With only 15 days until Election Day in Virginia, I wanted to repost this article I wrote last year about the huge progress the state was able to making with voting rights. This is what we can gain when the Democrats are in control (and don’t have to contend with a filibuster) AND what we are in danger of losing if we allow either the governorship or any chamber in the state legislature to flip red.
Please help protect Democratic majorities in Virginia!!
A Fully Blue Virginia Just Massively Expanded Voting Rights
Originally published April 17, 2020
Oh, the power of voting locally.
Since the 2016 election, left-leaning voters in Virginia have been fired up, and have been winning state legislative (and executive) seats. They made huge gains in 2017 and then finally flipped both chambers of their state legislature in 2019 to make the state a trifecta, along with their Democratic governor.
Since they gained control of the government, the Democrats got to work on expanding voter rights. Earlier this week, Governor Ralph Northam signed into law several voting rights measures, including:
- making Election Day a state holiday
- repealing the strict Voter ID law
- adopting Automatic Voter Registration
- eliminating the need for an excuse to vote absentee
- transitioning elections to paper ballots
- extend the hours on Election Day by 1 hour
- allowing any ballot that is postmarked on Election Day to be counted, as long as it is received within 3 days of Election Day
This is what Gov. Northam said as he signed the bills:
“Voting is a fundamental right, and these new laws strengthen our democracy by making it easier to cast a ballot, not harder. 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.”
I couldn’t agree more. I hope that many people will see these incredible voting rights reforms in Virginia and will redouble their efforts to help more Democrats win their elections at the state level.
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Tokyo, what is less known, the voter restrictive legislation in some states in response to the former president’s continuing Big Lie that he won the election and it was stolen from him, is the voter restriction efforts have been in full swing since the 2010 midterms. Armed by a census year, the Republican party used cookie cutter language from ALEC to adopt new Voter ID laws that hampered the right to votes by African-American, students, and the elderly. These and the gerrymandering efforts allowed some people to get elected that are not the most reasonable of people. Many of these efforts were ruled unconstitutional, but damage had been done.
The irony is you have one of the most untruthful acting former presidents who planned to do the Big Lie for many months causing his sycophants to accuse the other side of cheating to gain election law changes which allow even more restriction. As an independent voter, that is what I see and have seen. When I wrote the author of the restrictive NC Voter ID law before it passed, he ripped me a new one for calling it Jim Crow-like. The law was later ruled unconstitutional.
Love that you wrote the author of that hill,
Keith. Your clarity and activism are inspiring.
Many thanks. I wish he would have listened, but he was not known for listening.