RICHMOND, Va. — A bill that would allow no-excuse absentee voting has advanced in the Virginia State Senate.
Introduced by Sen. Janet D. Howell, Senate Bill 111, passed with a 31-9 vote on Monday. Sen. Jennifer McClellan, the co-patron on in the bill, tweeted after the vote.
Currently in Virginia, there is a 45-day period leading up to Election Day where voters can cast early or absentee ballots if they meet one of the approved reasons for doing so.
During Gov. Ralph Northam’s 2020 State of the Commonwealth address, he stated that making voting easier was one of his goals.
Northam wishes to end the requirement that says residents must tell the state why you need to vote early. He also believes Election Day should be a state holiday.
“Voting is a fundamental right,” said Governor Northam. “But in a state that once put up tremendous barriers to voting, too many people are still unable to participate meaningfully in our democracy. By making it easier—not harder—to vote, these proposals will ensure we are building a government that is truly representative of the people we serve. I look forward to working with the General Assembly to pass these important measures into law.”
The bill will now go to the House for passage.