Public Comments for 01/19/2021 Privileges and Elections - Election Administration Subcommittee
HB1921 - Assistance for certain voters; curbside voting.
Last Name: McKiernan Organization: Virginia Election Administrators Locality: Rappahannock

During the course of your duties, when considering our (Election Administrators/General Registrars/Directors of Elections) request to finally be paid commensurate with our duties after 29 years of added duties without corresponding compensation, please keep in mind that every election law that is passed adds to our duties. There were over 69 NEW Election laws last year in the midst of a pandemic and the most grueling, contentious election cycle EVER. Every election law passed without funding jeopardizes our ability to get it all done due to lack of resources, staff, funding and time. The loss of any of the experienced, dedicated General Registrars because of compensation is a travesty and is likely to become a reality without the appropriate compensation. Please correct this inequity in compensation THIS SESSION. 1. Adjust compensation brackets in accordance with state studies (2 of them) 2. resume 100% reimbursement of NEW base salary to localities 3. Make it happen THIS session. We have earned it. We are the ones out here taking the abuse as a result of unfounded accusations and insinuations. Please understand that the 133 General Registrars statewide who count votes, compile results, verify results, process absentee by mail ballots, and so much more, do so with bi-partisan observers (sent by local political committees!!) and sworn election officials every.single.step! NOTHING is done in secret. EVERYTHING is reviewed and verified by a three member board (Electoral Board) representing both political parties. These board members are nominated by the local political committees and signed off on by a panel of judges! WE are not the enemy and the more you present laws insinuating that something is shady, the more you erode voter confidence on both sides of the aisle! The fact that a bill has passed the house to ADD SUNDAYS to early voting should be enough reason to pay us appropriately itself. We work 100s and 1000s of hours of overtime yet aren't paid equally and aren't valued equally to our fellow county government counterparts. The longer you ignore this and pass over doing the right thing, the more you send the message to your constituents, candidates, and fellow delegates that elections aren't important to you. NOW is the time to make this right.

Last Name: Norquist Locality: Fredericksburg

Insure you sign COS and stop with politics!

Last Name: Allen Locality: NEWPORT NEWS

I would make some changes to our election process. -rigid background checks for candidates BEFORE they run -any qualified person can run regardless of money backing them -elections should be a PUBLIC SERVICE requiring NO huge financial backing (that would eliminate big corporations, tech, media, etc., and include the average American who can not PAY for a candidate) that encourages puppets in government -campaigning on TV and in public should be free and volunteers working for candidates

Last Name: Germeyer Locality: Frederick County

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, I support HB1921. I write as a member of the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities (VBPD) Training Alumni Association (TAA)—an organization comprised of graduates from the VBPD Partners in Policymaking (PIP) and Youth Leadership Academy (YLA). The TAA represents four regional chapters across Virginia: Central (CVA), Northern (NOVA), Tidewater (TARC), and Southwest (SWA). The mission is to engage in grassroots advocacy on behalf of Virginians with disabilities. Voting, as you know, is an American principle and a basic democratic right that should be protected, promoted, and practiced. The 26th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America states that the right to vote held by citizens of the United States, eighteen years of age or older, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age. In conducting research, I understand the following: • If you are 65 or older, or have a physical disability, you may vote on Election Day without leaving your vehicle. • If you would like to use curbside voting, remember to bring a helper with you who can enter the polling place to ask an election officer for curbside assistance. Current practices of curbside voting across the Commonwealth are discriminatory and in violation of Title III of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) on the grounds that persons without disabilities are allowed to vote without the need for a helper to accompany them to exercise their constitutional right. HB1921 would help to ensure that people with disabilities and senior citizens in the Commonwealth can exercise their constitutional right to vote curbside without barriers at any and all polling stations throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. I therefore support HB1921 and I hope you will join me with your support.

Last Name: Morgan Organization: Virginia Board for People with Disabilities Locality: Richmond

The Virginia Board for People with Disabilities supports accessible, independent curbside voting. Current law does not explicitly require notice at the polling place on how to access curbside voting without entering the polling site. Signs on how to alert a poll worker to a voter’s need for curbside voting ensure that a voter who needs to vote curbside can vote independently, without requiring them to bring or find another person to go into the polling place for them to alert poll workers to the curbside voting request. When the dLCV surveyed polling places in March, 90% of polling places did not have any way for someone to vote curbside independently. This is consistent with concerns we have heard in our election forum for the disability community. This bill is consistent with the current ELECT guidance and will make curbside voting more accessible for voters with disabilities.

Last Name: Saxon Organization: VEA Locality: Charlottesville

The VEA supports this bill.

Last Name: Olex Organization: NMSS Locality: Ashland

As someone who uses a wheelchair and is severely immunocompromised, HB 1921 means a lot to me. Due to progressive(and rather aggressive) multiple sclerosis, I now use a power wheelchair full-time. As such, my parking is severely limited, generally 1 or 2 accessible spots to allow me to deploy my ramp and get my 400 lb. wheelchair into the polling location. On occasion, the crosshatch spots are occupied by inconsiderate folks who don’t understand the utility and that without that spot, I’m limited to being stuck in my van. If I were able to stay in my van and request a curbside ballot, it would be infinitely more convenient but also would help alleviate my reticence about getting out of the van and having a fall. At this point, I generally have a fall transferring from my driver seat to wheelchair about once every 2 to 3 months. When this happens, it’s not a trivial experience since I need to get medical support to get off the floor. Voting should not be something that I have trepidations about and I think it’s a personal responsibility for all.This bill would help alleviate some of that anxiety.

Last Name: Morgan Organization: Virginia Board for People with Disabilities Locality: Richmond

VBPD supports accessible, independent curbside voting. Current law does not explicitly require notice at the polling place on how to access curbside voting without entering the polling site. Signs on how to alert a poll worker to a voter’s need for curbside voting ensure that a voter who needs to vote curbside can vote independently, without requiring them to bring or find another person to go into the polling place for them to alert poll workers to the curbside voting request. When the dLCV surveyed polling places in March, 90% of polling places did not have any way for someone to vote curbside independently. This is consistent with concerns we have heard in our election forum for the disability community. This bill is consistent with the current ELECT guidance and will make curbside voting more accessible for voters with disabilities.

Last Name: Germeyer Locality: Frederick County

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, I support HB 1921. Thank You.

