Del. Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke) introduced four new bills on election reform in Virginia. His bills include voluntary public financing of campaigns, redistricting reform, and two constitutional amendments that would allow 16-year-olds to vote in local elections, and a change the Initiatives and Referendums process.
“Over the past two election cycles, I think it is clear that our election process needs to be reformed.” said Delegate Rasoul. “As a Delegate, I represent the people who put me in office. I feel it is my duty to ensure there is fairness in the election process and that we keep the power in the hands of the people.”
Public Financing of Campaigns (HB 275): Establishes a voluntary program for administering public funds to qualified candidates for the purposes of campaigning for office.
Ending Gerrymandering (HB 276): Establishes a Virginia Interim Redistricting Commission (the Commission) when any congressional or state legislative district drawn is declared unlawful or unconstitutional by order of any state or federal court. The Commission will be tasked with determining a redistricting plan remedying such unlawful or unconstitutional district.
Direct Democracy (HJ 34): Allows the people the power to propose and enact laws and constitutional amendments by initiative, to reject legislative acts by referendum, and to remove certain elected officials by recall.
Lowering Voting Age (HJ 33): Allows any person who is sixteen years of age or older to be permitted to register to vote and to vote in local elections.
HB 275, HB 276, HJ 34, and HJ 33 will be heard when the General Assembly convenes in January 2018.