Richmond, Virginia—Progress Virginia today celebrated house passage of the Voting Rights Act of Virginia. HB1890, sponsored by Delegate Marcia Price, would be the first state Voting Rights Act passed in the South to ensure everyone is able to make their voice heard in our democracy..
“We’re thrilled that members of the House of Delegates kicked off Black History Month by passing the Voting Rights Act of Virginia, and we look forward to the Senate doing the same when the bill crosses over. Our democracy is strongest when everyone can participate. Our voting laws and procedures should never intentionally, or unintentionally, put barriers between voters and their ability to cast a ballot. Creating opportunities for decision makers to hear from impacted communities before changes go into effect creates a real process to identify impacts Black and Brown communities and fix them before they have the opportunity to reduce voters’ participation,” Anna Scholl, executive director of Progress Virginia, said. “We need the Voting Rights Act of Virginia to ensure that voter suppression, intimidation, and discrimination are a thing of the past, and we’ll keep working until that is the reality for all of us.”
The Voting Rights Act of Virginia:
- Requires that changes to local voting laws and regulations be advertised in advance for public comment and evaluated for their impact on Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities.
- Expands requirements for localities to provide voting materials in languages other than English.
- Ensures fair representation in local government.
- Strengthens protections against voter threats and intimidation to ensure every voter can make their voice heard safely.
The Senate version of this bill, SB1395, sponsored by Senator Jennifer McClellan, passed out of the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee and has been referred to the Finance Committee.