Northam signs laws expanding election access
Election Day will be a state holiday in Virginia.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed laws this weekend repealing Virginia’s voter ID law, making Election Day a state holiday and expanding access to early voting.
After July 1, voters will not be required to show a photo ID in order to vote. The new laws also repeal the controversial Lee-Jackson Day state holiday in January, which honors the Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, and replaces it with a state holiday on Election Day in November. Northam also signed legislation that will allow Virginians to engage in early voting 45 days prior to an election without stating a reason. Currently, voters who wish to file an absentee ballot must select a reason from an approved list.
“Voting is a fundamental right and these new laws strengthen our democracy by making it easier to cast a ballot, not harder,” Northam said in a statement. “No matter who you are or where you live in Virginia, your voice deserves to be heard. I’m proud to sign these bills into law.”