Last Name: Safeer Organization: TAA (Training Alumni Association) PIP & YLA Graduates under VBPD Locality: Henrico

My name is Sohail Safeer. I am resident of Henrico, Virginia I am chair of the Elections Sub Committee of the Training Alumni Association (TAA), a grassroots advocacy organization for people with disabilities, composed of graduates from the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities (VBPD) Partners in Policymaking (PIP) and Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) Training Programs represent Alumni throughout the Central (CVA), Northern (NoVA), Tidewater (TARC) and Southwest (SWA) Regions. We respectfully ask the Subcommittee to favourably report HB 1921. We wrote to Commissioner Department of Elections, the State of Virginia on September 21st,2020 informing them that people with disabilities have encountered several challenges and inconsistencies at numerous polling locations across the Commonwealth. We informed them as we believe that the current curbside voting language and practices are unfair and discriminatory and therefore, violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. We sent them for an urgent review, a Corrective Action Letter with Recommendations addressing the Virginia Department of Elections' current practices of curbside voting across the Commonwealth of Virginia. We further submitted that they are discriminatory and in violation of Title III of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) on the grounds that persons without disabilities are allowed to vote without the need for a helper to accompany them to exercise their constitutional right. We reinforced our observations to be reviewed and adopted as soon as possible,as the Presidential Elections of 2020 was in foresight, in order to ensure that people with disabilities and senior citizens in the Commonwealth of Virginia can exercise their constitutional right to vote curbside without barriers at any and all polling stations throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Commissioner department of elections responded on October 1st, 2020 that they did acknowledge that they understand that they recommend the Virginia Department of Elections, the general registrar, and local voter registration offices require all polling locations to designate a polling officer to be stationed curbside, at the entrance of the polling location door to provide assistance to people with disabilities, and seniors to be able to vote in the same private and independent manner as a voter without a disability; recommend that an alarm system or remote bell be installed at all polling locations so that election officials are immediately notified when a curbside voter arrives at the polling location; recommend that curbside voters be notified by an election official of the anticipated wait time which should not exceed 5-7 minutes after being notified of arrival as extended wait times could result in detrimental medical complications. The department of Elections did acknowledge that Neither the Virginia Department of Elections nor the State Board of Elections has authority to provide guidance to local elections officials that contradicts the clear instructions provided in the Code of Virginia. As it is pertinent to legislate into a law detailing threadbare HB 1921 elucidates clearly and fulfils a long gap. We strongly support HB 1921 Ms Price -Assistance for certain voters; curbside voting.

Last Name: Smith, Btuce Organization: AARP of Virginia Locality: Prince William

My name is Bruce Smith, resident of Prince William County, Virginia. I am representing AARP Virginia. We support HB 1921. Thank you.

Last Name: Gerchick Organization: League of Women Voters of Virginia Locality: Delaplane

Mr Chairman: There are several bills currently being considered by this Committee of interest to the League. The League urges support of the following: HB 2020 Mr. Helmer -Nomination of candidates for elected offices; restrictions on nomination method selected by political party. HB 1921 Ms. Price -Assistance for certain voters; curbside voting. HB 1968 Mr Bagby -Absentee voting; early in person; availability on Sundays. The League urges the committee oppose: HB 2209 Mr. Gilbert Absentee voting; signature match; provisional ballot status. HB 2208 Mr. Runion Absentee ballots; witness requirement; printed name and residence address. Thank you for this opportunity. Respectfully submitted, Lisa Koteen Gerchick on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Virginia

Last Name: Wood Organization: National Multiple Sclerosis Society Locality: Richmond

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society supports HB 1921, to require greater notification about the right to access curbside voting, and commends Delegate Price for introducing this important legislation. Currently, most voting locations in Virginia require an individual to go into the polling place to ask that a ballot be brought out; for immunocompromised and/or Virginians living with a disability, this may create an additional barrier to casting a ballot or make voting impossible due to inaccessibility. We respectfully ask the Subcommittee to favorably report HB 1921. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Recent studies estimate nearly 1 million in the United States are living with MS. Symptoms vary from person to person and range from numbness and tingling to walking difficulties, fatigue, dizziness, pain, depression, blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Voting is one our nation’s most fundamental rights, yet historically people living with disabilities have been excluded from this core aspect of citizenship. Research shows that people with disabilities pay more attention to presidential elections and that election results matter more to people with disabilities when compared to people without disabilities . This exclusion is potentially exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a nationwide study from 2016, only 40% of polling places nationwide met federal requirements regarding structural/architectural accessibility . When looking at the number of polling places that met both federal physical accessibility requirements had appropriate technology for people living with disabilities, only 17%, or less than 1 in 5, polling places nationwide were considered fully accessible . These findings highlight the need for more accessible curbside voting. The Society strongly supports the expansion of curbside voting to allow voters with disabilities to access in-person voting without having to navigate accessibility barriers. This includes signage announcing the availability of curbside voting, a method for the voter to request assistance curbside without having to enter the polling place and receive a prompt response from poll workers, and a portable, accessible voting system that allows the voter to cast their ballot privately and independently. Virginia must ensure those living with disabilities can participate in elections on the same terms with the same levels of privacy as able-bodied voters. Barriers to accessible voting exist during every election year, but the current COVID-19 pandemic poses additional risks for voters with disabilities and those who are immunocompromised, and the Society supports the additional steps in HB 1921 to mitigate risks for voters with disabilities. We urge support for HB 1921.

HB1968 - Absentee voting; availability on Sundays in office of general registrar or voter satellite office.
Last Name: McKiernan Organization: Virginia Election Administrators Locality: Rappahannock

During the course of your duties, when considering our (Election Administrators/General Registrars/Directors of Elections) request to finally be paid commensurate with our duties after 29 years of added duties without corresponding compensation, please keep in mind that every election law that is passed adds to our duties. There were over 69 NEW Election laws last year in the midst of a pandemic and the most grueling, contentious election cycle EVER. Every election law passed without funding jeopardizes our ability to get it all done due to lack of resources, staff, funding and time. The loss of any of the experienced, dedicated General Registrars because of compensation is a travesty and is likely to become a reality without the appropriate compensation. Please correct this inequity in compensation THIS SESSION. 1. Adjust compensation brackets in accordance with state studies (2 of them) 2. resume 100% reimbursement of NEW base salary to localities 3. Make it happen THIS session. We have earned it. We are the ones out here taking the abuse as a result of unfounded accusations and insinuations. Please understand that the 133 General Registrars statewide who count votes, compile results, verify results, process absentee by mail ballots, and so much more, do so with bi-partisan observers (sent by local political committees!!) and sworn election officials every.single.step! NOTHING is done in secret. EVERYTHING is reviewed and verified by a three member board (Electoral Board) representing both political parties. These board members are nominated by the local political committees and signed off on by a panel of judges! WE are not the enemy and the more you present laws insinuating that something is shady, the more you erode voter confidence on both sides of the aisle! The fact that a bill has passed the house to ADD SUNDAYS to early voting should be enough reason to pay us appropriately itself. We work 100s and 1000s of hours of overtime yet aren't paid equally and aren't valued equally to our fellow county government counterparts. The longer you ignore this and pass over doing the right thing, the more you send the message to your constituents, candidates, and fellow delegates that elections aren't important to you. NOW is the time to make this right.

