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A voting measure for some Virginia active military members has been shelved for this year's session

The Senate is rejecting a bill that would allow some active duty military to vote in Virginia.

Virginia voters who are in the military often lose their ability to vote in Virginia elections when they are stationed in Texas or Florida. That's why members of the Senate were considering a bill from the Republican-controlled House that would have created a presumption of domicile – essentially allowing those active duty service members to vote in Virginia elections.

Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw says Virginia voters need to pay Virginia taxes.

"I pulled two years myself, 19 months in Germany, a lot of it up on that German-Czech border," Saslaw says. "But let me tell you something, as a former member Senator Potts used to say, 'Either you’re in or you're out.' You want to play the game here? Pay the taxes here."

Republican Senator John Cosgrove says the Senate should not have rejected this bill, which had overwhelming bipartisan support in the House of Delegates.

"I'm absolutely ashamed that the veterans on the side of the Democrats would vote against voting for active duty military members," Cosgrove says. "It's absolutely shameful."

The motion to kill the bill was actually a request to send it to a committee that’s not scheduled to meet again this General Assembly session; a way to send a bill into oblivion rather than voting against it.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.