Gov. Ralph Northam on Monday rejected a bill that would have expanded the state Board of Elections and handed the body power to appoint the state’s elections chief.
Sponsored by Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel, R-Fauquier, and Del. Margaret Ransone, R-Westmoreland, the bill would have expanded the board’s membership from three to five, and required at least four of the members to agree on a commissioner of elections.
Following the 2017 legislative elections that included ballot problems and one contest that resulted in a televised tiebreaker, GOP legislative leaders created a joint subcommittee to study election issues ahead of the 2019 session. The registrar community appeared to rally behind measures to expand the state board and depoliticize the commissioner role, an idea that grew out of a working group of registrars and members of local electoral boards.
Northam wrote in his veto message: “This could lead to delays or a lack of appointment all together.” He added: “In a state that has an election every few months, it is imperative that Virginia’s electoral system have steady leadership.”
See full story at Richmond times Dispatch.