Last Name: Waybright Locality: Lovettsville

Do not give the homosexuals any rights that everyone enjoys. They are not special but are a detriment to society. Please do not give 16 year olds voting privileges. Voting is a God given right that the US Constitution gives to everyone 18 and older. We should not want to lower the standard just so the demorats can get more votes. Do not give black face hypocrite northam more power so he can keep the state bottled up like he has done since March. Open up the state instead of giving him more supposed power. Do not find a constitutional amendment for climate change. All you need to do is go to the mountains of WV and you will see the climate is just fine. Do not regulate guns in polling places. I have a concealed weapons permit but I rarely use it. For people who do, there may be a time when you would wish that someone had a CHP and taken out the bad guy who is assaulting you or worse. Do not

Last Name: Norquist Locality: Fredericksburg

Insure you sign COS and stop with politics!

Last Name: Shearer Locality: Emory

I urge support of any legislation that makes it easier and safe for citizens to cast their ballots - especially those whose work makes voting a burden. Sunday voting hours will offer opportunity to include more citizens in the franchise.

Last Name: Jacobs Organization: Self Locality: Herndon

I wholeheartedly and free of mind and will do attest, as a full citizen, my support of this bill. We need to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact so that the chaos of the 2020 election never happens again given such a clear popular vote winner. We need to stop PSC controlled corporations from contributing to those we vote to protect us from their near monopoly power which requires them to be regulated in the first place. Indeed, we should eliminate corporate contributions to political campaigns; bring campaigns back to the middle! Also, no more spending those campaign dollars on trips to fancy beaches and mountain resorts—that’s not why we give! Let the people vote, no more discrimination of any kind and if we let them drive at 16 they should be able to vote on those laws. If they were convicted of an unjust felonious infraction, such as marijuana possession, they should not have their voting rights abdicated so they can’t vote to overturn the unjust code through voting! And we need to keep our elections free and fair and not allow firearms at the polls to intimidate voters and politicians! I voted against the marriage act because I support the LGBTQ community and also support common law marriage protections for women. We need to amend this unconstitutional and disrespectful portion of our chief document.! We should be a Souls to the Polls state and have Sunday early voting! Absentee ballots should not be considered after-thought tie-breakers. They are legitimate ballots and should be counted as they came in. What happened in Pennsylvania should never happen here! Finally, I wish to state for the record as a citizen from the fastest growing region in the Commonwealth, the region from Reston/Great Falls to Leesburg, I was aghast when I saw of the 64 names legislators chose to send to the judges, not a single one the legislators selected was from this region. This is a major flaw of this Amendment—politicians as gatekeepers! But, we have the amendment and who knows what shenanigans the folks on the board will try. This is why we need fuller transparency with every action the committee takes under public scrutiny. Thank you and I sincerely hope you will pass this bill!

Last Name: Scoble Organization: Unite America Locality: Vienna, VA

Unite America supports this bill as it will provide greater flexibility for voters to cast their vote. As this is discretionary to the locality, it provides them with the option to offer absentee voting if they so choose. We ask for your support of this bill. Thank you.

Last Name: Gerchick Organization: League of Women Voters of Virginia Locality: Delaplane

Mr Chairman: There are several bills currently being considered by this Committee of interest to the League. The League urges support of the following: HB 2020 Mr. Helmer -Nomination of candidates for elected offices; restrictions on nomination method selected by political party. HB 1921 Ms. Price -Assistance for certain voters; curbside voting. HB 1968 Mr Bagby -Absentee voting; early in person; availability on Sundays. The League urges the committee oppose: HB 2209 Mr. Gilbert Absentee voting; signature match; provisional ballot status. HB 2208 Mr. Runion Absentee ballots; witness requirement; printed name and residence address. Thank you for this opportunity. Respectfully submitted, Lisa Koteen Gerchick on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Virginia

HB2020 - Nomination of candidates for elected offices; restrictions on nomination method selected.
Last Name: Norquist Locality: Fredericksburg

Insure you sign COS and stop with politics!

Last Name: Allen Locality: NEWPORT NEWS

I would make some changes to our election process. -rigid background checks for candidates BEFORE they run -any qualified person can run regardless of money backing them -elections should be a PUBLIC SERVICE requiring NO huge financial backing (that would eliminate big corporations, tech, media, etc., and include the average American who can not PAY for a candidate) that encourages puppets in government -campaigning on TV and in public should be free and volunteers working for candidates

Last Name: Scoble Organization: Unite America Locality: Vienna, VA

Unite America supports this bill as we believe that active duty military, citizens living overseas, students, and disabled members of our community should be able to participate in their parties nominating process. Several other states already facilitate participation for military in their party nominating process and we believe Virginia should join them. We ask for your support on this bill. Thank you.

Last Name: Gerchick Organization: League of Women Voters of Virginia Locality: Delaplane

Mr Chairman: There are several bills currently being considered by this Committee of interest to the League. The League urges support of the following: HB 2020 Mr. Helmer -Nomination of candidates for elected offices; restrictions on nomination method selected by political party. HB 1921 Ms. Price -Assistance for certain voters; curbside voting. HB 1968 Mr Bagby -Absentee voting; early in person; availability on Sundays. The League urges the committee oppose: HB 2209 Mr. Gilbert Absentee voting; signature match; provisional ballot status. HB 2208 Mr. Runion Absentee ballots; witness requirement; printed name and residence address. Thank you for this opportunity. Respectfully submitted, Lisa Koteen Gerchick on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Virginia

HB2028 - Absentee ballots; witness requirement, printed name and residence address.
Last Name: McKiernan Organization: Virginia Election Administrators Locality: Rappahannock

