FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
House Bill 5103 will fund the November 3 elections as a separate appropriations bill
RICHMOND, VA – On Monday the House Appropriations Committee reported House Bill 5103 by a vote of 13-9. The bill, sponsored by Vice Chair Mark Sickles, is a stand-alone budget that will fund voter access measures for the November 3, 2020 elections necessary in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of the separate funding bill is to put these voter access changes in place as soon as possible to allow Virginia’s general registrars adequate time for implementation before the election.
House Appropriations Chair Luke Torian, a co-patron, issued the following statement: With only 71 days left before the election, it’s our responsibility to make sure every Virginian has the opportunity to vote safely and securely in November. Protecting voting rights should be an issue that everyone can agree on. That’s why we introduced a stand-alone appropriations bill that requires immediate action not linked to other vital funding decisions. I hope the bill will pass quickly so our General Registrars are supported as they begin their urgent work.
HB5103 will fund prepaid postage for voters to return complete absentee ballots. The bill also authorizes local registrars to establish secure absentee ballot drop-off locations and creates a “cure” process for absentee ballots received in advance of the deadline, ensuring no one’s vote is discarded due to immaterial omissions.
Delegate Luke Torian represents House District 52 in the Virginia House of Delegates, serving Dale City, Woodbridge, and the towns of Dumfries and Occoquan. He has held office since 2009 and serves as Chair of the House Appropriations Committee. He is also a member of the House Rules and General Laws committees.