Activists push for voting rights weeks before early voting begins

Activists are fighting for more voting eligibility.
Published: Aug. 28, 2022 at 8:07 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Mid-term election season is approaching, and as people are urged to “get out to vote” one group of voting rights activist are making sure everyone is eligible first.

“Virginia denies individuals or disenfranchises individuals because they make a mistake in life,” Richard Walker, founder of Bridging the Gap in Virginia said. “[Not having] The ability to have a voice in this General Assembly I became angry.”

Walker along with others are working their way across Virginia to spread the message of voter rights.

This weekend they made a stop in Harrisonburg and spoke with local voting and justice leaders about reaching out to those in the community, helping them get registered and making sure they show up on voting day or before.

In the Commonwealth, early voting starts on September 23.

“By voting, you’re able to vote your conscience. You’re able to vote your issues. You’re able to vote and have a voice in what is being said in the legislation that’s being passed throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia,” Walker said.

Much of the focus was around getting those incarcerated their right to vote back, however, they’re hoping for more turnout at the polls.

“Typically when people sit it out, they’re allowing other people to make decisions for them, so when people complain and say there are things that need to be changed voting is the nucleus of how all those things happen,” Sheba Williams, founder of No Lef Turns said.

Williams said COVID created a lot of new laws to make ballot boxes more accessible.

“Less than 2% of Virginians vote in local elections and that’s where the most decisions are made about our day-to-day lives,” Williams said.

There is still time to register before early voting begins. You can go online or do it at your local registrar’s office.