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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10/7/11  7:52 pm
Commenter: Raymond Firehock, Private Citizen and Registered Voter

Democracy Demands the Presumption on Behalf of the Voter

In this Commonwealth and in this nation the honest practice of participatory democracy demands that the presumption to be used when evaluating a voter's ballot is that he or she did it correctly.  Only the most material of omissions or the most egregious of errors should disqualify any otherwise valid vote.

For example, if a date is not in a prescribed format but can reasonably be interpreted (i.e., 20111105 or 5 XI 2011) the vote must count.  Indeed, if a ballot is timely received there should be a presumption that it was executed prior to the deadline whether or not it bears a "correct" date.

Or, a difficult to read handwriting must be assumed to be legitimate and legible or the Americans With Disabilities Act would be nullified.

In short, the tabulators of ballots must err on the side of the voter, not an arbitrary and probalby unenforceable standard.



CommentID: 19885