Gov. Northam Vetoes LaRock’s Election Integrity Bill
Yesterday, Gov. Ralph Northam vetoed Del. LaRock’s HB 1167, a bill to allow greater efficiency in voter roll maintenance. The Governor’s veto statement, however, shows that he was either misled as to the bill’s effect, or is trying to make it difficult and time-consuming for local registrars to clean up voter rolls. The vetoed legislation was supported by the Voter Registrars Association of Virginia.
Del. Dave LaRock said, “I’m
disappointed in the Governor’s action. This legislation merely clarifies
existing practices, makes them more efficient, and would not require anything
new. In the 2017 Delegate races, we had a
tie and several other close elections. Every illegitimate vote cancels out a
proper vote, so we should allow our voter registrars to efficiently update
voter rolls when an individual tells local courts they are not eligible to
vote. Unfortunately, partisanship in the legislature and the Governor’s office
is undermining local officials’ efforts to efficiently and accurately conduct
elections in the Commonwealth.”
Over the last five legislative sessions, Republicans have attempted to preserve the integrity of elections, improve processes and make technical fixes to legislative districts; Gov. Northam’s three vetoes of election-related bills this session follow 24 similar vetoes by Gov. McAuliffe.
Existing law requires jury commissioners to, “…make reasonable effort to exclude the names of deceased persons and unqualified persons from the master jury list.”, which they do by sending a questionnaire to potential jurors. If an individual who is registered to vote returns their questionnaire claiming they are not eligible to vote and serve on a jury, that information can, and should, be made available to the Voter Registrar. Registrars then notify the voter and allow the individual to confirm their eligibility to vote.