During the course of your duties, when considering our (Election Administrators/General Registrars/Directors of Elections) request to finally be paid commensurate with our duties after 29 years of added duties without corresponding compensation, please keep in mind that every election law that is passed adds to our duties. There were over 69 NEW Election laws last year in the midst of a pandemic and the most grueling, contentious election cycle EVER. Every election law passed without funding jeopardizes our ability to get it all done due to lack of resources, staff, funding and time. The loss of any of the experienced, dedicated General Registrars because of compensation is a travesty and is likely to become a reality without the appropriate compensation. Please correct this inequity in compensation THIS SESSION. 1. Adjust compensation brackets in accordance with state studies (2 of them) 2. resume 100% reimbursement of NEW base salary to localities 3. Make it happen THIS session. We have earned it. We are the ones out here taking the abuse as a result of unfounded accusations and insinuations. Please understand that the 133 General Registrars statewide who count votes, compile results, verify results, process absentee by mail ballots, and so much more, do so with bi-partisan observers (sent by local political committees!!) and sworn election officials every.single.step! NOTHING is done in secret. EVERYTHING is reviewed and verified by a three member board (Electoral Board) representing both political parties. These board members are nominated by the local political committees and signed off on by a panel of judges! WE are not the enemy and the more you present laws insinuating that something is shady, the more you erode voter confidence on both sides of the aisle! The fact that a bill has passed the house to ADD SUNDAYS to early voting should be enough reason to pay us appropriately itself. We work 100s and 1000s of hours of overtime yet aren't paid equally and aren't valued equally to our fellow county government counterparts. The longer you ignore this and pass over doing the right thing, the more you send the message to your constituents, candidates, and fellow delegates that elections aren't important to you. NOW is the time to make this right.

Last Name: Owen Locality: Rockingham

In an equally divided America, just a little voter fraud can change the results of an election, and the direction of a nation. Claims that this was one of the cleanest elections in history remains uncertain without ballot verification. Questioning the veracity of the 2020 election and the integrity of some election officials is not un-American. It is every official’s responsibility to ensure due diligence. Just as banks are audited, so too should our election process, yet the Attorney General of Virginia refused to open voting records to federal officials three years ago. Why? There should be transparency in voting and any effort to prevent review is to cover up what is likely to be abuse. What was AG Herring hiding? President Reagan’s “Trust, but verify” quote was nothing less than a demand for transparency. That is what I expect of every State and Federal election official. Unfortunately, even sworn officials are subject to graft. Most are honest, some are not. The dishonest ones must be checked. Just as voters must be checked. Surveys say over 70% of college students admit to cheating on tests; is it then likely voting systems can be manipulated to ensure a desired outcome? To do nothing requires the question: How much fraud is acceptable? One person, one vote is the standard; to ensure that standard is met is NOT voter suppression!

Last Name: Shiflett Locality: Staunton

The conditions that invite and encourage voter fraud MUST be dealt with NOW!! ID's, signature matches, and witnesses have to be put in place NOW! Voter Fraud was not only rampant, but encouraged by Democrats both nationally and statewide. Our Republic will be all but gone otherwise. In regards to same sex marriage...it is deviant. What's next? Marriage to children? Polygamy? Marriage is between a man and a woman based on Judeo- Christian principles. Until you figure out how to get the illegal guns away from criminals, I'll carry mine legally at all times. Northam, the black faced fool, and his party are everything that's wrong with Virginia.

Last Name: Hall Locality: Floyd

All ballots should have name and signature. Crossed checked with the voter registration list. No name=no vote. No signature=no vote. No ID=no vote.

Last Name: Norquist Locality: Fredericksburg

Insure you sign COS and stop with politics!

Last Name: Allen Locality: NEWPORT NEWS

I would make some changes to our election process. -rigid background checks for candidates BEFORE they run -any qualified person can run regardless of money backing them -elections should be a PUBLIC SERVICE requiring NO huge financial backing (that would eliminate big corporations, tech, media, etc., and include the average American who can not PAY for a candidate) that encourages puppets in government -campaigning on TV and in public should be free and volunteers working for candidates

Last Name: Webb Locality: Colonial Heights

There needs to be better ID for voters including picture ID and proof of citizenship. Allowing 16 year old youngsters to vote is not a wise decision. This age group can be manipulated, and most have no real understanding of the voting process, the issues, or the candidates running for office. They will simply be parroting what their parents believe. I don’t think popular vote is a good idea. It opens up more illegal voting opportunities, especially where illegals are involved. Thank you for this opportunity to speak.

Last Name: Shearer Locality: Emory

This and similar bills offered by Dels. Cole, Runion, Ransone, and Gilbert have but one real purpose and that is to suppress votes and disenfranchise voters. They will tell you that these bills are designed to prevent voter fraud, but ask them to show you the instances of fraud that are intentional and significant enough to merit disenfranchising possibly thousands of eligible voters with red tape that they get caught in. For example, what makes a legislator think that election officials are handwriting experts? Trust the overwhelming honest voters in our Commonwealth and vote no on these bills. You can be proud that you voted to help all voices be heard in the chorus of voting citizens of Virginia, as President Lincoln said, "With malice towards none and charity for all."

Last Name: Siler Locality: Waynesboro

Why are we talking about bills that serve vote suppression? We should be making easier for people to vote, not harder.

Last Name: Kanter Cohen Organization: Fair Elections Center Locality: Silver Spring, MD

Fair Elections Center Testimony Opposing HB 2028 and 2209 House Privileges and Elections Committee Tuesday, January 19, 2021 Fair Elections Center opposes HB 2028 and HB 2209 because these bills would make absentee voting less accessible and as a result make it harder for voters to cast a ballot that counts. Fair Elections Center is a national, nonpartisan voting rights and election reform organization which works to remove barriers to registration and voting for traditionally underrepresented constituencies. Formed in 2017 to continue the work of the Fair Elections Legal Network, the Center works to improve election administration through legislative, legal and administrative reform, to protect access to the ballot through litigation, and to provide election law expertise, voter information and technical assistance to voter mobilization organizations. In 2020, among other work, Fair Elections Center brought litigation in a number of states to protect the right to vote by mail in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. HB 2028. HB 2028 would require that a witness to an absentee ballot include their printed name and address in addition to the signature already required under the current Code. These added requirements make it more likely ballots will be rejected due to mistakes and administrative errors that do not relate to whether the voter is qualified to cast a ballot. The witness requirement itself is a barrier to voting and is unnecessary because absentee voting is secured in multiple other ways. For example, Virginians supply personal identification information when registering to vote and when identifying themselves to vote absentee. This bill would move absentee voting requirements in the wrong direction. HB 2209. HB 2209 adds a signature match requirement to absentee voting. Signature match requirements are often an unreliable means to secure absentee ballots. For example, election officials are untrained in reviewing and making judgments regarding such signatures, leading to unfair and inconsistent rejections. In addition, voters’ signatures often change over time, and signatures captured electronically as a part of the driver’s license process may be difficult to match, both leading to the rejection of qualified voters’ ballots. Studies have also shown that young voters and voters of color disproportionately have their ballots rejected due to signature matching requirements. As indicated above, Virginians already supply personal identification information when registering to vote and when identifying themselves to vote absentee, making a signature match requirement redundant. Fair Elections Center requests that these bills not move forward from this committee. If you have any questions or need further information, please contact Michelle Kanter Cohen, Senior Counsel, Fair Elections Center, (202) 331-0114, mkantercohen@fairelectionscenter.org.

