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Northam Virginia Votes to expand voting rights, increase government transparency

Ralph Northam announced Virginia Votes, a series of proposals to expand voting rights and increase government transparency in the Commonwealth, including same-day voter registration and no-excuse early voting, ending the practice of unrecorded voice votes in the General Assembly, and repealing Virginia’s unnecessary and onerous voter identification law.

ralph northamAs a former member of the Privileges and Elections committee and a veteran, Ralph Northam understands the importance of expanding access to voting, and standing up to disenfranchisement, including for those who’ve served this country.

The full set of proposed reforms include:

  • Repealing the unnecessary and restrictive voter identification law

  • Same-day voter registration

  • No-excuse early voting

  • Declaring Election Day a state holiday

  • Continuing Governor McAuliffe’s leadership on voting rights restoration

  • Working in partnership with localities to ensure polling place access for college students

  • Supporting Virginia signing the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact to award all the commonwealth’s electoral votes to whichever presidential candidate wins the overall popular vote in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

  • Continuing the fight for nonpartisan redistricting reform

  • Ending the practice of unrecorded voice votes in the General Assembly

  • Making all past and future video recordings of floor sessions, committee, and subcommittee meetings public records accessible to all Virginians

  • Increasing public access to the General Assembly via live streams of floors sessions, committee and subcommittee meetings

Northam released the following statement on his Virginia Votes proposal:
“Encouraging every Virginian to engage in civic life makes our democracy stronger. That’s why we should be doing everything we can to empower participation, not extinguish it. Republicans in Richmond have been systematically disempowering Virginia voters for years. I’ve fought against them, especially during my time on the Privileges and Elections committee. From passing unnecessary and restrictive voter ID laws to gerrymandering our congressional districts beyond reason or recognition, they’ve proven time and time again that their priority isn’t expanding democracy—it’s suppressing the voices of their opposition.

“Pulling back the curtain on what happens in Richmond will mean that we can hold our elected officials accountable all year, especially when they are voting to place barriers in the way of fair redistricting processes. As governor, I’ll work on creating a culture of transparency that fosters participation from every Virginian, no matter who they are, no matter where they are.”



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