RICHMOND, Va. — Governor Northam wants to make voting an easier process for state citizens.
On Monday, he proposed a few pieces of legislation that would expand early voting and make Election Day a state holiday.
The governor suggested making Election Day a state holiday so that every Virginia has time and opportunity to cast their ballot. The measure would maintain the same number of state holidays if Lee-Jackson Day is repealed.
The Commonwealth currently requires absentee voters to provide the state with a reason, from an approved list, why they are unable to vote in Virginia on Election Day. Northam's proposal for this upcoming General Assembly session would allow early voting during the 45 days before an election.
Senator Mamie Locke, who represents parts of Portsmouth, Hampton, Newport News and York County, sponsored this particular bill.
“Voting is a fundamental right,” said Governor Northam. “But in a state that once put up tremendous barriers to voting, too many people are still unable to participate meaningfully in our democracy. By making it easier—not harder—to vote, these proposals will ensure we are building a government that is truly representative of the people we serve. I look forward to working with the General Assembly to pass these important measures into law.”