I was busy with two events already when Congresswoman Wexton held this interesting Coffee with the Congresswoman event with one of my favourite Virginia Delegates, Cia Price, and Tram Nguyen with New Virginia Majority.
One of the most important issues in the age of SARS-CoV-2 is voting access when polling places are such potential vectors for disease. Last week, I was past of a phone town hall with State Senator Barbara Favola. I was very happy to learn that Governor Ralph Northam is considering holding a special session of the General Assembly this September to ask the them to vote on universal vote-by-mail. This is something Virginia needs! After all, it already works very well in Washington, Oregon, Utah, Colorado, and Hawaii.
Delegate Price agrees. She has stood with me on a number of other important non-partisan voting rights bills, such as the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact and two bills to develop a non-partisan way of generating legislative districts. Another bill would have set up a nonpartisan redistricting commission. The committee would have begun as soon as one July, to start the process of determining the 2021 districts. Unfortunately, that bill failed. However, she was able to pass legislation which made most forms of packing and cracking illegal while still protecting the spirit of the Voting Rights Act.
Now it remains to see if we can give Virginia a more streamlined vote-by-mail process. The main issue is to remove the onerous signature requirement. Also, as Tran points out, we need to make sure folks who are visually impaired can vote. If people change residences without informing the Commonwealth, they shouldn’t be dropped from the voting rolls. We also need to consider people who are just used to voting in person on election day. One solution is to maintain opened polling locations on election day, but by default allow everyone to vote-by-mail with no signature nor an excuse, and not dropping anyone because the voting invitation mail bounces.
Or, if we do still need a signature, I suppose I could ask my voting buddy Rachel to take care of mine, as I take care of hers.
I’m live right now with Delegate Cia Price and Tram Nguyen, Co-executive Director of New Virginia Majority, to talk…Posted by Jennifer Wexton on Saturday, May 2, 2020
Every mail-in-vote equal, and one person one letter containing a vote. That’s one goal we at the NPVIC must strive for.
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