The Washington Post

Senate backs absentee voting for seniors

The state Senate approved a bill Monday allowing Virginians age 65 and older to vote by absentee ballot without having to provide an excuse.

Currently, Virginians are allowed to vote absentee only if they cannot get to the polls on Election Day for certain reasons, such as military service or jury duty. Last week, a Senate panel killed a bill that would have allowed any registered voter to vote absentee, but it approved a measure to allow seniors to do so.

On Monday, the Senate voted 28-9 for that bill, sponsored by Sen. John Miller (D-Newport News) and Sen. Jeffrey L. McWaters (R-Virginia Beach). All of those opposed were Republicans.

After battling over voter ID requirements in last year’s General Assembly session, legislators have filed dozens of bills this year related to voting procedures and rights. Republican-sponsored measures have generally been aimed at tightening voting procedures and Democratic-backed ones have been largely intent on liberalizing them.

Long lines at the polls last Election Day helped convince some Republicans that seniors, who might have trouble standing for hours, should be allowed to vote absentee.

Laura Vozzella covers Virginia politics for The Washington Post.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.