RICHMOND – Their age alone still won’t entitle senior citizens to vote by absentee ballot.
The last remaining legislative measure to allow no-excuse absentee voting by Virginians 65 and over was rejected by a House subcommittee today. That means they will still have to choose from a list of specified excuses – such as disability, business travel or extended work hours – to qualify for an absentee ballot.
“We’re putting senior citizens in a position of lying,” state Sen. John Miller, D-Newport News, patron of the Senate-passed measure (SB724), told the panel.
Neither his plea nor the support of the State Board of Elections, the League of Women Voters and the state registrars’ association was enough to sway the subcommittee, which killed a similar House measure last month.
It appears that no expansion of voting rights will be approved by this year’s General Assembly. To the contrary, legislation (HB1337, SB719) shortening the list of acceptable forms of voter identification is moving toward passage.
-Bill Sizemore, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot