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Democrats in Virginia are using the COVID-19 pandemic to pressure Governor Ralph Northam to eliminate the need for witness signatures for mail-in absentee ballots before the gubernatorial election.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, voted 9-1 against which the only Republican voted, sent a letter to Northam asking her to drop the witness signature requirement, as it did during the 2020 election, InsideNoVa .com informed of.

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Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay, who proposed the letter, reportedly said during Thursday’s meeting that some residents of Fairfax had expressed fears that they could potentially contract COVID-19 if necessary to obtain a witness’s signature for the vote. Can catch -19.

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“During the 2020 election cycle, Virginia took historic steps to expand access to voting while protecting the health and safety of our residents as well as the integrity of our electoral process,” McKay said in a statement. Statement Tuesday. “This progress should be extended to the signature requirement. No one should have their vote rejected because they were unwilling to risk their health and safety. At Fairfax we want to break down barriers to voting, not create new ones.” “

Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity, the Republican who voted against the proposal, said it would be “a blow to electoral integrity,” reports InsideNova.com.

While Fairfax County has yet to lift its emergency order, the state of Virginia expired in June and required witness signatures to vote by mail again.

Herrity said it would be “absurd” to waive the requirement now after early voting begins for the November 2 election, reports InsideNova.com.

“Witness signatures are important because they provide another line of defense against voter fraud,” he said. “They have been deemed so important by the General Assembly that they were reinstated outside the state of emergency.”

Former Democratic Governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin are in a tough race to become the next governor of Virginia. The Real Clear Politics Average McAuliffe has overtaken Youngkin by 4.3 percentage points.

Northam, a Democrat, is unable to seek re-election due to term limits.