Public Comments for 01/22/2021 Privileges and Elections - Voting Rights Subcommittee
HB1890 - Discrimination; prohibited in voting and elections administration, etc.
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: Besa Organization: Sierra Club Virginia Chapter Locality: Chesterfield County

Mr Chairman Member of the House Privileges and Elections Committee: On behalf of Sierra Club - Virginia Chapter, I'd like to express our positions on three of the bills you have before you today. SUPPORT HB1952 (Simon) Campaign finance; prohibited personal use, child care exception - This fix to Virginia's campaign finance law is critical to upgrading the integrity and the public's perception of our campaign finance system. However, the child care exception makes good sense. SUPPORT HB1890 (Price) Discrimination, prohibited in voting and elections administration - With Virginia's long history of voter suppression, this legislation is an important means of insuring that such abuses do not continue into the future. The public notice requirements and the review of the Virginia's Attorney General's office would provide needed scrutiny of changes, such as precinct locations, etc, that could discriminate against communities of color and other protected classes of voters. SUPPORT HB2125 (Lopez) Voter registration; preregistration for persons 16 years of age or older - Research shows that the earlier citizens begin to vote, the more likely they are to be regular voters. Allowing 16 year olds to pre-register serves as an important citizenship lesson that can be incorporated into our high schools' social studies curriculum. Thank you, Glen Besa for the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter

Last Name: Galindo Organization: LatinoJustice, PRLDEF Locality: Southeast Regional Office

LatinoJustice PRLDEF (“LatinoJustice”) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan civil rights organization working to empower the Latino community in the areas of education, voting rights, immigrant rights, economic justice, and criminal justice reform through litigation, advocacy, and education. One of our core focus issues is enforcement of language access provisions under the Voting Rights Act (VRA), which are enforceable in Virginia independent of state law. The VRA has three language access provisions—Section 203, Section 208, and Section 4(e). While we are pleased to see that HB 1890 recognizes the protections for language minority voters under Section 203 we urge an amendment to this bill to similarly recognize the protections for language minority voters under Section 4(e) and Section 208 of the VRA. Section 4(e) states that: “Congress hereby declares that to secure the rights under the fourteenth amendment of persons educated in American-flag schools in which the predominant classroom language was other than English, it is necessary to prohibit the States from conditioning the right to vote of such persons on ability to read, write, understand, or interpret any matter in the English language.” 52 U.S.C. § 10303(e). Under this law, voters educated in Puerto Rico with limited English proficiency have a right to Spanish-language ballots, voter registration services, other election materials, and as well as assistance from bilingual poll workers. Section 208 of the VRA provides for voters who need assistance to vote by reason of blindness, disability, or inability to read or write. Under this law, language minority voters may choose a person to translate for them at the polls. In order to capture the VRA’s language access protections in this bill, we urge the legislature to include the provisions of Section 4(e) and Section 208 and stand committed to assisting to reach full compliance with the language access provisions of the VRA. Thank you.

Last Name: Saxon Organization: VEA Locality: Charlottesville

The Virginia Education Association supports this bill. Ensuring that all voters can have full access to choosing their elected officials is necessary for high quality public schools for all students.

Last Name: Hall Locality: Floyd

Only property/land owners should be able to vote in future elections. They pay more in taxes and therefore deserve more say so in elections. I'm not a land owner and would no longer be able to vote. So why should be able to vote to raise taxes when it doesn't effect me?

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: Gibson Locality: Williamsburg

Please support Delegate Price’s bill HB 1890 The Voting Rights Act of Virginia!! It is about time!!

Last Name: Broder Organization: SEIU Virginia 512 Locality: Fairfax

On behalf of the essential Home Care and Public Service workers of SEIU Virginia 512, I write in support of HB 1890, Delegate Price's Voting Rights Act of Virginia. We can not have an economy that works for everyone if we do not have a democracy that works for everyone. Working families deserve and need the right to fully participate in the democratic process. For these reasons and more, we enthusiastically support HB 1890. Thank you.

