House Appropriations Committee reports standalone elections budget

2020 election
(© Leigh Prather –

The House Appropriations Committee reported a bill that would create a standalone budget funding voter access measures for the Nov. 3 elections.

House Bill 5103, reported out of committee by a vote of 13-9 on Monday, will fund prepaid postage for voters to return complete absentee ballots. The bill also authorizes local registrars to establish secure absentee ballot drop-off locations and creates a “cure” process for absentee ballots received in advance of the deadline, ensuring no one’s vote is discarded due to immaterial omissions.

The purpose of the separate funding bill is to put these voter access changes in place as soon as possible to allow Virginia’s general registrars adequate time for implementation before the election.

House Appropriations Chair Luke Torian (D-52nd District), a co-patron, issued the following statement:

“With only 71 days left before the election, it’s our responsibility to make sure every Virginian has the opportunity to vote safely and securely in November. Protecting voting rights should be an issue that everyone can agree on. That’s why we introduced a stand-alone appropriations bill that requires immediate action not linked to other vital funding decisions. I hope the bill will pass quickly so our General Registrars are supported as they begin their urgent work.”

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