Legislation Aims for Voting Ease

Jan 20, 2014

Voting could be easier if one Virginia lawmaker has his way.  One proposal would  allow absentee ballots from anyone who’d like to vote early – and another that could lead to voting by mail.

 Audio FileSandy Hausman reports.  Edit | Remove

During the last presidential election, lines of voters were long, and some polling places had to stay open late.  That should not necessary in the opinion of State Delegate Marcus Simon, and he’s introduced a couple of bills that could make voting in Virginia easier.  Right now, for example, you need to say you’ll be out of town, working or caring for a loved one on Election Day in order to cast an early ballot in person.  

“You need to explain yourself.  What’s your good reason for not being able to vote on Tuesday, and I don’t think you ought to have to explain yourself to the government.   It’s none of their business why you want to vote on Saturday. If you want to vote on Saturday, you ought to be able to do it.”

And Simon’s got another bill that would allow local boards of election to set up a demonstration project for voting by mail.  

“Instead of coming to the polling place and voting in person that day, here’s the ballot.  It’s very similar to a mail-in absentee ballot.  We’ll give it to you in advance.  Get it mailed back to us, and we’ll count them up that way.”

Simon does not believe either measure would cost the state anything, but he says there will be opposition from Republicans who’ve seen what happens in other states and know that making it easier to vote tends to favor Democrats. .