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

Fair Elections Center Testimony in Support of HB 1890 Virginia House Privileges and Elections Committee - Voting Rights Subcommittee Friday, January 22, 2021 Fair Elections Center supports moving HB 1890 forward because this bill would prevent racially discriminatory laws and practices from going into effect, making voting more fair and accessible. 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. HB 1890 would establish preclearance for certain covered election-related practices. Preclearance is particularly important as a tool to end racial discrimination in voting because it stops discriminatory practices before they go into effect. Currently, unless such practices are stopped usually through litigation including a preliminary injunction motion, elections occur with these practices in place and they may continue to harm electoral participation for years before a case is resolved. Under a preclearance system, however, such practices cannot go into effect if determined to be discriminatory, and elections they would otherwise affect are not continually tainted with discrimination. Every voter in our democracy should have the same opportunity to participate free from discrimination, and a preclearance system would help make that vision a reality. While Fair Elections Center also supports reauthorization of the federal Voting Rights Act preclearance coverage formula following the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder, regardless of federal action and related federal court decisions, Virginia must not allow discriminatory practices to harm its voters and democracy in the Commonwealth. This is particularly crucial at the local level where potential discriminatory changes tend to be less visible and transparent than highly visible state policies. Fair Elections Center urges you to move this bill forward. 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: Smith Organization: My Belief in Democracy Locality: Reston

I support HB 1890 Discrimination; prohibited in voting and elections administration, etc. In the year 2021, what a stain on our state to think we need specific legislation to protect minority voters -- but we do. The aggressive voter suppression activities, following ALEC guidelines, enacted in Virginia during the GOP legislative era makes it necessary. I support, endorse, and will fight for a free and equal electorate open to all. This bill starts out with "prohibits any voting qualification or any standard, practice, or procedure related to voting from being imposed or applied in a manner that results in the denial or abridgment of the right of any United States citizen to vote based on his race or color or membership in a language minority group." This is necessary, sad but necessary. Democracy is only as strong as the rules that bind it.

Last Name: Reis Locality: Pulaski

In 1902, the General Assembly passed a Constitution which substantially disenfranchised almost all of the Black residents of this Commonwealth. At the same time, it disenfranchised many poor white voters including many here in SW Virginia. This Bill is critical to giving a remedy to those voters who continue to have their voting rights infringed. Equitable voting laws are necessary to provide adequate representation to all of our residents. The last election was remarkable for the ease of access for all voters, and we should work to remove as many of the stains from our past and present history of voter suppression.

Last Name: Cornelia Browning-Moore Locality: Newport News

Please restore voting rights to formerly incarcerated people with felonies .

Last Name: Smith Locality: Richmond

I strongly support HB1890. We should do everything we can in Virginia to expand and protect voter rights. The last national election, in which the President and his allies attempted to undermine results and throw out votes, particularly from people of color, reveal just how needed this piece of legislation is. Let Virginia become a leader in protecting everyone's right to vote.

Last Name: Jacobs Locality: Herndon

I support Del. Price’s HB1890. Photo ID laws exist to disenfranchise the less well off who often dont have a drivers license of ID card and use public transit. Identifying voters is important but that can be done with a simple name and address document like an electric bill. Further, if photographic evidence is required, let it be on the Commonwealth to ensure the registrar has citizen photos rather than the citizen requiring a photo ID. Most of all, a photo ID not provided for by the Commonwealth is simply a form of, albeit minimal, poll tax. I support Del. Levine’s HB2082. Yesterday, I attended the first meeting of the Redistricting Board. I am concerned that this meeting was not live-streamed to Facebook and/or YouTube, and that the process had so little scrutiny. I’m more disturbed that the chat feature that the public can use was subsequently disabled and someone was barred from submitting commentary because of technical difficulties. Finally, I think all chat and questions for the committee should be added to the public record. There is much to improve in the Redistricting process, and thus bill goes a long way to make it better.

Last Name: Unger Organization: Advancement Project National Office Locality: Arlington

