Public Comments for 01/26/2021 Privileges and Elections - Election Administration Subcommittee
HB1746 - Conduct of elections; vote counting, required live video recording.
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

In a nation such as ours, in which the citizens choose who will represent them and their values in government, ELECTION INTEGRITY is ESSENTIAL! I fully support the requirement to video record all activities in each precinct that have to do with the handling of ballots after they are voted, to include the receipt and accounting of all blank ballots prior to the opening of the polls and the handling of all voted ballots after the polls close, especially curb-side-voted ballots and absentee ballots. We must restore the confidence of the citizens by taking every measure necessary to guarantee the integrity of the vote!!!

Last Name: Miller Locality: Fairfax County

An excellent idea. After the last debacle of an election, people have NO trust in our election system. We have to provide proof of identity to take the Covid vaccine, to fly on planes, to check out library books. Voting is one of the most important responsibilities American citizens have. Why would we require greater vetting of identity to check out a library book than to vote? We need to ensure that the person casting the vote is indeed that person and they are a legal citizen. And, dead people should not be able to vote. Their names should be stricken from the voter records as soon as a death certificate is requested. The only opposition to this would be from people who want to cheat.

Last Name: Miller Locality: Fairfax County

An excellent idea. After the last debacle of an election, people have NO trust in our election system. We have to provide proof of identity to take the Covid vaccine, to fly on planes, to check out library books. Voting is one of the most important responsibilities American citizens have. Why would we require greater vetting of identity to check out a library book than to vote? We need to ensure that the person casting the vote is indeed that person and they are a legal citizen. And, dead people should not be able to vote. Their names should be stricken from the voter records as soon as a death certificate is requested. The only opposition to this would be from people who want to cheat.

Last Name: Mann Locality: Fredericksburg

These comments are perfectly matched to mine, so I copied them: 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: Activist voter Locality: Roanoke, VA

An excellent idea. After the last debacle of an election, people have NO trust in our election system. Anything we can do to make elections more transparent is a great idea. The only opposition to this would be from people who want to cheat.

Last Name: Samuel Locality: Ashland

The electoral College keeps power in each state. Do not give up Virginia‘s power by agreeing to a national popular vote. The national popular vote would take power from individual citizens in the United States, leaving national elections open to the state that could produce the most fraud. Then we have a banana republic, as in the 2016 election.

Last Name: Deniise DaMoude Locality: Virginia Beach

Defeat this bill. Thank you

Last Name: Deniise DaMoude Locality: Virginia Beach

Defeat this bill. Thank you

Last Name: Gage Locality: Fairfax Station

Please vote no on HB 1746. Protect Virginians and their right to vote for the candidate that they choose, not the candidate that a more populous state chooses.

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: Sheard Locality: Augusta

Please vote no on HB1746 and preserve the electoral college vote as it was established.

Last Name: Kline Organization: Retired Locality: Shenandoah

Please vote no on HB 1933. Continue to Allow our electors to voice the voters choice in our federal elections!

Last Name: Hall Locality: Floyd

This would be a great idea to prevent the election fraud that we have seen in our most recent election. It's sad that half the country doesn't trust the election system after the last election. Many americans, such as myself, may never vote again due to the fraud that took place in the 2020 presidential election.

Last Name: Morrow Locality: McLean

I support this bill. It's a good idea to have transparency in our state and local elections so that the kinds of shenanigans attempted by the 45th president will not happen again. People need to have faith in the fairness of elections.

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: Marsh Locality: Virginia Beach

This is something that needs to be done to insure the integrity of our elections.

Last Name: Chris Harris Locality: Lancaster County

Recent election was completely controlled by mail in ballots in a push to stuff the ballot boxes with democratic votes. It needs to be investigated under public review. I have no confidence in the election results in Ga Pa or Va. 804-240-8880 Chris Harris

Last Name: MAYS Locality: FAUQUIER

I oppose HB1933. Bad idea. Keep the electoral college. I favor HB1746. We must have fair and accurate elections.

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: Mathews Locality: Midlothian

HB1933 - I object to this bill. Our electoral system is fine the way it is when implemented according to the constitution. HB1746 - video recording is a good idea. An honest election count is a better idea.

Last Name: Thompson Locality: Powhatan

In the 2020 election, at least 10 people that I know that voted in person, did not have votes shown. I myself have 0 faith in our government or their capability to hold a fair and just election.

Last Name: Ball Locality: Christiansburg

The election have been a fraud in Virginia for many years.

