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Could Virginia drop voter drop boxes?

Jahd Khalil/Radio IQ

In the last few years, Virginia has made many changes to how elections work. There are efforts to roll back some of those changes.

The idea of the ballot drop box has its critics, people who say it's a drag on local governments for something that isn't even used all that much. Delegate John McGuire is a Republican from Goochland who says it's time to drop the drop boxes.

"There's a large amount of the electorate that does not trust our elections," McGuire says.

He got some pushback on the bill to abolish drop boxes when he presented the idea to a subcommittee this week. Delegate David Reid is a Democrat from Loudoun County.

"We're talking in anecdotal examples, a large amount of the population does not trust our elections," Reid said. "Can you quantify that?"

McGuire responded that it's clearly evident in the media, and that he hears about it from voters on the campaign trail.

"You have no information, no quantifiable information to support this,” asked Reid.

"Well, I've spoken with registrars across the Commonwealth, and these registrars said they are expensive, and they are not used that much," McGuire replied. "I don't have the numbers with me today."

Those numbers were not needed in a Republican-controlled panel that passed his bill on a party-line vote. If it gets through the House, it’ll likely face a more difficult time in a Senate controlled by Democrats.

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.