Dear Chair Price and members of the Voting Rights Subcommittee: Advancement Project is a next generation, multi-racial civil rights organization working to fulfill America’s promise of a caring, inclusive, and just democracy. As a proud Virginian born and raised, I provide these comments in support of HB 1890 on behalf of Advancement Project’s National Office. We are proud to have worked with partners like New Virginia Majority, the Virginia Civic Engagement Table, and others through the years to protect and advance voting rights in the Commonwealth. We have advocated rights restoration since 2003; in 2008, we sued on behalf of the Virginia NAACP for equitable distribution of voting machines; last year, we sued alongside multiple partners to extend the registration deadline after ELECT’s online voter registration outage. The resulting extension allowed 24,000 Virginians to register in time for the November election. Based on our experience and expertise in advancing voting rights in Virginia, we respectfully request that you approve this legislation for the following reasons. Analysis of HB 1890: Restoring Crucial Oversight, Empowering Voters Democracy only works when we all have a voice. One thing we have learned in our voter protection work at Advancement Project is that discriminatory voting measures and practices cannot be effectively challenged after the fact. A lost vote can never be reclaimed, and the collective wounding of lost votes leaves a lasting scar on democracy for generations. Preclearance stops regressive changes before they inflict those scars. We know this because federal preclearance under the Voting Rights Act of 1965 worked. In Virginia, federal preclearance impacted dozens of voting changes for the better. What is more, as local governments subject to preclearance have said before, “Any burden in developing a submission for preclearance is de minimis relative to the work already required for any voting change.” That burden, light though it is, must rest first on those in authority over elections to ensure that voting changes do not turn back progress or disenfranchise Virginians. We live almost a decade removed from the U.S. Supreme Court’s disastrous Shelby County v. Holder decision, which struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and ended federal preclearance as we knew it. Preclearance aside, federal voting rights enforcement generally has dwindled in recent years. We cannot passively rely on the federal government to protect Virginians’ voting rights. We need a Voting Rights Act of Virginia. Beyond establishing badly needed oversight of voting changes, this legislation also grants voters the power to stand up for themselves and make their voices clearly heard in several additional important ways: giving voters the right to sue when faced with intimidation, expanding access to interpreters and language-accessible voting materials, and ensuring that each step of the voting process is free from malicious interference. Conclusion HB 1890 would restore crucial oversight and empower Virginia voters to stand up for themselves and their voices. And in a richly diverse Commonwealth, this bill ensures that all our communities are on equal footing in our democratic process. We urge the Subcommittee to approve this bill. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me at junger@advancementproject.org, or (202) 728-9557.

Last Name: Craig Organization: LWV-VA Locality: Springfield

Chair Price and members of the committee, my name is Donald Craig. I am the cochair of the Voter Access Committee of the League of Women Voters of Virginia, which has 14 Local Leagues, and members throughout Virginia. The League supports HB1890. The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy. In Virginia, decades of disenfranchisement of Black and Brown voters reverberate to this day. We owe it to future generations to remove barriers to voting. When the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013, many states moved quickly to pass discriminatory voting laws, such as overinclusive voter roll purges and burdensome ID laws. Until and unless the Voting Rights Act is restored, we need a way to ensure new elections laws and practices will not negatively impact the rights of minority group members to vote. As a substitute for the federal protections that were stripped away, we ask you to cosponsor and pass SB1395. This bill is important to address a hole that has opened in voter protections, and we support the bill.

Last Name: Riddle Organization: Virginia Education Association Locality: Richmond City

The Virginia Education Association (VEA) supports HB 1890 and we ask the committee to favorably report HB 1890. Thank you.

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!

HB1970 - Voter identification; identification containing a photograph required.
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: Burke Locality: Chesapeake

WE HAVE TO ASSURE THE INTEGRITY OF OUR ELECTION PROCESS !!!! In a day in which electoral fraud has become an art form, the General Assembly of Virginia MUST move to guarantee that every legitimate voter may register and vote one ballot in every election his/her precinct has, AND that no one else, no under-age voter, no deceased former voter, no non-citizen, no un-cured felon has access to a ballot. I am sick of the BS reasons the so-call "voter rights" advocacy groups give for their "voter suppression" crusades. Every voter needs an up-to-date voter ID card, issued by the Commonwealth or one of its recognized sub-jurisdictions (cities/counties). If people do not have, or cannot have, a driver's license, then DMV has a perfectly acceptable ID card. Each citizen has a personal responsibility to be a good citizen, including obtaining legitimate photo ID. If the above-mentioned advocacy groups find an otherwise qualified citizen who needs a legitimate voter ID, then let them exercise their charitable motivation and help those citizens get to a DMV office with the correct paperwork. Quit watering down our electoral safeguards in the name of accessibility!!!

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: Faber Locality: Washington Co, Glade Spring

The integrity of our voting system is paramount to elections and the continuance of a free country. If we cannot trust that voting integrity is upheld to only those legally allowed to vote, then we are no longer a free country. Many men and women fought for many years for the rights to vote. If anyone and everyone is allowed to vote, with no integrity in the process there is no sense in even having a voting process. Without integrity in the process tyranny has taken over.

