Our View of the Legislature: Voting

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Under the official calendar adopted by the House and the Senate, this is the day that each house may only work on bills that began in the other house, known as “crossover.”  The Governor has extended the length of the session, which was originally scheduled to end this Wednesday.

Here are some of the bills that the General Assembly will work on, to improve the ability for Virginians with disabilities to have full access to the right to vote:

Delegate Price’s HB 1921 was approved by the full House.  The bill assures that voters who wish to vote curbside may do so without having to enter the building.  Polling places will be required to post information about how to request a curbside ballot.  The bill now moves to the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections.

HB 1888 was approved by the House and now moves to the Senate for consideration.  The bill, from Delegate VanValkenberg and many others, makes various reforms to absentee voting processes and procedures.  The most significant reform for voters with disabilities is a requirement that a ballot marking tool with screen reader assistive technology must be available for all absentee voters with a print disability.  Likewise, SB 1331, from Senator Reeves, would require a ballot marking tool for those who use screen readers.  That bill has been approved by the Senate and now moves to the House Committee on Privileges and Elections.

In SB 1097, from Senator Favola, the requirement for a signature to be witnessed on an absentee ballot will be removed.  For people with disabilities who want to vote absentee during the current epidemic, removing this requirement provides better health protections.  This bill has been approved by the Senate, and moves to the House for debate.

Please continue to check back here for regular updates on developments in the legislature and let us know of any legislative proposals or budget issues that you think we should be following.  Contact us at info@dlcv.org or by calling 1-800-552-3962 or 804-225-2042