New Voting & Elections Laws took effect July 1, 2020
- Allows any voter qualified to vote in an election to vote absentee without an excuse.
- Virginia’s election maps are gerrymandered. Virginia’s Constitution allows legislators to draw boundaries that ensure they are reelected. Legislators are able to use detailed voter data in selecting their own constituents. Last year, after extensive negotiation, Virginia’s legislature passed a constitutional amendment for a redistricting commission of 8 legislators and 8 citizens, with a citizen chair. Virginia’s legislature passed the constitutional amendment the requisite second time this session, along with criteria legislation from Senator Jennifer McClellan and Delegate Cia Price. The Senate vote was 38 – 2, and the House vote was 46 – 43. The General Assembly also passed a ballot referendum which will put the matter before voters in the November general election.
- HB19 and SB65 eliminate, for most qualified voters, the requirement to provide photo identification at the polls
- HB213 adds to the list of acceptable forms of voter ID a valid student photo ID card issued by any institution of higher education in any other state or territory of the United States
- Repeals laws that were still on the books relating to voting restrictions, poll taxes, and registration records separated on the basis of race
- Gives visitors to the Department of Motor Vehicles the choice to opt out of registering to vote instead of an opt in to filling out a voter registration application.
- Designates Election Day, the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, as a state holiday and removes Lee-Jackson Day as a state holiday.
High School Voter Registration, HB1491 (Guy)
- Requires every public high school to give students, who are eligible to register to vote, access to registration information and applications, or access to the online registration system, and the opportunity to apply during the school day.
Same Day Registration & Voting, HB201 (Ayala), delayed effective date of July 1, 2022.
- Will let qualified voters register and vote on the same day if they provide proof of residency.