Last Name: Watterson Locality: Chesterfield

Commonsense requirements to assure voting integrity. Reading the bill reveals that the suppression argument is a strawman. This law simply states that the voter is to prove they are who they say they are and are indeed qualified to vote. Where unusual circumstances occur there are mitigating procedures to otherwise assure the identity of the voter and ability to their vote count. We are on a dangerous path to, at a minimum, the perception that the responsible, integrous vote is no more.

Last Name: Klemmer Locality: Virginia Beach

Voter ID with photograph should be required. IDs are required for sorts of things we do in everyday living, it’s a no brainer.

Last Name: McCune Locality: Blacksburg

Strongly support. This is common sense.

Last Name: Hall Locality: Floyd

State issued ID should be required to vote. I also believe that only land owners should be able to vote in future elections. I do not on land and I would no longer be able to vote but I feel those who own property should have more say so in elections because they pay more taxes.

Last Name: Smith Locality: Virginia Beach

This should really be a no brainer. It is quite simple to obtain ID with a photograph and this should not keep any legal voter from casting their ballot. You have to show a picture ID for so many things these day. Every vote is so important and after the mess we have just gone through it seems like Virginia would want to do everything possible so that no questions could arise about the accuracy and integrity of our voting system Please vote YES for required picture ID. We really don’t want illegals or dead folks voting in Virginia!

Last Name: Sparrow Locality: Crozier

I support Voter Identification by photograph. It makes no sense to me that I must an ID to purchase alcohol, or fly at the airport, or purchase tobacco but not to vote. Voting is one of the highest and most important duties in our nation - we cannot reduce it to the same level of significance as buying a burger.

Last Name: Norquist Locality: Fredericksburg

Insure you sign COS and stop with politics!

Last Name: Eckert Locality: Roanoke

HB1746 - I support live video during counting of votes. HB1933 - I oppose the national popular vote compact. Virginia is not one of the more populous states and will for all practical purposes give any impact on elections. With NPV the most populous states will decide the outcomes of national elections. The electoral college was established to protect states from this very situation. HB1970 - I support voter ID that includes a photograph such as a drivers license or ID card issued by the VA DMV.

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

The League of Women Voters opposes HB 1970, which would reinstate the photo ID requirement abolished last year. Not all voters have a photo ID, especially elderly and minority voters who might not drive. Older voters might have difficulty getting to the DMV to obtain a photo ID card. Minority voters might be unable to get off work or might have to take time off to get that photo ID card. The ostensible purpose of the bill would be to prevent voter fraud, which is a problem that does not exist to any meaningful extent whatsoever. This bill serves no benefit; all it does is restrict voting. The League also stands in opposition to HB 2205, which would repeal same-day registration even before protocols and procedures are established. Thank you for your consideration.

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: DeRosa Organization: Spread the Vote - Arlington Locality: Arlington

This will return us to voter suppression - this bill must be laid on the table or killed. There is no evidence of significant voter fraud in the recent elections.

Last Name: Riddle Organization: Virginia Education Association Locality: Richmond City

The Virginia Education Association (VEA) opposes HB 1970 and we ask the committee to oppose the reporting of HB 1970 from the committee. Thank you.

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

Can we not make it harder to vote? We're already gerrymandered and oppressed nationwide. Adding more ways to stop people from voting should not be our goal.

HB2082 - Virginia Redistricting Commission; transparency in redistricting process.
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: Saxon Organization: Virginia Education Association Locality: Charlottesville

The Virginia Education Association supports HB 2082. The redistricting process must be transparent so that voters can have confidence in the process and outcomes. Additionally, the allocation of incarcerated people to their home district is the equitable way to ensure that their needs and civil rights will be considered by the officials that represent their community.

Last Name: Singleton Organization: Office of the Executive Secretary, Supreme Court Locality: Richmond

The amendments to § 30-399 of the substitute may raise Constitutional issues to the extent they limit the Supreme Court’s ability to engage in confidential deliberations and frustrate the Court’s ability to act consistent with the provisions of Article II, § 6-A of the Constitution of Virginia.