Last Name: Gerchick Organization: League of Women Voters of Virginia Locality: Delaplane

Mr Chairman: There are several bills currently being considered by this Committee of interest to the League. The League urges support of the following: HB 2020 Mr. Helmer -Nomination of candidates for elected offices; restrictions on nomination method selected by political party. HB 1921 Ms. Price -Assistance for certain voters; curbside voting. HB 1968 Mr Bagby -Absentee voting; early in person; availability on Sundays. The League urges the committee oppose: HB 2209 Mr. Gilbert Absentee voting; signature match; provisional ballot status. HB 2208 Mr. Runion Absentee ballots; witness requirement; printed name and residence address. Thank you for this opportunity. Respectfully submitted, Lisa Koteen Gerchick on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Virginia

HB2115 - Absentee voting; definition of postmark, legibility requirement.
Last Name: McKiernan Organization: Virginia Election Administrators Locality: Rappahannock

During the course of your duties, when considering our (Election Administrators/General Registrars/Directors of Elections) request to finally be paid commensurate with our duties after 29 years of added duties without corresponding compensation, please keep in mind that every election law that is passed adds to our duties. There were over 69 NEW Election laws last year in the midst of a pandemic and the most grueling, contentious election cycle EVER. Every election law passed without funding jeopardizes our ability to get it all done due to lack of resources, staff, funding and time. The loss of any of the experienced, dedicated General Registrars because of compensation is a travesty and is likely to become a reality without the appropriate compensation. Please correct this inequity in compensation THIS SESSION. 1. Adjust compensation brackets in accordance with state studies (2 of them) 2. resume 100% reimbursement of NEW base salary to localities 3. Make it happen THIS session. We have earned it. We are the ones out here taking the abuse as a result of unfounded accusations and insinuations. Please understand that the 133 General Registrars statewide who count votes, compile results, verify results, process absentee by mail ballots, and so much more, do so with bi-partisan observers (sent by local political committees!!) and sworn election officials every.single.step! NOTHING is done in secret. EVERYTHING is reviewed and verified by a three member board (Electoral Board) representing both political parties. These board members are nominated by the local political committees and signed off on by a panel of judges! WE are not the enemy and the more you present laws insinuating that something is shady, the more you erode voter confidence on both sides of the aisle! The fact that a bill has passed the house to ADD SUNDAYS to early voting should be enough reason to pay us appropriately itself. We work 100s and 1000s of hours of overtime yet aren't paid equally and aren't valued equally to our fellow county government counterparts. The longer you ignore this and pass over doing the right thing, the more you send the message to your constituents, candidates, and fellow delegates that elections aren't important to you. NOW is the time to make this right.

Last Name: Shiflett Locality: Staunton

The conditions that invite and encourage voter fraud MUST be dealt with NOW!! ID's, signature matches, and witnesses have to be put in place NOW! Voter Fraud was not only rampant, but encouraged by Democrats both nationally and statewide. Our Republic will be all but gone otherwise. In regards to same sex marriage...it is deviant. What's next? Marriage to children? Polygamy? Marriage is between a man and a woman based on Judeo- Christian principles. Until you figure out how to get the illegal guns away from criminals, I'll carry mine legally at all times. Northam, the black faced fool, and his party are everything that's wrong with Virginia.

Last Name: Norquist Locality: Fredericksburg

Insure you sign COS and stop with politics!

Last Name: Allen Locality: NEWPORT NEWS

I would make some changes to our election process. -rigid background checks for candidates BEFORE they run -any qualified person can run regardless of money backing them -elections should be a PUBLIC SERVICE requiring NO huge financial backing (that would eliminate big corporations, tech, media, etc., and include the average American who can not PAY for a candidate) that encourages puppets in government -campaigning on TV and in public should be free and volunteers working for candidates

Last Name: Shearer Locality: Emory

This and similar bills offered by Dels. Cole, Runion, Ransone, and Gilbert have but one real purpose and that is to suppress votes and disenfranchise voters. They will tell you that these bills are designed to prevent voter fraud, but ask them to show you the instances of fraud that are intentional and significant enough to merit disenfranchising possibly thousands of eligible voters with red tape that they get caught in. For example, what makes a legislator think that election officials are handwriting experts? Trust the overwhelming honest voters in our Commonwealth and vote no on these bills. You can be proud that you voted to help all voices be heard in the chorus of voting citizens of Virginia, as President Lincoln said, "With malice towards none and charity for all."

Last Name: Siler Locality: Waynesboro

Why are we talking about bills that serve vote suppression? We should be making easier for people to vote, not harder.

HB2153 - Curbside voting; right to observe ballot deposited into ballot scanner machine or ballot container.
Last Name: McKiernan Organization: Virginia Election Administrators Locality: Rappahannock

During the course of your duties, when considering our (Election Administrators/General Registrars/Directors of Elections) request to finally be paid commensurate with our duties after 29 years of added duties without corresponding compensation, please keep in mind that every election law that is passed adds to our duties. There were over 69 NEW Election laws last year in the midst of a pandemic and the most grueling, contentious election cycle EVER. Every election law passed without funding jeopardizes our ability to get it all done due to lack of resources, staff, funding and time. The loss of any of the experienced, dedicated General Registrars because of compensation is a travesty and is likely to become a reality without the appropriate compensation. Please correct this inequity in compensation THIS SESSION. 1. Adjust compensation brackets in accordance with state studies (2 of them) 2. resume 100% reimbursement of NEW base salary to localities 3. Make it happen THIS session. We have earned it. We are the ones out here taking the abuse as a result of unfounded accusations and insinuations. Please understand that the 133 General Registrars statewide who count votes, compile results, verify results, process absentee by mail ballots, and so much more, do so with bi-partisan observers (sent by local political committees!!) and sworn election officials every.single.step! NOTHING is done in secret. EVERYTHING is reviewed and verified by a three member board (Electoral Board) representing both political parties. These board members are nominated by the local political committees and signed off on by a panel of judges! WE are not the enemy and the more you present laws insinuating that something is shady, the more you erode voter confidence on both sides of the aisle! The fact that a bill has passed the house to ADD SUNDAYS to early voting should be enough reason to pay us appropriately itself. We work 100s and 1000s of hours of overtime yet aren't paid equally and aren't valued equally to our fellow county government counterparts. The longer you ignore this and pass over doing the right thing, the more you send the message to your constituents, candidates, and fellow delegates that elections aren't important to you. NOW is the time to make this right.

