Currently, to vote absentee in Virginia, you must cite a specific excuse, such as attending college or having a disability. But if Gov. Terry McAuliffe has his way, the state would expand the list of excuses to include people caring for children or for an ill or disabled individual and anyone without reliable transportation. Better yet, McAuliffe says, Virginians should be able to vote absentee without having to give an excuse. McAuliffe is urging the General Assembly to approve those proposals during the legislative session that began Wednesday. The Democratic governor, in the final year of his term, discussed the proposals at a news conference Tuesday.
“These reforms will make it easier for Virginians to have a say in their democracy and boost their confidence that politicians are working for the public good, not their own,” he said. Right now, to vote absentee in person, a voter must meet one of “13 arbitrary rules” that also apply to mail-in absentee voting, McAuliffe said. For example, caregivers must be related to the individual they care for to vote absentee under current law.