Bills to allow absentee balloting for any reason and to provide more voting options for deployed military personnel and are just some of the measures that have already been filed for next month’s General Assembly session. State Board of Elections Secretary Donald Palmer says lawmakers have several reasons–in addition to passing any needed reforms–to work expeditiously.
“2012 is going to have a number of elections–the Presidential preference primary including the primary for Congressional seats. Obviously, redistricting we’ll be facing again–it appears with the Congressional seats. And then the 2012 General election. And so, 2012 General election will be a test. It always is—it really tests the system because we have a larger turnout than normal and part of what we do is just prepare for that,” said Palmer.
Analysts believe Virginia could again play a pivotal role as a swing state in deciding who’s in the White House. Palmer says that’s even more incentive to make sure that everything runs smoothly, and that voters are educated about candidates, polling places, and alternatives—especially if turnout is close to 2008’s record-breaking numbers.