Last Name: Shin Organization: Virginia Civic Engagement Table Locality: Richmond

Mr. Chair and Members of the Committee, On behalf of the Virginia Civic Engagement Table, I am confirming our support of HB2082 as this bill helps create needed transparency and accessibility in the redistricting process. We believe the newly developed Redistricting Commission should work to be accessible and transparent in all of its meetings, decisions, and communications. With this legislation, we can better ensure language access, public comment, and inclusivity as we move through the process of Redistricting in Virginia. It is for this reason we would like to thank Delegate Levine for introducing this legislation and being amenable to working with us on amendments. We ask for the committee to vote in favor of this bill. Thank you, Irene Shin Executive Director Virginia Civic Engagement Table

Last Name: Morgan Locality: Leesburg

Please support HB 2082, Mark Levine's bill that provides transparency and fairness to the Redistricting process. It will require meetings and hearings of the commission and the Supreme Court of Virginia to be livestreamed; allows for public comment after maps are proposed; requires any proposed plan be approved by both the Democratic and Republican special masters. This legislation will not delay the commission's work in any way. Increasing public input and transparency will likely improve the maps as well as the process. Thank you.

Last Name: Smith Organization: Herndon Reston Indivisible Locality: Reston

I support HB 2082 Virginia Redistricting Commission; transparency in redistricting process with chief patron Delegate Mark Levine. I did not support the redistricting amendment because of the many flaws inherent in its potential execution – which have come to fruition with the seating of a flawed “citizen” commissioner. Those who campaigned for the Amendment touted it as a system that would be completely transparent to voters and watchdogs, with public meetings to be held across Virginia, with all data and notes from the meetings being completely open to the public. Its time for the delegates, especially those who voted for the Amendment, to stand by the glowing promotions of its value – and ensure that it does what as promised. HB 2082 will bolster the transparency of the commission by requiring all meetings on redistricting in the Virginia Redistricting Commission and the Supreme Court of Virginia to be livestreamed and recorded, whether the meetings are held virtually or in person. In addition, this bill will allow for public comment even after maps have been proposed. It also prohibits off-the-record negotiating on district selection and requires any proposed plan before the Virginia Supreme Court to have the approval of both a Democratic and a Republican special master. This legislation will not hurt or delay the commission's work in any way. By increasing public input and transparency the bill will help make the maps fair and just – which was the original goal of the amendment – was it not?

Last Name: Jacobs Locality: Herndon

The Redistricting commission is off to bad start. I attended the first meeting and there were many problems. For one thing, they didn’t know the census would have provisional data that they could use before I mentioned it to them in chat. It’s also clear the whole committee is flawed because it has no members from the Dulles tech corridor where the largest growth outside of Fredericksburg in the Commonwealth is occurring. No one from Ashburn or Sterling or Herndon! But, that’s not my point. My point is they wish to shut down public comment through chat. Originally they had public comment through chat opened, but they shut off chat when one member of the public wished to speak but couldn’t. This was a travesty of democracy! But, I also think that all questions and chat from the public directed toward the panel should form part of the public record. And this is what I hope the bill will address. I also hope all meetings will have an online component so all Virginians can attend every meeting and be able to testify. I’m disheartened to see supporters of the Capital insurrection on this committee and feel political leadership would have been better off choosing someone from the Dulles tech corridor such as myself, to be quite frank. My application was exemplary and yet no one in the leadership would consider me because they knew I was working for the people, not for them. Leadership chose no one from the Dulles Tech Corridor and I blame the oversight squarely on those politicians lack of respect for the fine people of this commonwealth and instead wishing only to self-serve. I’m sorry I have to be so brutally honest with my opinions and observations. I will end simply with the fact that I write in support of this bill and the greater transparency it will bring to the Redistricting Commission.

Last Name: Jain Organization: Former OneVirginia volunteer Locality: Vienna, VA

I support most of this bill, with one big exception. This bill provides useful transparency improvements to the redistricting commission process. In particular, the requirement that the commission hold public hearings both before proposing new maps and after publishing proposed maps will ensure the public can best express their views during the process. Public comment prior to maps being drawn is useful, but public comment on proposed maps, where problems can clearly be observed, is essential. However, I am concerned with the special master provision. I worry that creating a process where the governor can appoint a tiebreaking special master creates incentives for the party that controls the governorship to recommend initial special masters who will refuse to negotiate, with the intention of having the Governor's "tie-breaking" special master draw maps gerrymandered for that party. This adds more partisanship to the process rather than less. It is better to either keep things as they are or, even better, to allow the Supreme Court to appoint their own special master without input from any politicians. I cannot support this proposal as written, but if the "tiebreaker" special master provision is removed, I would enthusiastically support it.

