Delegate Torian Testifies Before Congress

DEL. TORIAN TESTIFIES BEFORE CONGRESS: DESCRIBES VOTING PROBLEMS IN PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY

WOODBRIDGE, VA– Today, Delegate Luke Torian (D-Woodbridge) testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s Subcommittee on Technology and Reform field forum titled “Lessons from Election Day 2012: Examining Need for Election Reform” in Woodbridge Virginia.

The panel discussion was led by Congressman Gerry Connolly and Ranking Member Congressman Elijah Cummings. The discussion focused on the voting problems encountered in Prince William County during the election on Tuesday, November 6th 2012.

Delegate Torian described the immense problems faced by citizens as they attempted to cast their votes in some Prince William County precincts:

“I was totally shocked and amazed by what I saw. . . I was surprisedby the number of people on the outside, but what amazed me the most was once I got inside, the wrap around lines in the school absolutely astounded me.”

“I stayed there until eight o’clock in the evening. When I left that voting precinct, there were several hundred people in line. Thank God we were able to move them into the school building.”

Torian went on to describe how his 2013 legislative agenda intends to alleviate the problems encountered in 2012.

“To that end, I have several pieces of legislation that I have introduced during the course of this General Assembly session: One will address absentee voting (HB2013).”

“Another piece of legislation (HB2015) will address having paper ballots accessible to voters. We did not have paper ballots accessible to voters in Prince William County, and I think we need to have that available.“

“[Another bill] extends voting hours (HB2016). We need to join states such as North Carolina and Maryland in extending our polling hours going from seven pm to eight o’clock in the evening.”

“[Another bill reduces] the number of registered voters required per voting machine (HB2017). In the Commonwealth of Virginia, it is my understanding that, per voting machine, you get one voting machine per 750 voters. That is absolutely incredible, and I think we can do a
ittle better than that.”

“You all can help me by contacting your members, your representatives in the General Assembly and encouraging us to do what we can do on the state level relative to easier access to voting.”

Once Torian had returned to Richmond, he went on to comment that, without adequate voting machines and provisions, exercising the right to vote could become so burdensome that it may discourage voters from participating in the future elections.

“Since Election Day is not a holiday for most people, citizens have to make plans to cover their work, childcare and family responsibilities. A cumbersome, lengthy voting process could be discouraging to voters. The voting process should be managed in a speedy, efficient pro voter manner. We need reforms that will make it easier for citizens to exercise their constitutional right to vote.”

“All of these bills are designed to eliminate lines, and prevent the kind of challenges that occurred during the 2012 election in Prince William County. I look forward to describing the problems that we encountered before the House of Delegates with hopes that my fellow colleagues will support efforts to improve our system of Democracy on behalf of the voters in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

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