Last Name: Haider Locality: Alexandria

I encourage our members to support HB 1956, HB 1902. HB 1746 and HB1952

HB1758 - Voter registration; list of decedent transmitted by St. Reg. of Vital Records to Dept. of Elections.
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: Ohta Organization: We The People Locality: Centreville

SUPPORT HB 1758 - Stop fraud by removing deceased people from voter registration lists. Everyone should vote on election day, with the exception of REQUESTED absentee ballots. No more mail in voting, no more extending voting for months, no more sending out ballots to every house, no more extending deadlines, no corrections, no nothing. Get to the polls on election day and place a paper ballot into the machine - no more excuses. We have public transportation, we have buses, we have ubers, we have taxis, we have friends with cars, their is even a free ride service for the elderly. Enough is enough. ELECTION DAY is for VOTING, not ELECTION SEASON and not ELECTION MONTHS. There should never again be voter fraud like there was in 2020. Stop making pathways for more fraud and corruption in this system that is sacred and cherished among all Americans. The more you pull it apart the less it means. And it does mean something - it allows the American people to have their voice be heard. Stop trying to hinder that by allowing false, fraudulent, felons, fake, phony and deceased people's ballots to be counted.

Last Name: Burke Locality: Chesapeake

How could anyone oppose this bill!!!???? The FRAUDULENT PRACTICE of some whereby a deceased person's name continues to be active on registered voter listing and in a pollbook and another person illegally votes a ballot in the name of the deceased MUST BE STOPPED. This bill just makes sense! Every Registrar of Voters in the Commonwealth is required to ensure the voter rolls are up-to-date for each election and this bill helps them do their job!! YES on HB1758!!!

Last Name: Miller Locality: Fairfax County

An excellent idea. After the last debacle of an election, people have NO trust in our election system. We have to provide proof of identity to take the Covid vaccine, to fly on planes, to check out library books. Voting is one of the most important responsibilities American citizens have. Why would we require greater vetting of identity to check out a library book than to vote? We need to ensure that the person casting the vote is indeed that person and they are a legal citizen. And, dead people should not be able to vote. Their names should be stricken from the voter records as soon as a death certificate is requested. The only opposition to this would be from people who want to cheat.

Last Name: Activist voter Locality: Roanoke, VA

An excellent idea. Working in the funeral business, I witness only ONE locality that calls us to verify deaths. We need a system to force all locations to SCRUB their voter lists, removing all dead people! This is just common sense.

Last Name: Samuel Locality: Ashland

The electoral College keeps power in each state. Do not give up Virginia‘s power by agreeing to a national popular vote. The national popular vote would take power from individual citizens in the United States, leaving national elections open to the state that could produce the most fraud. Then we have a banana republic, as in the 2016 election.

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: Hasbrouck Locality: Ashland

I support both of these bills for the good of Virginia. Much is needed to secure fair and reliable voting practices and decrease voter fraud. We have lost a lot of faith in the voting process integrity during the past elections. Re. HB1833 I am opposed to this bill re: negating the electoral college .

Last Name: Norquist Locality: Fredericksburg

Insure you sign COS and stop with politics!

Last Name: Chris Harris Locality: Lancaster County

Recent election was completely controlled by mail in ballots in a push to stuff the ballot boxes with democratic votes. It needs to be investigated under public review. I have no confidence in the election results in Ga Pa or Va. 804-240-8880 Chris Harris

Last Name: Smith Locality: Bedford

We are having to provide proof of identity to take the Covid vaccine, to fly on planes, to check out library books. Voting is one of the most important responsibilities American citizens have. Why would we require greater vetting of identity to check out a library book than to vote? We need to ensure that the person casting the vote is indeed that person and they are a legal citizen.

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: Wilson Locality: Prince William co

I am in favor of this bill. Dead people shouldn5 be able to vote. Their names should be stricken from the voter records as soon as a death certificate is requested.

Last Name: Brooks Locality: Fredericksburg

HB 1758 - I am not in favor of the provisions of this measure. HB - 1933 - I am in favor of this bill to provide a more accurate representation of the complete Virginia vote.

Last Name: Ball Locality: Christiansburg

The election have been a fraud in Virginia for many years.

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

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.

HB2278 - Voter registration; political party affiliation, closed primary elections.
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: Gruber Organization: Open Primaries Locality: Brooklyn

