Proposals to limit corporate money in politics and personal use of campaign funds, along with bills to expand absentee voting or address problems with incorrectly assigned voters that wreaked havoc on Virginia’s 2017 elections, are set to be considered by the Virginia General Assembly in the session that begins Wednesday. Redistricting changes are a key issue this year, since any significant change to policy would require an amendment to the state constitution be approved by both this year’s session and the next, before sending it to Virginia voters in 2020. Proposals meant to remedy voters being assigned to the wrong districts would require additional reviews and attempts to restrict the number of precincts split between multiple legislative districts.
There are also a number of bills aimed at expanding voting access — including proposals to repeal Virginia’s ban on felons voting, to repeal Virginia’s photo ID requirement for in-person voting, to eliminate the requirement that voters have a qualifying reason to vote absentee, to expand automatic voter registration, to provide additional voter registration information at colleges and jails, and to test running elections by mail.
Another bill though would require additional verification of voter registrations with an exact match to additional databases in order to keep people on the rolls.
And another bill again aims to expand the State Board of Elections and limit the governor’s authority over state elections.