Gov. Northam announces proposals to expand safe, fair voting access

Gov. Northam announces proposals to expand safe, fair voting access
(Source: AP)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Governor Ralph Northam announced three proposals for Virginians to have safe and fair access to the ballot box for the November 3 General Election amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The three proposals for access to voting are:

  • Prepaid postage: Governor Northam’s proposed budget sets aside $2 million for prepaid return postage on all absentee ballots sent out for the November 3rd General Election.
  • Drop off boxes and drop off locations: The Governor’s proposal includes language expressly permitting localities to use drop boxes or implement drop off locations for Virginians who choose to vote absentee, under security standards to be set by the Virginia Department of Elections.
  • Absentee cure process: This measure will ensure Virginians’ voting rights are protected by allowing them to fix an error on their absentee ballot. Currently, Virginians who make an error are not able to fix that error and therefore their ballot may be discarded. Many Virginians will be voting absentee for the first time this November, and this language will help ensure Virginians’ votes are counted.

“As we continue to navigate this pandemic, we must take additional steps to make it easier to vote, not harder,” Governor Northam said. “With these measures, we will protect public health and ensure Virginians can safely exercise their right to vote in the November election. Whether you put your ballot in the mail or vote in-person, voting will be safe and secure in our Commonwealth.”

The measures were unveiled by the Governor during a virtual Joint Meeting of the House Appropriations, House Finance, Senate Finance and Appropriations Committees, and will be considered by legislators during the special General Assembly session set to begin this afternoon.

Copyright 2020 WWBT. All rights reserved.