Last Name: Norquist Locality: Fredericksburg

Insure you sign COS and stop with politics!

Last Name: Allen Locality: NEWPORT NEWS

I would make some changes to our election process. -rigid background checks for candidates BEFORE they run -any qualified person can run regardless of money backing them -elections should be a PUBLIC SERVICE requiring NO huge financial backing (that would eliminate big corporations, tech, media, etc., and include the average American who can not PAY for a candidate) that encourages puppets in government -campaigning on TV and in public should be free and volunteers working for candidates

Last Name: Sonnenmark Locality: Fairfax County

My name is Laura Sonnenmark and I am from the Mount Vernon District of Fairfax County. I have been an election officer for both E-Day and the Early Voting (In-Person Absentee) period since 2012, working all general and primary (Republican and Democratic) elections. As an election officer, I am often assigned to curbside voting. It is a task I gladly undertake, as I want to help voters in any way I can to exercise their right to vote. However, allowing voters to have both curbside voting AND walking into the polling location to put their ballots in the scanner seems problematical to me. While we should make every accomodation to serve voters who need curbside voting, this smacks of "eating your cake and having it, too." I am concerned people would use this law to "jump the line," particularly during a busy election. I hope these concerns will be addressed. Thank you.

HB2209 - Absentee voting; signature match, provisional ballot status.
Last Name: McKiernan Organization: Virginia Election Administrators Locality: Rappahannock

During the course of your duties, when considering our (Election Administrators/General Registrars/Directors of Elections) request to finally be paid commensurate with our duties after 29 years of added duties without corresponding compensation, please keep in mind that every election law that is passed adds to our duties. There were over 69 NEW Election laws last year in the midst of a pandemic and the most grueling, contentious election cycle EVER. Every election law passed without funding jeopardizes our ability to get it all done due to lack of resources, staff, funding and time. The loss of any of the experienced, dedicated General Registrars because of compensation is a travesty and is likely to become a reality without the appropriate compensation. Please correct this inequity in compensation THIS SESSION. 1. Adjust compensation brackets in accordance with state studies (2 of them) 2. resume 100% reimbursement of NEW base salary to localities 3. Make it happen THIS session. We have earned it. We are the ones out here taking the abuse as a result of unfounded accusations and insinuations. Please understand that the 133 General Registrars statewide who count votes, compile results, verify results, process absentee by mail ballots, and so much more, do so with bi-partisan observers (sent by local political committees!!) and sworn election officials every.single.step! NOTHING is done in secret. EVERYTHING is reviewed and verified by a three member board (Electoral Board) representing both political parties. These board members are nominated by the local political committees and signed off on by a panel of judges! WE are not the enemy and the more you present laws insinuating that something is shady, the more you erode voter confidence on both sides of the aisle! The fact that a bill has passed the house to ADD SUNDAYS to early voting should be enough reason to pay us appropriately itself. We work 100s and 1000s of hours of overtime yet aren't paid equally and aren't valued equally to our fellow county government counterparts. The longer you ignore this and pass over doing the right thing, the more you send the message to your constituents, candidates, and fellow delegates that elections aren't important to you. NOW is the time to make this right.

Last Name: Montgomery Organization: Nono Locality: Rockingham

HB 1933- absolutely NO! Protect our state's rights. HB's 1970, 2205, 2209- vote YES. Protect integrity of our elections.

Last Name: Shiflett Locality: Staunton

The conditions that invite and encourage voter fraud MUST be dealt with NOW!! ID's, signature matches, and witnesses have to be put in place NOW! Voter Fraud was not only rampant, but encouraged by Democrats both nationally and statewide. Our Republic will be all but gone otherwise. In regards to same sex marriage...it is deviant. What's next? Marriage to children? Polygamy? Marriage is between a man and a woman based on Judeo- Christian principles. Until you figure out how to get the illegal guns away from criminals, I'll carry mine legally at all times. Northam, the black faced fool, and his party are everything that's wrong with Virginia.

Last Name: Lowry Locality: Highland

There are good reasons why our election system was set up the way it was! Vote NO on 1933- this basically disenfranchises Virginia voters. On HB 2239 yes, absentee ballots shoul absolutely be counted before the election- and not announced until the end of the Election Day. HJ539 God does not permit same-sex marriage. Neither should we.

Last Name: Norquist Locality: Fredericksburg

Insure you sign COS and stop with politics!

Last Name: Shearer Locality: Emory

This and similar bills offered by Dels. Cole, Runion, Ransone, and Gilbert have but one real purpose and that is to suppress votes and disenfranchise voters. They will tell you that these bills are designed to prevent voter fraud, but ask them to show you the instances of fraud that are intentional and significant enough to merit disenfranchising possibly thousands of eligible voters with red tape that they get caught in. For example, what makes a legislator think that election officials are handwriting experts? Trust the overwhelming honest voters in our Commonwealth and vote no on these bills. You can be proud that you voted to help all voices be heard in the chorus of voting citizens of Virginia, as President Lincoln said, "With malice towards none and charity for all."

Last Name: Siler Locality: Waynesboro

Why are we talking about bills that serve vote suppression? We should be making easier for people to vote, not harder.

