Northam Signs Laws Expanding Election Access


By Richard Foster, VirginiaBusiness

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed laws this weekend repealing Virginia’s voter ID law, making Election Day a state holiday and expanding access to early voting.

After July 1, voters will not be required to show a photo ID in order to vote. The new laws also repeal the controversial Lee-Jackson Day state holiday in January, which honors the Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, and replaces it with a state holiday on Election Day in November. Northam also signed legislation that will allow Virginians to engage in early voting 45 days prior to an election without stating a reason. Currently, voters who wish to file an absentee ballot must select a reason from an approved list.

“Voting is a fundamental right and these new laws strengthen our democracy by making it easier to cast a ballot, not harder,” Northam said in a statement. “No matter who you are or where you live in Virginia, your voice deserves to be heard. I’m proud to sign these bills into law.”


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