Howell’s Bill to Update Absentee Voting Process Advances

A bill that no longer requires voters to provide an excuse to cast an absentee ballot cleared the Senate this week.

The bill, which was introduced by Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston) allows registered voters to cast an absentee ballot in any election where the voter is qualified to cast a ballot.

Howell’s bill was part of a package of bills that tweak the voting process in Virginia.

Other proposals, which got a green light from the Senate earlier this week, include designating Election Day as a state holiday and extending the deadline for the receipt of military and overseas absentee ballots.

Proposals in the House and Senate to remove photo ID requirements were killed in committee.

The proposals would have allowed voters to show registration statements, bank documents or other government-issued paperwork with the name and address of the voter.

Howell’s bill passed in the Senate by a 31-9 vote.

Photo by Catherine Moran

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