Last Name: Kanter Cohen Organization: Fair Elections Center Locality: Silver Spring, MD

Fair Elections Center Testimony Opposing HB 2028 and 2209 House Privileges and Elections Committee Tuesday, January 19, 2021 Fair Elections Center opposes HB 2028 and HB 2209 because these bills would make absentee voting less accessible and as a result make it harder for voters to cast a ballot that counts. Fair Elections Center is a national, nonpartisan voting rights and election reform organization which works to remove barriers to registration and voting for traditionally underrepresented constituencies. Formed in 2017 to continue the work of the Fair Elections Legal Network, the Center works to improve election administration through legislative, legal and administrative reform, to protect access to the ballot through litigation, and to provide election law expertise, voter information and technical assistance to voter mobilization organizations. In 2020, among other work, Fair Elections Center brought litigation in a number of states to protect the right to vote by mail in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. HB 2028. HB 2028 would require that a witness to an absentee ballot include their printed name and address in addition to the signature already required under the current Code. These added requirements make it more likely ballots will be rejected due to mistakes and administrative errors that do not relate to whether the voter is qualified to cast a ballot. The witness requirement itself is a barrier to voting and is unnecessary because absentee voting is secured in multiple other ways. For example, Virginians supply personal identification information when registering to vote and when identifying themselves to vote absentee. This bill would move absentee voting requirements in the wrong direction. HB 2209. HB 2209 adds a signature match requirement to absentee voting. Signature match requirements are often an unreliable means to secure absentee ballots. For example, election officials are untrained in reviewing and making judgments regarding such signatures, leading to unfair and inconsistent rejections. In addition, voters’ signatures often change over time, and signatures captured electronically as a part of the driver’s license process may be difficult to match, both leading to the rejection of qualified voters’ ballots. Studies have also shown that young voters and voters of color disproportionately have their ballots rejected due to signature matching requirements. As indicated above, Virginians already supply personal identification information when registering to vote and when identifying themselves to vote absentee, making a signature match requirement redundant. Fair Elections Center requests that these bills not move forward from this committee. If you have any questions or need further information, please contact Michelle Kanter Cohen, Senior Counsel, Fair Elections Center, (202) 331-0114, mkantercohen@fairelectionscenter.org.

Last Name: Gerchick Organization: League of Women Voters of Virginia Locality: Delaplane

Mr Chairman: There are several bills currently being considered by this Committee of interest to the League. The League urges support of the following: HB 2020 Mr. Helmer -Nomination of candidates for elected offices; restrictions on nomination method selected by political party. HB 1921 Ms. Price -Assistance for certain voters; curbside voting. HB 1968 Mr Bagby -Absentee voting; early in person; availability on Sundays. The League urges the committee oppose: HB 2209 Mr. Gilbert Absentee voting; signature match; provisional ballot status. HB 2208 Mr. Runion Absentee ballots; witness requirement; printed name and residence address. Thank you for this opportunity. Respectfully submitted, Lisa Koteen Gerchick on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Virginia

Last Name: James Nix Organization: Virginia Electoral Board Association Locality: Charlottesville

To start with a major problem is that none of the individuals responsible for verifying signatures under provisions of this bill are trained to be able to assess the validity of signatures. That includes general registrars, office staff, election officials or local electoral board members. Not all voters have digital signatures in their records in VERIS to which the signatures on the absentee ballot envelopes can be compared. For these it would be necessary to marry up the paper absentee ballot application with the submitted ballot envelope, a serious challenge in this time of high volume voting by mail. This bill also establishes a new ID requirement that includes the name, photograph, and signature of the voter. Furthermore, there is no provision for dealing with voters whose current signature does not match the one on file in the registration database due to age, injury, illness or disability. For these reasons, the Virginia Electoral Board Association stands in opposition to this bill.

HB2239 - Absentee voting; ballots to be processed before election day and sorted and counted.
Last Name: McKiernan Organization: Virginia Election Administrators Locality: Rappahannock

During the course of your duties, when considering our (Election Administrators/General Registrars/Directors of Elections) request to finally be paid commensurate with our duties after 29 years of added duties without corresponding compensation, please keep in mind that every election law that is passed adds to our duties. There were over 69 NEW Election laws last year in the midst of a pandemic and the most grueling, contentious election cycle EVER. Every election law passed without funding jeopardizes our ability to get it all done due to lack of resources, staff, funding and time. The loss of any of the experienced, dedicated General Registrars because of compensation is a travesty and is likely to become a reality without the appropriate compensation. Please correct this inequity in compensation THIS SESSION. 1. Adjust compensation brackets in accordance with state studies (2 of them) 2. resume 100% reimbursement of NEW base salary to localities 3. Make it happen THIS session. We have earned it. We are the ones out here taking the abuse as a result of unfounded accusations and insinuations. Please understand that the 133 General Registrars statewide who count votes, compile results, verify results, process absentee by mail ballots, and so much more, do so with bi-partisan observers (sent by local political committees!!) and sworn election officials every.single.step! NOTHING is done in secret. EVERYTHING is reviewed and verified by a three member board (Electoral Board) representing both political parties. These board members are nominated by the local political committees and signed off on by a panel of judges! WE are not the enemy and the more you present laws insinuating that something is shady, the more you erode voter confidence on both sides of the aisle! The fact that a bill has passed the house to ADD SUNDAYS to early voting should be enough reason to pay us appropriately itself. We work 100s and 1000s of hours of overtime yet aren't paid equally and aren't valued equally to our fellow county government counterparts. The longer you ignore this and pass over doing the right thing, the more you send the message to your constituents, candidates, and fellow delegates that elections aren't important to you. NOW is the time to make this right.

Last Name: Shiflett Locality: Staunton

The conditions that invite and encourage voter fraud MUST be dealt with NOW!! ID's, signature matches, and witnesses have to be put in place NOW! Voter Fraud was not only rampant, but encouraged by Democrats both nationally and statewide. Our Republic will be all but gone otherwise. In regards to same sex marriage...it is deviant. What's next? Marriage to children? Polygamy? Marriage is between a man and a woman based on Judeo- Christian principles. Until you figure out how to get the illegal guns away from criminals, I'll carry mine legally at all times. Northam, the black faced fool, and his party are everything that's wrong with Virginia.

Last Name: Lowry Locality: Highland

There are good reasons why our election system was set up the way it was! Vote NO on 1933- this basically disenfranchises Virginia voters. On HB 2239 yes, absentee ballots shoul absolutely be counted before the election- and not announced until the end of the Election Day. HJ539 God does not permit same-sex marriage. Neither should we.

Last Name: Norquist Locality: Fredericksburg

Insure you sign COS and stop with politics!

Last Name: Friedland Locality: Chesapeake

Please pass this. It’s the right thing to do.

