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OPINION: League of Women Voters Supports Delay of May Elections

Delay of May Elections Supports Public Health

The League of Women Voters of Virginia supports Governor Northam’s decision to delay May town, city, and county elections to May 19 in Virginia, in order to increase the safety of elections during the COVID-19 crisis.

Deb Wake, President of the League of Women Voters of Virginia, stated: “Postponing these elections to May 19 is the right decision. This will help voters cast their ballots in greater safety. Even two weeks can give election workers more time to prepare for social distancing at the polls. Still, we encourage voters to apply now for absentee ballots and return them promptly.”

The League supports voting by mail while the pandemic persists. In order to best protect health while keeping our democracy strong, voters should apply now for absentee ballots on the Department of Elections website,

The League advocated by letter earlier this month for voting by mail. We urge policy makers to consider secure drop boxes, website optimization for voting at home, and strong support for transparent and efficient processing of the anticipated surge in absentee voting.

“April planning brings November safety,” said Joan Porte, First V.P, League of Women Voters of Virginia. “While ballot processing this year may take longer, due to distancing measures, we appreciate the Commonwealth’s attention to health, security, and transparency. Our democracy is resilient, Virginians treasure their right to vote, and we support safe access to the polls.”

Today’s announcement follows an April 8 decision to move the June primary elections from June 9 to June 23, 2020.

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