Beginning with the November 2020 presidential election, Virginians for the first time will be able to vote up to 8 days early without citing one of a dozen sanctioned reasons why they should get an early ballot.
In 2020, registered voters can cast a ballot in the Nov. 3 election from Oct. 24-31 without providing an excuse.
Virginia is now one of only 16 U.S. states that requires an excuse to vote absentee. To cast an early ballot in the Commonwealth, voters must cite an approved reason, such as having a health, religious, school or business conflict with voting on Election Day.
Under the new legislation, registered voters will be able to vote in person beginning on the second Saturday immediately preceding any election. The early voting period will end on the Saturday before the elections.
“The reason this was a bipartisan success is because citizens of Virginia have been pushing for these kinds of reforms for many years,” Del. Kaye Kory, D-Fairfax, who co-sponsored the House bill, told Northfolk’s CBS affiliate, WTKP-TV.
Virginia still will offer its traditional absentee voting beginning on the 45th day before an election. But anyone seeking to vote before the new “no excuses” window will still have to provide a reason to obtain absentee ballots.