By Herb Jones
It should be easy for every American to vote.
Voting is a fundamental right for every American and the bedrock of our democracy. So why is it so difficult?
Virginia ranks near last in convenience of voting. Per an in-depth study conducted by Northern Illinois University, “Voters in 2016 faced the most inconveniences on the way to the ballot box in Mississippi—followed by Virginia, Tennessee, Indiana and Texas.” In most states, voting is over complicated, intrusive, and discourages the average citizen from participating in the process that is the fabric of our democracy.
Virginia and other states must take steps to remove nonsensical barriers to voting. At a minimum, Virginia should eliminate the requirement to provide an excuse or reason to vote absentee. This requirement is arbitrary and there is no means to enforce it: what government official is going to check to determine if the reason given is actually why the person is voting absentee? It’s unenforceable and doesn’t pass the common sense test.
Virginia should adopt some of the practices used by Oregon, Washington, and Colorado and others. These include automatic voter registration for everyone eligible to vote, early voting, and vote by mail. After I am elected as the senator for the 3rd Senatorial District of the Commonwealth of Virginia, one of the first pieces of legislation I will submit will remove arbitrary barriers to voting and make the process more convenient for all Virginians.
Herb Jones is a candidate for Virginia’s 3
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