WASHINGTON, D.C. — Republicans in the Virginia Legislature have already introduced over 20 bills to restrict mail-in voting, limit drop box locations and add burdensome identification requirements. After widespread use of mail-in voting during the 2020 and 2021 elections, the proposed bills reinstate a narrow list of acceptable excuses to vote by mail, remove the permanent mail-in ballot list, shorten the period in which you can cast a mail-in ballot and eliminate drop box locations. Other proposed bills add new witness or identification requirements to request mail-in ballots.
The Republican-proposed bills threaten to reverse Virginia’s progress from the past two years with a Democratic trifecta, such as the expansion of voting options, encouragement of mail-in voting during the pandemic and enactment of a state-level Voting Rights Act. Democrats still hold a slim majority in the state Senate, but Republicans control the governorship and the House of Delegates following the November 2021 elections and the inauguration of Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) this past weekend.