Recounts, ballot problems and a televised tiebreaker made Virginia’s 2017 election cycle a wilder ride than normal, but the General Assembly will take a slow and steady approach to figuring out legislative fixes. Republican leaders from the House of Delegates and state Senate announced Thursday that they will create a joint subcommittee to study the issues and craft a comprehensive response for the 2019 session. At a news conference, Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment, R-James City, said legislators have heard plenty about “the chaos in some areas” of the 2017 elections. “Rather than doing this in a chaotic way, we have made a decision to undertake it in a deliberate and structured format,” Norment said.
“One of the most sacred rights offered to the people of Virginia is the right to vote in a fair and free election,” said House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights. “And we really feel like we owe it to the people to get this right.”
Cox said the subcommittee will focus on absentee voting, how voters are assigned to legislative districts in split voting precincts, and procedures for recounts and tiebreakers.