Chap Petersen

Northam touts bills on voting rights, campaign financing

RICHMOND — Gov. Ralph Northam introduced two legislative proposals at a press conference Monday aimed at improving voting access and transparency in the campaign finance system.

One proposal would allow Virginians to vote absentee without having to provide an excuse — legislation the governor said would reduce crowds at the polls on Election Day. The current law, which Northam called “arbitrary,” requires citizens to give one of 20 reasons to vote absentee.

Northam said that voting in the days before an election is “just as American” as waiting in line at the polls and that similar proposals have been made since the 1990s. Sen. Mamie Locke, D-Hampton, is sponsoring the...

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