Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: March 25, 2019
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alena Yarmosky, Alena.Yarmosky@governor.virginia.gov

Governor Northam Vetoes Legislation Complicating Removal Process of General Registrars

RICHMOND—Governor Northam today vetoed House Bill 2034, which would require electoral boards to petition the circuit court for the removal of a general registrar, making the process more onerous, costly, and time consuming and creating unintended consequences. The Governor’s full veto statement is below.

March 25, 2019

Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto House Bill 2034. This legislation would require electoral boards to petition the circuit court for the removal of a general registrar.

Virginia law already provides specific circumstances in which a registrar can be removed. House Bill 2034 would allow only the circuit court to remove a general registrar at the request of a majority of the members of the State Board of Elections or local electoral board. This legislation makes the process of removing a general registrar more onerous, costly, and time consuming and could have unintended consequences. The legislation removes the ability for immediate or emergency removal of a general registrar in situations when warranted. Such emergency removal prevents a registrar from egregiously breaking the law or committing other inappropriate acts to hold his or her position until a judicial process has taken place. Furthermore this bill requires personnel issues, often delicate, to be discussed in a public forum. House Bill 2034 puts the integrity of Virginia’s elections in question.

This legislation has far too many unintended consequences. We should work together to create a solution that would benefit electoral boards, general registrars, and most importantly the voters of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Accordingly, I veto this bill.

Sincerely,

 

Ralph S. Northam

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