During the civil war era, Virginia was the bastion of the confederacy. Over 160 years later, Virginia is making a name for itself as the bastion of the defense of voting rights in the US. As red states across the country and particularly in the south pass legislation eroding voter access, Virginia is moving in the opposite direction to red southern neighbors, enacting law aimed at protecting voting rights. This article in The New York Times is by Reid J. Epstein and Nick Corasaniti
Georgia has sharply limited voting access, making drop boxes less available and forbidding anyone to hand out water to voters in line. Florida and Texas are poised to advance similar legislation. Alabama’s strict voter identification law is being used as a template elsewhere.
As states across the South race to establish new voting restrictions, Virginia is bolting in the opposite direction. The Democratic governor, Ralph Northam, this week capped a multiyear liberal movement for greater ballot access by signing off on sweeping legislation to recreate pivotal elements of the federal Voting Rights Act that were struck down by the Supreme Court’s conservative majority in 2013.
Alone among the states of the former Confederacy, Virginia has become a voting rights bastion, increasingly encouraging its citizens — especially people of color — to exercise their democratic rights. In the last 14 months, the state’s Democratic-controlled General Assembly and Mr. Northam have together repealed the state’s voter ID law, enacted 45 days of no-excuse absentee voting, made Election Day a state holiday and enacted automatic voter registration for anyone who receives a Virginia driver’s license.
Read the full article through this link. Read the full article here. Also, see related Democracy Chronicles articles like those on the Voter Access, Voter Turnout, or even seen our section on American Democracy.