Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Elections
State Board of Elections
Absentee Voting [1 VAC 20 ‑ 70]
Action Material omissions from absentee ballots.
Stage Final
Comment Period Ends 10/12/2011
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10/11/11  6:53 pm
Commenter: Chip Atkins

Oppose new regulations for absentee ballots

As a member of the Alliance for Progressive Values, I oppose the new regulations for absentee voting in Virginia. The right to vote is fundamental to a healthy democracy and APV believes strongly that in dealing with the issue of absentee voting, all efforts should be targeted at increasing and expanding opportunities to exercise the franchise, not in arbitrarily limiting them. At a time when public participation in elections is low, we should be making it easier, not harder to vote.

There is no reason to change the existing regulations. To date there is simply no evidence that voter fraud is occurring in Virginia at even minimal levels. Tightening regulations on absentee voting will not result in cleaner elections it will only serve to disqualify valid votes for minor errors. The idea that a voters’ penmanship, a misspelled address or a shortened or slightly altered name like "Robert" to "Bob" could serve as a basis for denying them the right to vote is noxious on its surface. A person who is certified to vote absentee is already “certified”, they have established their credentials in advance, there is simply no need for such nitpicking. 

Voting is a right, not a privilege, disqualification should only be for serious, substantial reasons. There seems to be little doubt these regulations will have a deleterious affect on seniors, students, minorities and members of the military who use the absentee system the most. In Virginia, a state with a long history of voter suppression and a recent history of voter emancipation we should be moving forward not back in terms of delivering the franchise to all our citizens. I oppose the new regulations.


CommentID: 20810