Let People Vote: Ensuring Justice at the Ballot
Virginia has a long and troubled history with voting rights. Virginia is the fifth worst state in the nation at disenfranchising its citizens and, worse, the unfair, disproportionate impact on the African-American community is increasing. It is time we made clear that the right to vote is essential to a healthy democracy, and it belongs to the people. It is not a privilege to be used by the government to reward or punish its people.
Proposals for Reform:
1. Guaranteeing the Right to Vote:
All citizens should be able to exercise their fundamental right to vote without restriction. It is time we made clear that the vote is inherent to citizenship, the essential building block of civic life in our democracy, and it belongs to the people, not the government they elect. In order to guarantee the right to vote
for all Virginians, we must enact a concise constitutional amendment that:
(1) repeals current discriminatory limits on the right to vote; and
(2) inserts an affirmative right to vote in Virginia that cannot be abridged by law
2. No-excuse Absentee Voting:
We also need to repeal our outdated excused-based absentee voting laws that allow only certain classes of voters to vote by absentee ballot, while prohibiting all other voters from using the same process. The time has come to recognize that all voters in our democratic society should be able to vote by absentee ballot without being required to provide the government with an excuse for doing so. It is imperative that Virginia promote fair, free, and accessible elections by enacting true reform that allows every citizen to have an equal voice in our democracy.