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Northam acts on sweeping voting rights measure, other bills

Supporters of the Voting Rights Act of Virginia say it will protect and expand access to the ballot box.

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says he has signed several high-profile measures, including a school reopening bill, and advanced a sweeping voting rights measure.

Supporters of the Voting Rights Act of Virginia say it will protect and expand access to the ballot box. But Republicans warned it could strain localities and lead to costly litigation. 

Wednesday was the Democratic governor's deadline to take action on this year's bills.

Northam also sent a marijuana legalization bill back to lawmakers with a number of proposed changes, including an amendment that would accelerate the timeline for when possession and cultivation would become legal in the Commonwealth.