Senate Passes Bill to Allow Seniors to Vote Absentee

RICHMOND—The Democratic-led Senate of Virginia today passed SB139, making any qualified voter age 65 or older eligible to vote by absentee ballot without having to provide an excuse. Sponsored by Sen. John Miller (D-Newport News), the bill will simplify voting for many Virginians who may have challenges getting to their polling place on Election Day.

            “If you are 65 years of age and older you will not need an excuse to vote absentee,” said Sen. John Miller, the bill’s patron. “We want to make it as easy as possible for our seniors to cast their ballot.”

Virginia law currently requires voters to meet one of a series of excuses in order to vote absentee. SB139 will add to this list those voters who will be 65 and older on the day of the election for which an absentee ballot is requested.

Yesterday the Senate passed SB83, sponsored by Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) which would allow any qualified voter to cast an absentee ballot in person without an excuse.

SB139 passed the Senate by a vote of 34-6. Voting was as follows:

YEAS—34

Barker, Blevins, Colgan, Deeds, Edwards, Herring, Houck, Howell, Locke, Lucas, Marsden, Marsh, McDougle, McEachin, McWaters, Miller, J.C., Miller, Y.B., Newman, Norment, Northam, Petersen, Puckett, Puller, Quayle, Reynolds, Ruff, Saslaw, Stuart, Ticer, Vogel, Wagner, Wampler, Watkins, Whipple

NAYS—6

Hanger, Hurt, Martin, Obenshain, Smith, Stosch.

 

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