RICHMOND, VA – Over 90 percent of the more than 1,200 public comments submitted regarding Governor Terry McAuliffe’s proposed voter registration changes are in opposition, according to a House of Delegates analysis.
The proposed changes would make it “not material” if an applicant fails to provide Constitutionally- and statutorily-required information related to citizenship, past felony status or mental capacity. This means an application may not be denied because someone fails to provide that information. The public comment period ended August 3rd.
“There is nearly unanimous opposition among local registrars and the public to the changes proposed by Governor McAuliffe’s administration. I share their concerns,” said House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford). “The changes also specifically violate the Constitution and statutory law. I urge the Department of Elections to withdraw its proposed regulations.”
“Some say this issue is about voter access, but they supply no data about why the current rules are a problem,” said Delegate Jim LeMunyon (R-Fairfax). “The public comments show that an overwhelming majority of people, Republicans and Democrats alike, see this as an issue of civic integrity. Whether it’s a tax return, college loan application, driver license or welfare benefits, we expect our fellow citizens to fill out forms accurately and completely. The voter application form is no different.”
“The nearly unanimous opposition from registrars is a clear sign that these regulations are misguided,” said House Majority Leader Kirk Cox. (R-Colonial Heights). “The Constitution and the General Assembly explicitly require the information the Department of Elections now wants to overlook. I share the deep concern among local registrars and electoral board members regarding these changes.”
“This is a raw political play by Governor McAuliffe ahead of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign for President,” said House Republican Caucus Chairman Tim Hugo (R-Fairfax). “Local registrars are exactly right to be concerned by these changes. The proposed regulations should be withdrawn.”
“The changes would undermine the integrity of the voter registration process,” said House Majority Whip Jackson Miller (R-Manassas). “I share the concern of local registrars, electoral boards and the public about these changes. They violate the law, plain and simple. If the Governor would like to change the form in this way, he should submit legislation to the General Assembly to do that.”
“Governor McAuliffe has consistently put politics ahead of good public policy and these proposed changes are another example of that,” said Deputy Majority Leader Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah). “His top priority appears to be getting Hillary Clinton elected to the White House. The integrity of our elections is too important to be sacrificed on the altar of Clinton’s 2016 campaign. Registrars are exactly right to be concerned by this.”