RICHMOND, VA – After years of campaigning on conspiracy theories about early voting and vote by mail, Republicans in Virginia have apparently had a change of heart and are now encouraging Republicans to vote early or vote by mail.
“We welcome the Virginia Republicans’ newly discovered interest in promoting democracy,” said Liam Watson, Press Secretary for the Democratic Party of Virginia. “Of course, we wish they had shown up in support of early voting and vote-by-mail years ago, instead of consistently voting against reforms designed to strengthen democracy in the commonwealth.”
This change of heart (or cynical political stunt) comes less than six months after GOP leadership in the Virginia House of Delegates passed HB 1693, which would have banned absentee ballot drop boxes, and HB 1877, which would have gutted the number of days for early voting in the commonwealth by nearly 70%. Both bills were defeated by the Democratic majority in the Virginia Senate.
Aaron Mukerjee, Voter Protection Director for the Democratic Party of Virginia, released this statement:
"Virginia Republicans should not be surprised if Virginians aren't buying their supposed newfound support for democracy. Under Governor Youngkin’s leadership, Virginia has caved to the conspiracy theorists by pulling out of ERIC, advancing unnecessary voter suppression bills, and standing by while election deniers take over electoral boards and registrars’ offices across the commonwealth.
After years of bombarding voters with conspiracies about early and mail-in voting, Republicans have a lot of work to do if they’re going to convince voters that they’re serious about ensuring free and fair elections in Virginia.”