LWV-VA Action Alert: Tell your Delegate to Vote Yes on HB1226 Post-election deadlines; provisional ballots and absentee ballots.
A quick look at the House Floor Schedule for 2/10/18 and you will see that HB1226 is in the list of contested bills for first reading. Start contacting your Delegates ASAP. There will be a total of three readings, but they are really pushing the schedule so it could show up quickly. Help us make sure that this bill goes to the Senate!
[See house floor schedule here: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?181+cal+HC10210]
- The bill as reported by the House Privileges and Elections Committee would provide that an absentee ballot postmarked on or before election day would be counted if received before noon the following Monday.
- Passage of HB1226 now would assure that this change applies to absentee ballots in 2018 elections if any are delayed by the Post Office.
- The bill would resolve in favor of voters any Post Office delays, such as occurred in the 28th district in 2017.*
- LWV-VA 2018 Legislative Priorities include Elections and Voting. “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.” http://lwv-va.org/members-corner/legislative-tools-priorities/
- The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that voting is a fundamental citizen right that must be guaranteed. Statement of Position on Citizen’s Right to Vote, as Announced by National Board, March 1982: http://forum.lwv.org/member-resources/book/voting-rights
A substitute bill for HB1226 was reported from the House Privileges and Elections Committee by a bipartisan majority today, Feb. 9, 2018. The original bill would have extended the time allowed for a person who voted a provisional ballot to provide the identification to have the ballot counted. The bill also provided that an absentee ballot postmarked on or before election day would be counted if received before noon the following Monday.
The P&E subcommittee recommended continuing the bill to 2019, that is, adding it to the legislation to be considered by the proposed joint subcommittee to study election issues.* The full P&E committee, however, voted to report a substitute bill that covers only the second part, the delayed absentee ballot. The substitute bill can be read at https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?181+ful+HB1226H1
While both parts of the original bill would have increased voter confidence that all ballots that should be counted are counted, the substitute bill would still resolve in favor of voters any Post Office delays of absentee ballots.