RICHMOND, Va. — As a way to keep public safety the top priority during the COVID-19 outbreak, Governor Ralph Northam has advocated for the postponement of a few upcoming elections in Virginia.
Right now, the May General election and all special elections are scheduled for May 5. Once General Assembly lawmakers reconvene in the statehouse later this month, Northam would like them to approve postponing the May 5 elections to November 3.
The governor has also used his own executive power to move the primary elections from June 9 to June 23.
If lawmakers were to approve moving the May elections, the governor would like them to run under certain conditions:
- There will be one ballot in November.
- Voters who are qualified in November will be able to vote in November. An individual who was not qualified in May but is qualified in November will be able to vote.
- All absentee ballots already cast will be discarded. Virginians will have an opportunity to vote for local elected officials in November.
- Those officials whose terms are to expire as of June 30, 2020 will continue in office until their successors have been elected on November 3, 2020 and have been qualified to serve.
“As other states have shown, conducting an election in the middle of this global pandemic would bring unprecedented challenges and potential risk to voters and those who work at polling places across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “Making these decisions now will help election officials prepare and implement the necessary changes. This is about protecting the health and safety of Virginians during this pandemic and ensuring our citizens can make their voices heard in a safe, fair, and uniform manner. I urge the General Assembly to do their part and take action to move our upcoming elections.”