House GOP continues offensive against extended voting measures
With memories of long poll lines still fresh in the minds of many Virginia voters, House Republicans blocked an attempt to make voting more accessible by opposing legislation to extend polling hours from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Campaign Finance subcommittee Wednesday evening.
Currently, polling locations in the Commonwealth are open until 7 p.m. for both federal and state elections. Virginia’s neighbors, North Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia all have their polls close at later times.
“Extending the time that polls are open just one hour until 8 p.m. would make it easier for many commuters, parents and young people to vote. With extended voting hours, lines would be less congested and voting would be made easier for everyone,” said Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Springfield). “Despite the numerous benefits of extending voting hours to 8 p.m., I am disappointed that our efforts to make voting more accessible for Virginia families and workers were not successful.”
“Since Election Day is not a holiday for most people, citizens have to make plans to cover their work, childcare and family responsibilities. A cumbersome, lengthy voting process could be discouraging to voters,” said Del. Luke Torian (D-Dumfries). “The voting process should be managed in a speedy, efficient pro voter manner. We need reforms that will make it easier for citizens to exercise their constitutional right to vote … this bill was designed to prevent the kind of challenges that occurred during the 2012 election in Prince William County. “