Pete Snyder announced his ‘Honest Vote’ election integrity plan on Thursday. The six-point plan focuses on transparency ballot verification and ballot verification measures.
“Having secure, legal, and trustworthy elections is something that we must demand in our Commonwealth. Unfortunately, for too many Virginians, whether they be Republicans, Democrats or independents, trust in our election system has been severely strained and due to many last minute COVID-related changes to our voting systems,” Snyder said in a press release.
“Government has failed to deliver on the transparency and accountability expected from voters. The pillars of my plan are the first steps to restoring voter confidence and protecting our democracy,” he said.
The plan’s six points include guaranteed access for all campaigns to the voting process, a photo identification requirement, signature match and witness requirements for absentee ballots, regularly updated voter rolls, making sure only U.S. citizens vote, and the creation of a voter fraud hotline.
Several of Snyder’s points are similar to legislative initiatives introduced in the recent General Assembly. Bills to require photo ID, absentee signature verification, witnesses for absentee ballots, and more regular updates of voter rolls with decedents all failed in 2021, highlighting the challenge facing Republicans who are calling for election reform.
Snyder’s campaign chairmen Senator Mark Obenshain (R-Rockingham) and Ken Cuccinelli will oversee the plan.
In the press release, Obenshain emphasized his experience working in the legislature. “I worked in the Virginia Senate to require photo ID to vote and eliminate split precinct voting. I am committed to continuing the fight to protect our elections here in Virginia.”
Snyder is not the only Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate to focus on election integrity. In February, Glenn Youngkin announced an Elections Integrity Task Force. Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) and Delegate Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) both introduced election reform bills during the 2021 legislative session. GOP lieutenant governor candidates including Winsome Sears are also campaigning on the issue.
On Friday, Senator Jen Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach) told The Virginia Star that to pass elections reforms, Republicans must retake seats in the legislature as well as win the general election gubernatorial race.
She said, “I applaud the statewide candidates that make that a focus of their campaign.”
“It’s going to be a work in progress to have candidates’ stars align if we want to make any changes from the Republican side, I’ll say that,” Kiggans said. “But we’ll see how it pans out in November.”
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