State Watch

Virginia governor announces bill to repeal voter ID requirement, allow no-excuse absentee voting

Greg Nash

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) announced Monday that he is introducing a legislative package that would repeal voter identification requirements and implement no-excuse absentee voting.

The package also addresses campaign finance, proposing to limit large campaign contributions, ban contributions made directly by corporations and businesses and ban the use of campaign funds for personal use.

{mosads}Northam said in a statement announcing the legislation that the package would “encourage every eligible voter to exercise” their right to vote.

“Participation makes our democracy strong — we should encourage every eligible voter to exercise this fundamental right, rather than creating unnecessary barriers that make getting to the ballot box difficult,” Northam said.

“I am also hopeful we will be successful working together this session to increase the transparency of our elections for Virginians by imposing reasonable limitations on campaign contributions,” he added.

Kaye Kory, a Democrat in Virginia’s House of Delegates, said in the statement that the current law that requires voters in Virginia to present a photo ID to vote “prevents the most vulnerable Virginians from voting.”

“Voting is the constitutional right of every American citizen. Lawmakers should be working to increase access to the voting booth, not inventing ways to keep voters away from the polls,” Kory said. “The photo ID requirement prevents the most vulnerable Virginians from voting and silences the voices of those who most need to be heard.”

Northam’s office argues in the statement that, if implemented, no-excuse absentee voting would also give citizens in the state greater access to voting.

If no-excuse absentee voting were to be implemented, voters in Virginia would be able to vote absentee without having to provide a reason to do so. 


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