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Voting access expands after Northam enacts new laws

(WDBJ)
Published: Apr. 12, 2020 at 1:42 PM EDT
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Virginia's voter ID law has been repealed, Election Day is now a state holiday and access to early voting has grown. Lee-Jackson Day has been repealed as a way to keep the same number of state holidays.

“Voting is a fundamental right, and these new laws strengthen our democracy by making it easier to cast a ballot, not harder,” said the Governor in a statement. “No matter who you are or where you live in Virginia, your voice deserves to be heard. I’m proud to sign these bills into law.”

The following bills became law:

-House Bill 1 and Senate Bill 111, sponsored by House Majority Leader Charniele Herring and Senator Janet Howell, respectively:

early voting 45 days prior to election without stated excuse.

-House Bill 19 and Senate Bill 65, sponsored by Del. Joe Lindsey and Senator Mamie Locke, respectively:

no more requirement that voters show a photo ID before casting their ballot. According to the statement, "Voter ID laws disenfranchise individuals who may not have access to photo identification, and disproportionately impact low-income individuals, racial and ethnic minorities, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities."

-House Bill 108 and Senate Bill 601, sponsored by Del. Joe Lindsey and Senator Louise Lucas, respectively:

Election Day is now a state holiday. Lee-Jackson Day repealed to keep same number of state holidays.

-House Bill 235 and Senate Bill 219, sponsored by Del. Joshua Cola and Senator David Marsden, respectively:

automatic voter registration for people at Department of Motor Vehicles office or DMV website

-House Bill 238 and House Bill 239, sponsored by Del. Mark Sickles, and Senate Bill 455, sponsored by Senator Bryce Reeves:

absentee voting timelines expanded to ensure access to polls

-House Bill 1678, sponsored by Del. Joe Lindsey:

in-person polling hours extended through 8 p.m.

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