Existing Law Is Adequate

Existing Law Is Adequate

Existing Law Is Adequate

To the Editor:

Last week, we read H. Jay Spiegel’s letter to the editor reminding us of our exchange at a town hall meeting where he claimed that a recent Supreme Court of Virginia opinion interpreted §§ 24.2-233 and 24.2-234 of the Code of Virginia to require all signatures on a voter recall petition to be notarized. At the time, each of us committed to introduce legislation to remove that requirement if he was correct.

We checked with the Division of Legislative Services. They advised that in Commonwealth v. Williams, 295 Va. 90 (2018), the Supreme Court of Virginia only held that the signature of the individual collecting the petition signatures needed to be notarized. All other voters signing such a petition must sign under penalty of perjury and that can be accomplished by a simple statement at the top of each petition as is currently done with driver's license applications or other official documents.

No notarization is necessary.

This is no more burdensome than the process for collecting signatures to put any elected official on the ballot in the Commonwealth. We appreciate Mr. Spiegel's suggestion, but it appears it was premised upon an incorrect reading of the Supreme Court of Virginia’s opinion and we each agree that existing law is adequate to prevent fraudulent signature collection.

Sen. Scott A. Surovell (D-36)

Sen. Adam P. Ebbin (D-30)

Del. Paul E. Krizek (D-44)