State delegate wants early voting open to all

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) — State Delegate Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond) has proposed HB1353, a bill that would allow any Virginian to vote by absentee.

Presently, voters must provide a valid excuse to obtain an absentee ballot.

“There is no reason not to have no excuse absentee voting,” Morrissey said.

One of the reasons behind Morrissey’s decision to introduce the bill was the long lines that many Virginians saw on election day in November 2012.

“Currently there are 19 different excuses people can list, it’s getting silly,” Morrissey said.

When asked about who would fund this, Morrissey indicated funding would not be an issue.

“It’s not going to be any additional cost at all,” Morrissey said.

But Chesterfield County Registrar Larry Haake disagrees.

“It would be another example of an unfunded mandate,” Haake said.

Haake says if early voting by absentee was opened up for everyone it would cost Chesterfield more than $40,000 dollars to implement.

“Right now the state-supported funding for local elections has been reduced almost 40 percent,” Haake said.

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