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The state of Virginia has taken a few backward steps, making our elections more vulnerable to irregularities and even voter fraud.
· Witness Signature. SB 1097 eliminated the witness signature when someone votes absentee during a declared pandemic and set up a committee to study eliminating the witness signature altogether.
· 133 Ballot Printers. SB 1239 allows local registrars to contract with third parties to print ballots. This increases the unregulated power of private vendors to hold the keys to our elections. It will serve to only increase fear of the printing and casting of fraudulent paper ballots. Virginia has 95 counties, and 38 cities, with a registrar in everyone. These 133 independent ballot printers are security risks to Virginia’s elections.
· Drop-off locations. SB 1245 codifies “drop-off” locations for ballots. This also requires that drop-off locations be available on election day, further diminishing the role of in-person voting.
· Register & Vote Remotely. SB 1331 eliminates the requirement that newly registered voters vote in person on the first election. Now a person can register and vote remotely, without ever being verified face-to-face.
· Sunday Voting.
· Restricting Law Enforcement. SB 1111 restricts an officer of an election from being allowed to deputize persons to act as law enforcement officers in ensuring the law is followed inside polling locations.
· Banning Firearms. HB 2081 bans voters from carrying a legal firearm within 40 feet of a polling location, or near the electoral board.
· Increasing Executive Authority. HB 1810 expanded the Governor’s authority to expand the voter registration period.
· Allowing Minors to Register. HB 2125 allows for pre-registration of 16-year-old beginning in 2022.
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