WASHINGTON, DC – Jason Snead, executive director of the Honest Elections Project, issued a statement criticizing the Virginia Senate’s efforts to eliminate witness requirements in absentee ballots. Just 2 years ago, witness requirements helped investigators thwart an absentee ballot fraud scandal in North Carolina. Yesterday, Virginia Senators voted in favor of SB 1097, a bill to eliminate witness requirements for absentee ballots.

“Erasing witness requirements for absentee ballots will not improve our elections, it will put our democracy at risk. Voters have every right to expect elections that are secure, accessible, and honest. Absentee voting has long been recognized to be more vulnerable to fraud and corruption. Prophylactic measures like witness requirements are vital tools to verify voters’ identities, detect and stop fraud, and bolster public confidence in the integrity of the vote. Eliminating safeguards like these is another step in the wrong direction for the Commonwealth.”