We stand in opposition to HB 2278 which would restrict voter choice and give legal authority to close primary elections to the state’s Republican and Democratic Parties. Virginia is one of twenty states that use nonpartisan voter registration. In Virginia, you are registered with the state as a voter-not a member of a private political party. That means that every voter-regardless of their personal political beliefs- is given full choice in each election cycle to choose a ballot of the party of their choice. Virginia’s primary elections are publicly funded by the taxpayers after all. If Virginia were to adopt the type of partisan voter registration envisioned by HB 2278, two things would happen. First, it would require voters to declare a political affiliation or no political affiliation at all to the state of Virginia. It would force such voters into silos that restrict their choices at the ballot box. We are at a moment where hyper partisanship is tearing at the fabric of our society-why would Virginia want to adopt legislation to exacerbate those divides? Second, is the effect HB 2278 would have on the state’s large base of independent voters. A record number of voters identify as independent in Virginia -they are rapidly becoming larger than either Party. That includes over 50% of young people-Millenials and Gen-Zers-who are now the largest group of voters by age. Today, they enjoy full equality with the state’s party leaning voters. HB 2278 would dramatically change that and start a process to disenfranchise millions of independent Virginians. That’s because the Supreme Court has ruled -in California Democratic Party v. Jones-that parties as private organizations have a 1st Amendment right to choose who can and can’t participate in partisan primary elections. Right now, because Virginia utilizes non-partisan voter registration, a voter is deemed to have “affiliated” with a party by choosing its ballot on election day. Federal Courts in cases such as Democratic Party v Nago, have upheld that interpretation as Constitutional. Were Virginia to adopt partisan registration, the Jones decision would give either Party the legal standing to sue to close its primary to only voters registered with that party. The Republican Party of Idaho did just that in 2011, and shut out every independent voter. While HB 2278 allows for independent voters to participate by picking a party ballot of their choice, it's a legal certainty that the process of their disenfranchisement would immediately begin. The sponsors of HB 2278 claim, without evidence, that voters are misusing the system. We know, from substantial study of nonpartisan voter registration in the twenty states that use it, that doesn’t happen. I would be happy to provide this Committee with a sample of such research. If the Legislature were truly interested in reform, it wouldn’t be to move in the wrong direction by adopting partisan registration. Four diverse states-Alaska, California, Nebraska and Washington -have dispensed with partisan primaries altogether, and let all voters vote in one single open, public primary where all the candidates are on the same ballot, all voters participate and the top vote getters move on to the general election. Virginia should consider such a system. HB 2278 would move Virginia backwards and down the road of suppressing the vote of millions. That’s a mistake, and we strongly encourage you to vote no on HB 2278.

Last Name: Richardson Locality: FALLS CHURCH

I’m an Independent voter, and I oppose HB 2278 because its premise is that political parties own and control primary elections – which I do not accept. Moreover, while this bill permits Independent voter participation, it is clearly a step toward exclusion. Polling indicates that the percentage of voters in the U.S. who identify themselves as Independents exceeds those identifying with either major party. Although our movement grew because of partisan behavior, Democrats and Republicans alike have responded with more of the same. Consequently, our system has become less democratic because elections and policies are decided by a shrinking percentage of the population – those who are most loyal to one of these two parties. Less than three weeks ago, hyper-partisans stormed the Capitol in Washington, prompting President Biden to devote his inaugural address to a plea for unity. Today in Richmond, it’s business as usual, with the annual attempt by the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) to close its primary. Instead of welcoming voters who could help them select a candidate with broad appeal, the RPV evidently prefers to anoint someone who will prioritize the party’s interest. Over the last decade, their fear of uncertainty in primary elections led to decisions by party leaders to nominate their candidates via convention. Viewed through a partisan lens, this might seem clever and even fair, but even Republican voters are offended. We cannot allow primary elections to become the exclusive domain of privileged political parties because they determine choices of all voters in the general election. It doesn’t take a degree in political science to see that if you control the rules of the game, you can control the outcome. This limits voters to bit parts in a play directed by powerful special interests – which is oligarchy, not democracy. Elections (including primaries) are important not just because they have results and consequences but because they represent a democratic process of self-government. They should be inclusive, i.e., designed to encourage all eligible voters to exercise their right of participation. Currently, Virginia law provides a reasonable option for voters to choose a primary ballot. Each of us gets to pretend we are a party member for one day. That may annoy some party members, but since the rest of us are paying for the election and have just as much at stake, it’s fair. At least we all have an equal opportunity to influence the outcome, given other constraints imposed by our partisan legislature. A better option would be a truly open primary that places all candidates on one ballot. That would allow voters to select members of different parties for different offices instead of having to decide which race matters most. Each of us would get to be Independent for one day. This may be more than just annoying to party members, but it is undoubtedly the most democratic option. Here in Virginia, we finally struck a blow against gerrymandering with Amendment 1 to our Constitution (which created a bipartisan redistricting commission). It’s worth noting that the Democratic Party of Virginia opposed it after they seized control of the General Assembly. This was a rare opportunity for direct voter input – because we do not have initiative and referendum privileges in Virginia. Instead, we must hope our elected officials are listening. I hope you are listening to all of us.

Last Name: Norquist Locality: Fredericksburg

Insure you sign COS and stop with politics!

Last Name: Phillips Organization: self Locality: Oakton

HB 1756: Corporations are not people. Let representatives represent the People. HB 1933: Virginia has over three times the number of people per electoral vote as Wyoming does. The process does not represent one person, one vote. Make it fair and join the compact. https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_population#:~:text=List%20of%20U.S.%20states%20by%20population%20%20,%20%205.91%%20%208%20more%20rows HB 2278: Don't make it harder to vote. People need to be engaged in the process. If you want to change up the voting system, go to Rank choice voting https://ballotpedia.org/Ranked-choice_voting_(RCV)

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.

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