RICHMOND, Va. -- Days after the Virginia Senate voted not to move special local elections to November, Governor Ralph Northam announced he is using his executive powers to move the elections back two weeks.
Northam announced Friday he is signing an executive order to move the elections from Tuesday, May 5 to Tuesday, May 19.
During a veto session on Wednesday, the House of Delegates voted to approve the proposal while the State Senate didn't take up Northam's proposal, effectively killing it.
“Virginians should not have to choose between their ballot and their health,” said Northam. “I am greatly disappointed in the Senate for failing to take this action to protect our fellow Virginians.”
While Virginians will be allowed to head to the polls on May 19, the governor is strongly urging voters to vote absentee by mail.
Local General Registrar offices must receive mailed-in requests for absentee ballots for the May 19 election by 5:00 PM on Tuesday, May 12.
“For people who do come out, we will make it as safe as possible,” said Northam. “We are planning to use some of the volunteers through our medical reserve corps to help elections works and polling places put additional safety measure in place.”
Those measures will include a supply of PPE like gloves and masks for the poll workers.