Senate Privileges & Elections rejects early voting, new forms of photo ID

Richmond, Va. – This afternoon, the GOP-controlled Senate Privileges & Elections Committee defeated several Democratic bills to make voting easier. Sen. Janet Howell’s (D - Reston) SB 677, which would have instituted early voting in Virginia, failed in a party-line vote of 8-7. Republicans also defeated bills that would have made photo IDs issued by private high schools (Sen. George Barker’s (D - Fairfax) SB 820) and resident photo IDs issued by care-providing institutions like nursing homes (Sen. Jennifer Wexton’s (D - Loudoun) SB 922) into acceptable forms of voter ID. In response, Senate Democrats made the following statements:

Said Sen. Howell, “Our democracy works best when every voice has a chance to be heard. My bill would have removed barriers to voting, making it easier for all Virginians to participate. I am deeply disappointed that Republicans chose not to pursue that goal today.”

Said Sen. Wexton, “If nursing home employees’ photo IDs are accepted at the polls, residents’ photo IDs should be acceptable, as well. If public school student photo IDs are acceptable, private school photo IDs should also count. Many of our current rules are arbitrary — and by failing to change those rules, we silence voices that deserve to be heard.”


The Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus supports the legislative, political and electoral endeavors of Virginia Democratic senators. The caucus does everything it can to help senators carry out their mission to represent all Virginians and pass legislation that reflects Virginia’s mainstream values.
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