2018 Legislative Priorities
2018 Legislative Priorities LWV-VA
Elections and Voting (LWV-VA Election Laws position)
“The League of Women Voters of Virginia believes that democratic government depends on the informed and active participation of its citizens; that voting is a right and responsibility; and that election laws, regulations and administrative procedures should be uniformly designed and applied, and adequately funded to facilitate and increase voter participation throughout Virginia. Specifically, the League supports measures to ensure the availability of voter registration and to encourage and facilitate increased voter participation in elections, including: absentee voting by mail and in- person without a reason; an adequate number of voting machines and trained election officers; the use of satellite voting; split shifts for election officers when needed; and measures that take advantage of technological advances such as online voter registration and the use of electronic poll books. The League also supports the shared funding of statewide registration and voting systems by the localities and the Commonwealth; providing adequate authority and resources to the Department of Elections (ELECT) and the State Board of Elections (SBE) for oversight and enforcement of laws and standards for registration and elections uniformly throughout the Commonwealth; and the use of secure electronic means to facilitate voter registration and absentee voting for Virginia’s military and overseas voters. (2011, 2015) “
Power to the Voter: Voting Enhancement, Expansion and Modernization.
- Support “No Excuse Absentee Voting”.
- Support Automatic Voter Registration with DMV transactions (AVR with opt-out provision).
- Support of additional eligible and valid Photo IDs.
- Support additional hours and days for absentee in-person voting
- Support a shorter interval between the registration deadline and election day
Protect the Vote (LWV-VA Election Laws position)
- Oppose Photo ID requirement for absentee ballot application.
- Oppose adding Photo IDs to electronic pollbooks.
- Assure the use of only secure, reliable equipment for voting.
Voter Registration and Protection (LWV-VA Election Laws, LWVUS Voting Rights)
- Assure proper list maintenance to prevent the erroneous removal of voters from rolls.
- Streamline the DMV/DOE transfer of online voter registration data.
- Oppose requiring proof of U.S. Citizenship for Voter registration.
- Expand online access for registration at public agencies (NVRA “Motor Voter”)
- Oppose voter registration by party affiliation
Election Administration (LWV-VA Election Laws): Support funding to assure superior election administration including:
- Secure, reliable equipment
- Adequate election official personnel and consistent training statewide.
- Thorough analysis and certification process of election results
- Significant training materials and education for operating equipment.
- Extensive Public education in case of new voting laws and processes
- Restore Voting Rights of Felons (LWV-VA Restoration of Civil Rights of Felons)
- Support increased eligibility, convenience, public awareness, and an expedited restoration process.
- Support automatic restoration of voting rights
- Support increased funding for personnel to process restoration
Redistricting (LWV-VA Reapportionment & Redistricting, LWVUS Redistricting)
LWV-VA: “Support for the establishment, in law, of a politically balanced and independent Reapportionment Commission for each decennial redistricting to prepare, with the Virginia Department of Legislative Services, a plan for submission to the legislature as specified by the Virginia Constitution. The Commission should be bi-partisan and be composed of individuals who are not elected officials; they should represent the geographical distribution and demographic diversity of the state, and consist of an uneven number of members. In addition to the Virginia constitutional requirement of equal population, contiguous and compact districts and the need for protecting the voting strength of minority groups, the League supports the following considerations in redistricting:
- Natural geographic boundaries;
- Jurisdictional boundaries;
- Communities of interest; andCompetitiveness The Virginia constitution should be amended to provide that redistricting will occur on a decennial basis only. (1985, 2007)
- Support reform for fair redistricting and fair elections
- Support a bipartisan process to include significant public participation.
Women’s Issues: Women: Rights, equality and safety (LWVUS Reproductive Choices, Equality of Opportunity)
- Support Women’s Reproductive Rights
- Oppose defunding of women’s health clinics such as those funded by Planned Parenthood
- Support ratification of the ERA
- Support legislation that advances compliance with the ERA and its goals.
- Support gender equality in housing, pay, employment and benefits.
Support for state funding for public schools that insures a high quality education with equal educational opportunities for all children, including:
- Full funding for the Standards of Quality and state mandates;
- Increasing the state’s share of education costs;
- Funding for half-day pre-kindergarten programs for at-risk children, and full-day kindergarten programs;
- Funding some portion of capital costs; and
- Improving the funding formula for determining local ability to pay, using it as a basis for distribution of state education funds. (1993)
Support a challenging curriculum, high expectations of students and teachers in mastering that curriculum, and appropriate assessments of student achievement for a quality education in the public school system K-12.
Essential curriculum elements include:
- Core disciplines (English, Math, Science, History and Social Studies);
- Art, Music, Physical Education, Health, and Foreign Languages;
- • Analytical skills;
- Integrated technology; strong remedial programs;
- Programs for at-risk, gifted and special needs students;
- Education for students with limited English proficiency, in which emphasis is placed on teaching English; and
- Career and technical education.
Support professional education for principals and teachers and on-going staff development; class size appropriate to instructional goals; a safe environment for students and staff; and discipline, preventative programs and a consistently enforced, well-defined system of rules; guidance counseling for academics and support services; and parental and community support and involvement. Support opportunities to select a specific program or school. These opportunities should be based on a system of equity so that all qualified students have equal access. (2003)
Elements of a quality education also include: school- based teamwork, goal setting and decision-making, application of learning to life experiences, and incentives, recognition, and awards for both students and teachers (1999)
Health Care and Behavioral Health
- Health Care (LWVUS Health Care, Funding of Entitlements, Meeting Basic Human Needs)
- Support expansion of Medicaid
- Behavioral Health (LWV-VA Social Policy: Mental Health) Mental Health Support for a comprehensive state public mental health care system of quality, statewide and community based services that meets the mental health needs of all Virginians, including:
- Long-range planning, coordination among agencies, and the use of established criteria for allocation of funds.
- Assistance in providing adequate and appropriate housing for the mentally ill.
- Comprehensive and consistent service delivery in all local communities.
- Advocacy programs that ensure patients’ rights at all levels. (1987, 1988, 1989)
- In- and out- patient mental health and substance abuse programs oriented to the needs of juveniles. (LWV-VA Social Policy Juvenile Justice)
Transportation (LWV-VA Transportation
Support for regionally balanced transportation systems which efficiently and economically meet regional needs without adversely affecting planned growth or the environment.
- Regional organizations that set policy for a multi- modal public transportation program, that plan, co-ordinate, and are the designated recipients of federal and state funds, that operate or contract for services, and that could have taxing power.
- A mixture of public (federal, state, and local) and private funding for public transportation.
- Increased local participation with some public funds utilized to encourage private support and the use of innovative financing methods, such as tax incentives to encourage private sector participation.
- Provide a variety of incentives to increase the use of public transportation.(1996)
Campaign Finance Reform (LWVUS Money in Politics (see page 22 of Impact on Issues 2016-18))
Campaign finance regulation should
- enhance political equality for all citizens
- ensure transparency
- protect representative democracy from distortion by big money, and
- combat corruption and undue influence in government.
- League believes that campaign spending must be restricted but not banned.
- League supports public ënancing, full disclosure, abolishing SuperPACs and creating an effective enforcement agency.
(see more info at: http://lwv-va.org/members-corner/legislative-tools-priorities/