Wilt Statement on Veto of Voter Registration Legislation

March 26, 2019

Harrisonburg – Delegate Tony Wilt (R-Rockingham) released the following statement after learning that Governor Northam vetoed House Bill 2764:

“I am deeply disappointed in the Governor’s decision to once again veto our common-sense bill that sought a modest improvement in the voter registration process. HB 2764 would help to ensure more voters are properly registered and improve accountability in the process. This bill required any third-party individual that assists an applicant with the completion of a paper voter registration application to include their basic contact information on the application.

“It would simply afford registrars an additional tool to educate individuals working as part of a voter registration drive on the proper instructions for completing applications to avoid rejected applications moving forward. In rarer cases, it could also serve as a way to prevent or detect potentially fraudulent activity.

“In his statement, the Governor claims including this basic information on an application is an unnecessary burden on those facilitating voter registration drives. I think most reasonable people don’t consider writing your name and contact number an undue burden. This veto is especially disappointing given that the bill was amended this year to explicitly eliminate the concern the Governor raises regarding an individual’s application potentially being denied on the grounds the third-party individual did not complete their portion. 

“Voter registrars from across the Commonwealth report that applications turned in as part of registrations drives often contain numerous errors and omissions. That’s why the Voter Registrars Association of Virginia saw the value in this legislation and supported the bill the last two years.  

“It is unfortunate that the Governor opted to once again follow the position of the hard left by avoiding any policy that might remotely improve the integrity and accuracy of the election process. The sad irony is that his veto ensures more Virginians are denied the right to vote because of applications rejected due to errors deriving from incorrect instructions given by a third-party individual or group. If he can’t support this basic good government measure, I question to what extent this Governor or his Administration has any concern for a fair, accurate and honest electoral process.”