Last Name: Widener Locality: Gainesville

100 % Voting Rights for incarcerated and those released. Court fees should not deny voting.

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: Jacobs Locality: Herndon

I support Del. Price’s HB1890. Photo ID laws exist to disenfranchise the less well off who often dont have a drivers license of ID card and use public transit. Identifying voters is important but that can be done with a simple name and address document like an electric bill. Further, if photographic evidence is required, let it be on the Commonwealth to ensure the registrar has citizen photos rather than the citizen requiring a photo ID. Most of all, a photo ID not provided for by the Commonwealth is simply a form of, albeit minimal, poll tax. I support Del. Levine’s HB2082. Yesterday, I attended the first meeting of the Redistricting Board. I am concerned that this meeting was not live-streamed to Facebook and/or YouTube, and that the process had so little scrutiny. I’m more disturbed that the chat feature that the public can use was subsequently disabled and someone was barred from submitting commentary because of technical difficulties. Finally, I think all chat and questions for the committee should be added to the public record. There is much to improve in the Redistricting process, and thus bill goes a long way to make it better.

Last Name: Rhyne Organization: Virginia Coalition for Open Government Locality: Williamsburg

The Virginia Coalition for Open Government supports the bill.

Last Name: Bikoff Organization: Virginia Democracy Forward Locality: McLean

I urge you to send forward for approval HB2082, another superb effort by Delegate Mark Levine. I opposed the Constitutional Amendment for a re-districting commission and wrote several analyses of the measure and related statutory alternatives that I sent to members of the General Assembly and published in the online press. Now that the Commission, which the voters approved, is a reality, I support measures that will strengthen it. HB2082 is such a bill. HB2082 sets out important transparency and public participation features for the Commission and, wisely, makes them applicable to the Virginia Supreme Court, if the process defaults there under the Amendment. There is no justification for redistricting done by the Court to not be fully transparent and participatory, especially since recent legislation directs the Court to use two Special Masters. Importantly, this bill makes all "meetings and records" of the Court and Special Masters subject to Virginia FOIA and defines all of their "records and documents," including internal communications, as public information. It is notable that this bill requires that both Special Masters endorse the proposed maps, as a condition for the Court's approval. This will help to remove political party partisanship. The bill also wisely provides a tie-breaker, with a third special master appointed by the Governor, should the first two be deadlocked. A final worthy feature of HB2082 is that it prevents members of the Court, the Special Masters, and other staff and consultants in the redistricting process from engaging in off-the-record communications about establishing districts. This is important to reduce the opportunities for special pleading and horse-trading by persons with an interest in how districts are drawn, especially incumbent legislators and their leaders and supporters. It will help achieve the promise of the Amendment's proponents of ending the practice of "politicians choosing their voters" and creating safe districts for themselves. I believe existing legislation already imposes similar restrictions on secret communications by members of the Commission, especially the citizen members. I suggest that if there are looser rules that apply to the legislator members, that these be tightened, to make them identical to restrictions on the citizen members and similar to the provisions of HB2082 for the other participants (Court members, Special Masters, etc.) noted above. Thank you for your attention and consideration.

Last Name: Hickman Organization: Virginia Press Association Locality: Richmond

The Virginia Press Association supports this bill.

Last Name: Marianne Bure Organization: Virginia Grassroots Coalition Locality: Fairfax, VA

In the last election, the new Constitutional Amendment 1 was passed with the intent of fixing the problem of partisan gerrymandering. That solution is being accomplished through the use of a citizen-led redistricting commission with participation by legislators. A goal of the Amendment was to create a system that would be completely transparent to voters and watchdogs, with public meetings to be held across Virginia, with all data and notes from the meetings being completely open to the public. This bill will bolster the transparency of the commission by requiring all meetings on redistricting in the Virginia Redistricting Commission and the Supreme Court of Virginia to be lives-treamed and recorded, whether the meetings are held virtually or in person. In addition, this bill will allow for public comment even after maps have been proposed. It also prohibits off-the-record negotiating on district selection and requires any proposed plan before the Virginia Supreme Court to have the approval of both a Democratic and a Republican special master. This legislation will not hurt or delay the commission's work in any way. By increasing public input and transparency the bill will help make the maps better.

