First Read: Voting for More than Just Candidates in this Primary

With the Democratic primary this week, we’re all thinking about the importance of the right to vote. Regardless of which Democratic candidate is elected, they will stand up for voters, especially voters of color, who are most often targeted for disenfranchisement. No matter our race, background, or zip code, most of us believe that for democracy to work for all of us, it must include all of us. Unfortunately, while Democrats work to ensure equal access to the ballot box for all, Republicans create obstacles to discourage people from voting. 

A handful of extremist politicians like Glenn Youngkin want to set us back, making it harder to vote and deliberately creating barriers to voting for Black, young, and new Americans. They hope to divide and distract us while they block the policies people in our community favor like fully funding our schools, paid family and medical leave, and other support for hard-working families surviving a pandemic. 

We have made enormous strides in Virginia to ensure we all have access to the ballot box. Once home to the capital of the Confederacy, Virginia has passed the Voting Rights Act of Virginia, made Election Day a state holiday, repealed a racist voter identification law, eliminated the unnecessary witness signature requirement, and allowed no-excuse absentee voting. 

To move forward together, we must ensure that every voter in Virginia can cast their ballot. When everyone is able to vote, we will elect legislators that represent our communities and our values and our democracy will be stronger.

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