Kaine Cosponsors Voter Registration Legislation, Applauds Early Voting in Virginia
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement on the first day of early voting in Virginia:
“Early voting is easy and convenient, and I’m proud that Virginia makes it so simple for people to cast their ballots ahead of time and not worry about lines on Election Day. Voting should be fast, secure, and simple, regardless of who you are or who you’re voting for, and I hope that we can pass legislation at the federal level to ensure that’s true across the country.”
The deadline to register to vote in Virginia is October 17, 2022. Those already registered may vote early in person beginning Friday, September 23, 2022, by bringing an accepted form of voter ID to their registrar’s office.
Earlier this week, Kaine cosponsored two pieces of legislation to make it easier for Americans to register to vote and to know their registration status. The Same Day Voter Registration Act would require states to offer same day registration at polling locations on Election Day and during early voting. The Stop Automatically Voiding Eligible Voters Off Their Enlisted Rolls in States (SAVE VOTERS) Act would prohibit states from removing people from their voting rolls unless the state has obtained objective, reliable evidence that a voter is ineligible to vote and establishes notification requirements once a voter is removed. These bills were led by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).
The Same Day Voter Registration Act would:
- Require states to offer same day registration at polling locations on Election Day and during any early voting period;
- Require states to offer same day registration at all polling places by the 2026 general election, but create a waiver process to give states until the 2028 general election to comply if earlier compliance would be impracticable.
- Mandate that states have at least one location per 15,000 registered voters with same day registration by the 2024 general election; and
- Ensure that centralized same day registration locations are reasonably located to serve the voting population equitably.
The SAVE VOTERS Act would:
- Amend the National Voter Registration Act to prohibit states from removing people from voting rolls unless the state has obtained objective and reliable evidence that a person is ineligible to vote. The legislation would clarify that failure to vote or respond to election mail would not constitute objective and reliable evidence of a voter’s ineligibility to vote;
- Allow election officials to use state records to remove voters who have died or permanently moved out of the state;
- Require election officials to send a notice explaining the grounds for removal within 48 hours of removing voters from the rolls and provide public notice within 48 hours after any general program to remove voters; and
- Revise the voting procedure for a voter who failed to report a change of address by allowing a voter who moved within a state to vote at the polling place of the voter's current address or at a central location in the jurisdiction of the local voter registration office.
Kaine, a former civil rights attorney, has long fought to protect voting rights and expand access to the ballot box. In September 2021, Kaine introduced the Freedom to Vote Act to improve access to the ballot for Americans, advance commonsense election integrity reforms, and protect our democracy from attacks. Kaine is also an original cosponsor of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, introduced in October 2021, which would restore safeguards against potential restrictive changes to voting rules after the Supreme Court gutted those protections in its Shelby County decision in 2013. He fought to pass key provisions of these bills in the consolidated Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, which failed on the Senate floor in January.