Virginia Bill Would Add Absentee Exception For Seniors | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Virginia Bill Would Add Absentee Exception For Seniors

Play associated audio
Virginia seniors may soon have the ability to cast their ballots well in advance of Election Day.
Alejandro Mejía Greene: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jubilo/386243713/
Virginia seniors may soon have the ability to cast their ballots well in advance of Election Day.

All Virginia voters who are age 65 and older would be able to cast absentee ballots without providing a reason to justify doing so under legislation that has cleared the state Senate.

Under current law, Virginians must provide a reason from an approved list in order to cast an absentee ballot. For example, that the voter will be away on business on Election Day.

The bill's sponsor, Newport News Democrat John Miller, told the Senate that voting should be more accessible, especially for seniors.

"I've talked to a number of registrars who say a senior citizen will come in and request an absentee ballot, but cannot find an excuse that fits their circumstances, and we're forcing those folks to lie," Miller says.

Virginia Beach's Republican senator Jeff McWaters agreed, adding that voting is especially difficult for those with disabilities, which was clear in the last election with its lengthy lines.

"And one of the particular issues with poll workers who had to go out to cars and buses to allow people who were not able to get out of their car or bus to go in and vote," McWaters says. "It slowed the lines down. And in many cases, there were not enough workers at the polls to even do it, and voters had to go home."

The bill passed the Senate on a lopsided 28 to 9 vote and now goes to the House.

NPR

A Historic Backdrop Frames Forbidden Love In 'The Paying Guests'

Sarah Waters' latest novel, set in 1920s London, examines the moral consequences of passion. Though slightly too long, this book brings the past to life with exquisite clarity.
NPR

Before You Take A Bite Of That Mushroom, Consider This

Guess what scientists found lurking inside a common-looking packet of supermarket porcini? Three entirely new species of fungi. That's what happens when you DNA sequence your dinner.
NPR

Move To Curb U.S. Corporate Tax Dodges Could Delay Reform

Business and consumer groups say Congress needs to reform taxes, but few expect change soon. In fact, Treasury's tweaks to tax law may diminish the political will to address broader tax reform.
WAMU 88.5

Montgomery County's Drones Are Ready, But Policy Isn't

The county government has purchased four drones for use by its fire department and innovation office, but bureaucracy is keeping them grounded for now.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.