Every State, Every Vote: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam Expands Voting Access and Establishes Election Day As A Holiday

Yesterday, Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam enacted wide-sweeping reforms to expand access to voting across the state and to give Virginians a new holiday to celebrate – Election Day.

Gov. Northam signed multiple pieces of legislation into law that will make it easier for all Virginians to cast their ballots. Measures include removing photo ID requirements, allowing no-excuse early voting up to 45 days prior to an election, and making Virginia the 19th state to institute automatic voter registration. The governor also signed a bill establishing Election Day as a state holiday, replacing the state’s Lee-Jackson Day. 

Read more about Gov. Northam’s new legislation below and learn how Democratic governors are fighting to expand access to the ballot box at EveryStateEveryVote.com.

CNN: Virginia governor makes Election Day a holiday and expands early voting

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Sunday that he signed a series of new measures into law aimed at expanding access to voting in the commonwealth.

The new legislation will establish Election Day as a holiday, remove the requirement that voters show a photo ID prior to casting a ballot and, expand early voting to be allowed 45 days before an election without a stated reason.

“Voting is a fundamental right, and these new laws strengthen our democracy by making it easier to cast a ballot, not harder,” Northam said in a statement. “No matter who you are or where you live in Virginia, your voice deserves to be heard. I’m proud to sign these bills into law.”

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MSNBC: Elections have consequences in Virginia: Dems expand voter access

As rough as the 2018 election cycle was for Republicans, 2019 was arguably worse. The party’s gubernatorial candidates fell short in Kentucky and Louisiana, despite Donald Trump’s considerable efforts, and Democrats took complete control in Virginia, flipping both chambers of the state legislature.

And in the Old Dominion, the new Democratic majority is, among other things, changing the way Virginia’s electorate has access to the ballot box.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed legislation that repeals voter ID laws, makes Election Day a state holiday and expands access to early voting…. Early voting will now be allowed 45 days prior to an election without a stated excuse. Previously if voters wanted to participate in early voting, they would need to provide a reason from a list approved by the state. A separate bill expanded absentee voting timelines.

“Voting is a fundamental right, and these new laws strengthen our democracy by making it easier to cast a ballot, not harder,” Northam said in a press release yesterday. “No matter who you are or where you live in Virginia, your voice deserves to be heard. I’m proud to sign these bills into law.”

What’s more, let’s not forget that the package of reforms included automatic voter registration for the commonwealth. According to the latest tally, I believe Virginia is the 19th state, plus the District of Columbia, to adopt AVR.

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The Hill: Virginia governor signs legislation dropping voting restrictions

Virginia will no longer require voters to show a photo ID prior to casting a ballot and the state will join a handful of states across the nation in making Election Day a state holiday, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) announced Sunday. 

Northam said he signed a series of bills aimed at expanding access to voting. 

“Voting is a fundamental right, and these new laws strengthen our democracy by making it easier to cast a ballot, not harder,” Northam said in a statement Sunday. “No matter who you are or where you live in Virginia, your voice deserves to be heard. I’m proud to sign these bills into law.”

Northam signed a bill replacing a state holiday, Lee-Jackson Day, that honored Confederate generals with a state holiday designated for Election Day. 

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WSLS: Gov. Northam removes Lee-Jackson Day as a state holiday, brings early voting to Virginia

Government employees have had Lee-Jackson Day off for the final time.

Gov. Northam announced that among the voting-related bills he signed, House Bill 108 and Senate Bill 601 will make Election Day a state holiday while stripping Lee-Jackson Day of that status, to maintain the same number of state holidays.

The governor also signed House Bill 1 and Senate Bill 111, which allows Virginians to vote 45 days prior to an election without a stated excuse. Currently voters who wish to vote absentee must provide a reason, from an approved list, why they are unable to vote on Election Day.

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WSET: Gov. Northam makes Election Day a state holiday and expands early voting

Virginia has expanded access to voting.

Governor Ralph Northam announced on Sunday, April 12, 2020, that he has signed bills into laws repealing Virginia’s voter ID law, makes Election Day a statewide holiday and expands access to early voting.

“Voting is a fundamental right, and these new laws strengthen our democracy by making it easier to cast a ballot, not harder,” said Governor Northam. “No matter who you are or where you live in Virginia, your voice deserves to be heard. I’m proud to sign these bills into law.”

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