Changes in Election Law in the 2011 Legislative Session

DebSF -- January 11th, 2011

As the 2011 Virginia legislative session begins tomorrow, a number of bills have been introduced which may change the way we manage and run elections in the area.  Some are summarized after the jump. What do you think?  Click on the bill number to go to the full text of the bill at Richmond Sunlight.

HB1402: Qualified voters may vote absentee in person without providing an excuse or reason. Introduced By   Del. Rosalyn Dance (D-Petersburg)

Provides that qualified voters may vote absentee in person without providing an excuse or reason for not being able to vote in person on election day. The bill retains the present statutory list of specific reasons entitling a voter to cast an absentee ballot for those persons who vote absentee by mail.

HB1478: Provides for hiring of Director of Elections. Introduced By Del. Bill Janis (R-Glen Allen)

Increases the size of the State Board from three to five members. Provides for the position of Director of Elections to be hired by the State Board with the concurrence of at least four of its members, subject to confirmation by the General Assembly, as head of the elections agency, in place of the present position of the Secretary who is a member of the State Board appointed by the Governor. The Director shall, by his education, training, or experience, be knowledgeable of election law and administration. Removal of the Director may occur only by a vote of at least four members of the State Board.

HB1490: Acquisition of voting equipment by localities. Introduced By Del. Lionell Spruill (D-Chesapeake)

Permits localities to acquire direct recording electronic (DRE) machines by deleting the provision enacted in 2007 and later amended that generally prohibited the acquisition of such machines on and after July 1, 2007.

HB1508: Certain prohibitions for local electoral boards. Introduced By Del. Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg)

Prohibits a member of a local electoral board from being the spouse or other relative of a candidate for or holder of an office filled in whole or in part by voters in the jurisdiction of the electoral board

5 Responses to “Changes in Election Law in the 2011 Legislative Session”

  1. Carrie says:

    I hope HB1508 will pass. It sure would be nice to have Suzanne Obenshain removed from the electoral board. She has no business being on there anyways!

  2. Rich says:

    1402 Increases participation in election.

    1478 Ironic to see a republican pushing to increase the size of the state government.

    1490 I’m a tech geek and prefer paper ballots or a hard copy paper trail. Electronic voting machines that create a hard copy that can be inspected by the voter and deposited in a ballot box would be alleviate my concerns.

    1508 I would have thought that conflict of interest ethics would have prevented this situation from arising. But based on Carrie’s comment it sounds like this is another case where an obvious conflict of interest needs to be spelled out in the law.

  3. DebSF says:

    I’d really like to see HB1402 pass- it’s essentially early voting, which would do a lot to increase participation, I think. How early should early be? 2 weeks?

  4. Ross says:


  5. Ross says:

    Sorry, tried to post this video about OBAMA GIRL on

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