For decades, Virginia has been one of the most difficult places in the country for voters to cast their ballots. The election system has included requirements and restrictions deeply rooted in segregation-era policies, many of which were intended to disadvantage Black voters and tied voting rights to the discriminatory trends in our criminal legal system.
The combination of tight restrictions and criminal disenfranchisement caused Virginia to be ranked 49th in the nation on voting accessibility as recently as 2018.
Thankfully, the latest session of the Virginia legislature passed a historic slate of election reforms to create a more equitable, modern voting system. These regulations address many of the key obstacles that prevent voters from exercising their democratic freedoms. Several of these reforms will occur in time for the general election this November, with the rest taking effect over the next two years.