Last Name: Jacobs Organization: Self Locality: Herndon

I wholeheartedly and free of mind and will do attest, as a full citizen, my support of this bill. We need to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact so that the chaos of the 2020 election never happens again given such a clear popular vote winner. We need to stop PSC controlled corporations from contributing to those we vote to protect us from their near monopoly power which requires them to be regulated in the first place. Indeed, we should eliminate corporate contributions to political campaigns; bring campaigns back to the middle! Also, no more spending those campaign dollars on trips to fancy beaches and mountain resorts—that’s not why we give! Let the people vote, no more discrimination of any kind and if we let them drive at 16 they should be able to vote on those laws. If they were convicted of an unjust felonious infraction, such as marijuana possession, they should not have their voting rights abdicated so they can’t vote to overturn the unjust code through voting! And we need to keep our elections free and fair and not allow firearms at the polls to intimidate voters and politicians! I voted against the marriage act because I support the LGBTQ community and also support common law marriage protections for women. We need to amend this unconstitutional and disrespectful portion of our chief document.! We should be a Souls to the Polls state and have Sunday early voting! Absentee ballots should not be considered after-thought tie-breakers. They are legitimate ballots and should be counted as they came in. What happened in Pennsylvania should never happen here! Finally, I wish to state for the record as a citizen from the fastest growing region in the Commonwealth, the region from Reston/Great Falls to Leesburg, I was aghast when I saw of the 64 names legislators chose to send to the judges, not a single one the legislators selected was from this region. This is a major flaw of this Amendment—politicians as gatekeepers! But, we have the amendment and who knows what shenanigans the folks on the board will try. This is why we need fuller transparency with every action the committee takes under public scrutiny. Thank you and I sincerely hope you will pass this bill!

Last Name: Siler Locality: Waynesboro

Why are we talking about bills that serve vote suppression? We should be making easier for people to vote, not harder.

Last Name: Katie Boyle Organization: Virginia Association of Counties Locality: Richmond, VA

With respect to the provisions of this bill dealing with allocation of absentee votes by precinct, VACo would request that these elements of the legislation not move forward without an accompanying appropriation of funds to assist localities in purchasing the equipment that would be needed to implement this requirement. It is our understanding that this requirement would necessitate precinct-specific ballots for all elections, which would likely require the purchase of “print-on-demand” machines to generate the correct precinct-specific ballot for each voter, or a very challenging process involving extensive printing of different ballot styles and careful tracking to ensure the correct ballot is given to each voter. Given current budget uncertainties, localities would be challenged to comply. We would recommend that the state assist localities with the resources needed to comply should it proceed with this requirement. Thank you for your consideration.

HB2255 - Local election officials; public availability of instructions and guidance.
Last Name: McKiernan Organization: Virginia Election Administrators Locality: Rappahannock

During the course of your duties, when considering our (Election Administrators/General Registrars/Directors of Elections) request to finally be paid commensurate with our duties after 29 years of added duties without corresponding compensation, please keep in mind that every election law that is passed adds to our duties. There were over 69 NEW Election laws last year in the midst of a pandemic and the most grueling, contentious election cycle EVER. Every election law passed without funding jeopardizes our ability to get it all done due to lack of resources, staff, funding and time. The loss of any of the experienced, dedicated General Registrars because of compensation is a travesty and is likely to become a reality without the appropriate compensation. Please correct this inequity in compensation THIS SESSION. 1. Adjust compensation brackets in accordance with state studies (2 of them) 2. resume 100% reimbursement of NEW base salary to localities 3. Make it happen THIS session. We have earned it. We are the ones out here taking the abuse as a result of unfounded accusations and insinuations. Please understand that the 133 General Registrars statewide who count votes, compile results, verify results, process absentee by mail ballots, and so much more, do so with bi-partisan observers (sent by local political committees!!) and sworn election officials every.single.step! NOTHING is done in secret. EVERYTHING is reviewed and verified by a three member board (Electoral Board) representing both political parties. These board members are nominated by the local political committees and signed off on by a panel of judges! WE are not the enemy and the more you present laws insinuating that something is shady, the more you erode voter confidence on both sides of the aisle! The fact that a bill has passed the house to ADD SUNDAYS to early voting should be enough reason to pay us appropriately itself. We work 100s and 1000s of hours of overtime yet aren't paid equally and aren't valued equally to our fellow county government counterparts. The longer you ignore this and pass over doing the right thing, the more you send the message to your constituents, candidates, and fellow delegates that elections aren't important to you. NOW is the time to make this right.

Last Name: Carpenter Locality: Mitchells

This bill should not be shelved indefinitely and be effectively killed. This bill, I feel, is an important first step forward in restoring integrity and transparency in our election system which is much needed after what was experienced in the 2020 election.

Last Name: Norquist Locality: Fredericksburg

Insure you sign COS and stop with politics!

HB2267 - Local electoral boards and general registrar; disclosure of certain gifts and funding.
Last Name: McKiernan Organization: Virginia Election Administrators Locality: Rappahannock

During the course of your duties, when considering our (Election Administrators/General Registrars/Directors of Elections) request to finally be paid commensurate with our duties after 29 years of added duties without corresponding compensation, please keep in mind that every election law that is passed adds to our duties. There were over 69 NEW Election laws last year in the midst of a pandemic and the most grueling, contentious election cycle EVER. Every election law passed without funding jeopardizes our ability to get it all done due to lack of resources, staff, funding and time. The loss of any of the experienced, dedicated General Registrars because of compensation is a travesty and is likely to become a reality without the appropriate compensation. Please correct this inequity in compensation THIS SESSION. 1. Adjust compensation brackets in accordance with state studies (2 of them) 2. resume 100% reimbursement of NEW base salary to localities 3. Make it happen THIS session. We have earned it. We are the ones out here taking the abuse as a result of unfounded accusations and insinuations. Please understand that the 133 General Registrars statewide who count votes, compile results, verify results, process absentee by mail ballots, and so much more, do so with bi-partisan observers (sent by local political committees!!) and sworn election officials every.single.step! NOTHING is done in secret. EVERYTHING is reviewed and verified by a three member board (Electoral Board) representing both political parties. These board members are nominated by the local political committees and signed off on by a panel of judges! WE are not the enemy and the more you present laws insinuating that something is shady, the more you erode voter confidence on both sides of the aisle! The fact that a bill has passed the house to ADD SUNDAYS to early voting should be enough reason to pay us appropriately itself. We work 100s and 1000s of hours of overtime yet aren't paid equally and aren't valued equally to our fellow county government counterparts. The longer you ignore this and pass over doing the right thing, the more you send the message to your constituents, candidates, and fellow delegates that elections aren't important to you. NOW is the time to make this right.

Last Name: Norquist Locality: Fredericksburg

Insure you sign COS and stop with politics!

End of Comments