CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia delegates today passed a bill that would let people with physical disabilities vote by electronic absentee ballot.
The House voted 93-0 with seven absences in favor of the bill. The Senate passed the bill on Jan. 15, so legislative action is completed.
“This is a good bill. It provides more opportunities for more members of our communities to vote,” said Moore Capito, R-Kanawha, the vice chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
Delegate Eric Porterfield, who was blinded years ago in a fight, stood and expressed appreciation for the vote on the bill.
“It’s my privilege to be a part of being on this bill today,” said Porterfield, R-Mercer.
“I would like to thank the hard work and dedication that has went in to making sure people such as myself, people that are blind, have their constitutional rights put in place here in the great state of West Virginia.”
He continued, “I’m grateful that ableism, is going pushed away from, which is discrimination toward people with disabilities and giving us the constitutional rights that is righted to us with our inalienable rights.”
Delegates overwhelmingly passed some other bills too.
One would create a felony crime relating to drug delivery resulting in death. The crime could be applied to “reckless disregard for the health, safety, and welfare of others.”
Violations could result in jail terms of one to three years.
That bill goes to the Senate now.