Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

January 15, 2013

GOP panel kills Va no-excuse absentee voting bills

BOB LEWIS,AP Political Writer
Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Republican-dominated subcommittee has again killed efforts to allow no-excuses absentee voting in Virginia and essentially put Virginia among the growing number of states that allows early voting.

On party-line votes of 4-2, the Privileges and Elections subcommittee dispatched six bills, one of them Republican-sponsored. The measures would have eliminated the need to select from among a handful of excuses to vote early in hopes of reducing long waits at some polling places on election day.

By the same vote, it also killed a bill to allow parents or legal guardians of children 4 or younger and people in areas under a presidential or gubernatorial emergency declaration to vote absentee without an excuse.

One bill advanced that would allow seniors 65 and older to vote absentee.