Last Name: Riddle Organization: Virginia Education Association Locality: Richmond City

The Virginia Education Association (VEA) supports HB 2082 and we ask the committee to favorably report HB 2082. Thank you.

Last Name: Fox Organization: myself, also as a former OneVirginia2021 volunteer Locality: Alexandria

Dear committee members, I write to you as someone passionate about redistricting reform who got pulled into the OneVirginia2021 cause years ago, after reading David Daley's amazing book about gerrymandering, "RAT-XXXYYY" (can't give the full title here - anyway....) If you've read Daley's book you would know how important transparency is to redistricting reform. When lines are drawn in darkness, then the partisan forces take over and the public good is shut out. Frankly whether these meetings are open to the public is, arguably as (or maybe more important) a detail as citizens being members of the the line-drawing commission. Now that so many of us are living and working from home 24/7 and unable to go to in-person meetings because of COVID, the need for open, public meetings is all the more urgent. The public must be part of the redistricting conversation, and they will not be able to see what the commissioners are doing or leave public comment, if the meetings aren't open for all to see. Live-streaming is where technology and democracy meet, it levels the playing field, so that people who can't attend a meeting because of childcare or a demanding job can still engage in some civic participation. I urge you to give this bill your full consideration and vote YES. Abby Fox (an Alexandria resident and constituent of Del. Levine, bill patron.)

Last Name: Nawaz Organization: Virginia Democracy Forward Locality: McLean

Dear Delegate, Please support HB 2082 regarding the Virginia Redistricting Commission and transparency in the redistricting process. This bill will bolster transparency of the redistricting commission that will be established as a result of the new Constitutional Amendment 1 which passed last election. A goal of the Amendment was to create a system that would be completely transparent to voters and watchdogs, with public meetings to be held across Virginia, with all data and notes from the meetings being completely open to the public. The bill will bolster the transparency of the commission by requiring all meetings on redistricting in the Virginia Redistricting Commission and the Supreme Court of Virginia to be livestreamed and recorded, whether the meetings are held virtually or in person. In addition, this bill will allow for public comment even after maps have been proposed. It also prohibits off-the-record negotiating on district selection and requires any proposed plan before the Virginia Supreme Court to have the approval of both a Democratic and a Republican special master. Please note that this legislation will not hurt or delay the commission's work in any way. By increasing public input and transparency the bill will help make the maps better. Thank you so much for your attention.

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!

HB2205 - Same-day voting; repeals provision relating to voting after registration records close.
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: Norquist Locality: Fredericksburg

Insure you sign COS and stop with politics!

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

The League of Women Voters opposes HB 1970, which would reinstate the photo ID requirement abolished last year. Not all voters have a photo ID, especially elderly and minority voters who might not drive. Older voters might have difficulty getting to the DMV to obtain a photo ID card. Minority voters might be unable to get off work or might have to take time off to get that photo ID card. The ostensible purpose of the bill would be to prevent voter fraud, which is a problem that does not exist to any meaningful extent whatsoever. This bill serves no benefit; all it does is restrict voting. The League also stands in opposition to HB 2205, which would repeal same-day registration even before protocols and procedures are established. Thank you for your consideration.

Last Name: Kanoyton Organization: Gaylene LLC Locality: Hampton

VSC NAACP oppose this bill

Last Name: Kanoyton Organization: VSC NAACP Locality: Hampton

VSC NAACP doesnt support Del Gilbert's bill hb2205

Last Name: Besa Organization: Sierra Club Virginia Chapter Locality: Chesterfield County

Sierra Club opposes HB2205 • In 2020, the General Assembly took various bold actions to ease access to the ballot including same day registration and vote. • With Virginia’s long, sorry history of voter suppression, measures to ease access to voting only begins to repair the injustices of the past. • There are sufficient safeguards in place to ensure that same day registration and voting can be conducted while maintaining the integrity of our electoral o A vibrant democracy depends on an engaged electorate. The more people vote, the healthier is our democracy. o Same day registration and voting is a commonsense means of easing access to voting. o Because virtually all citizens support clean air and water and a healthy climate, it makes sense that the more citizens are engaged in the electoral process, the more support there will be for environmental policies that protect our water, our air and our climate

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.

End of Comments