House Rejects Bill to Simplify Voting for Seniors

~ SB139 would have allowed any voter 65+ to cast absentee ballot ~


RICHMOND—The House of Delegates today defeated a bill by Sen. John Miller (D-Newport News) to make it easier for senior citizens to vote. SB139 would have allowed any qualified voter age 65 or older to vote by absentee ballot. The measure, which passed the Senate with a bipartisan margin of 34-6, was defeated on a voice vote in a 7 a.m. meeting of the House of Delegates’ Elections sub-committee.

            “This bill provided a simple and secure way to simplify voting for our seniors,” said Sen. Miller. “I am disappointed that this bill, which gained bipartisan support in the Senate, was killed by a handful of Delegates in a sub-committee without even getting a full hearing before the committee.”

Virginia law currently requires voters to meet one of a series of excuses in order to vote absentee. SB139 would have added to this list those voters who will be 65 and older on the day of the election.

The House Elections sub-committee has also been assigned SB83, sponsored by Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax). This measure, which also passed the Senate with a bipartisan margin of 29-10, would allow any qualified voter to cast an absentee ballot in person without an excuse. It has not yet been scheduled for consideration by the sub-committee.

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