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

Opulent And Apolitical: The Art Of The Met's Islamic Galleries

Navina Haidar, an Islamic art curator at the Met, says she isn't interested in ideology: "The only place where we allow ourselves any passion is in the artistic joy ... of something that's beautiful."
NPR

Tired Of The Seoul-Sucking Rat Race, Koreans Flock To Farming

More than 80 percent of people in South Korea live in cities. But in the last few years, that has started to change. Tens of thousands of South Koreans are relocating to the countryside each year.
WAMU 88.5

Virginia Republicans Warn Of High Energy Costs With Obama's 'Clean Power Plan'

Republican leaders in Virginia say Obama's clean energy plan would drive up energy costs and damage a struggling economy. Democrats say saving the planet is more important than the short-term problem of higher energy bills.
NPR

Hope Or Hype: The Revolution In Africa Will Be Wireless

Young entrepreneurs in Africa say that they're leading a tech movement from the ground up. They think technology can solve social ills. But critics wonder if digital fixes can make a dent.

Leave a Comment

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