This story was sent to me by an interested reader of our blog, from a local paper in Arlington, VA.
Unless I misread the recorder’s comments, taking a broad view is essentially implementing a no-excuse absentee ballot rule. Even though Virginia has some of the “toughest rules in the country,” according to the story, in practice, the requirements may be far less strict.
This points out just how difficult it is to say with any certitude what the state of election administration is in the United States. I am involved in some efforts to map out the terrain of election laws in this country, specifically absentee and early balloting laws, but, as any student of public administration and public policy knows, the law is just part of the overall picture.