunity they deserve to decide on their form of government that they want – another right that is fundamental to republican principles of government.

Last Name: Rose Locality: Wise

My son should have the same rights in Virginia as everyone else. Please pass this bill and let Virginia vote on it.

Last Name: Fernandez-Reid Locality: Prince William County

Pass the bill! Don't be trash.

Last Name: Hamilton Locality: Fairfax

In 2015 the Supreme Court struck down all state bans on same-sex/same-gender marriage. Virginia's constitutional provision defining marriage as only a union between a man and woman is antiquated, bigoted, and does not represent the welcoming and inclusive state that we are. This bill is about equality and showing that all Virginians are deserving of the same rights that the federal government already ensures. I urge you, whether you agree with the amendment or not, to please support this bill and let Virginians decide. I know they will make the right choice in November. If Virginia is going to be the state for lovers, for equality and inclusion, and for business, then this amendment needs to be brought to a vote and passed.

Last Name: Martin Locality: Fairfax

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.

End of Comments