RICHMOND, VA. This afternoon, Delegate Mark D. Sickles (D-43) explained HB 5103, to the House of Delegates. This bill will create safe and secure alternatives for the return of absentee ballots on Election Day, November 3, 2020. The bill appropriates $2 million to the Department of Elections to reimburse localities for prepaid postage costs and directs the State Board of Elections to promulgate standards for the use of drop boxes at all general registrar, polling places and voter satellite locations.
“In a time where we must prioritize the public health of our citizens, this bill ensures no Virginian will be forced to choose between their well-being and the right to vote. I am grateful we can provide numerous options and flexibility for all voters in our communities,” says Delegate Mark Sickles.
The bill passed out of the House Appropriations Committee on Monday, August 24, 2020 with a party line vote of 13-9. Senator Janet Howell is carrying the identical senate version of the bill. HB 5103 was amended on the floor to adopt Sen. Creigh Deeds amendment establishing reporting requirements for the Department of Elections in order to avoid a House-Senate conference and get the bill to the Governor as soon as possible.
“It is critical that we work together so that everyone can cast a vote safely on November 3, or before. I am expecting a record-setting turnout so I am thankful to my colleagues for voting to move this bill on for a final vote tomorrow on Third Reading.”