Sponsored by Delegate Mark Levine, HB 2081 is a common-sense bill to protect Virginia voters and election workers from armed intimidation.
Washington, D.C., January 25, 2021 - Today, the Virginia House of Delegates passed HB 2081, a bill prohibiting firearms within 40 feet of a polling place, or any building being used during an electoral board meeting or location of a recount. Sponsored by Delegate Mark Levine, this bill would help protect voters and election workers from armed intimidation, preserving a core tenant of our democracy - the right of every individual to peacefully participate in our democracy. Brady applauds the House of Delegates, thanks Delegate Levine for leading on this issue, and urges the Virginia Senate to take up and pass this common-sense bill without delay.
Brady President Kris Brown shared:
“Armed intimidation at polling places is unquestionably voter suppression. This is a common-sense bill and one that is sorely needed in our Commonwealth as we continue to expand access to our democracy for every American and work to safeguard the right to vote.
Following a year of public protests where demonstrators carried long guns and wore military gear in a transparent attempt to intimidate lawmakers, the public, and those who disagree with them, the need for this bill is clearer than ever. Our democracy cannot function when its most fundamental element, the right to vote, is suppressed by intimidation. Firearms are not required to vote; they are not needed to voice or signal disagreement. Voters should not be threatened as they make their voices heard. This bill will ensure that all our citizens can vote free from intimidation.
Brady thanks Del. Levine for leading on this issue to safeguard our elections and urges the Senate to take up this bill immediately.”
About Armed Voter Intimidation:
Armed intimidation at the polls is voter suppression and an affront to our safety as well as the integrity of America's free and fair elections.
Voter intimidation can take on multiple forms, including verbal aggression, disrupting voting lines, or spreading false election-related information about details like voting deadlines and polling hours. It also includes asking voters for “documentation” and challenging a person’s voting eligibility based on race, ethnicity, national origin, language, religion or disability as an attempt to disenfranchise them.
Voter intimidation, including armed intimidation, is not only unlawful, but it also fundamentally threatens our shared constitutional right to freely participate in elections. Under federal law, voter intimidation is defined as the use of threats, coercion, or attempts to intimidate for the purpose of interfering with the right of another person to vote or to vote for the person of their choosing.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.