Sen. Tim Kaine reflects on U.S. Capitol riots 1 year later

Congress Electoral College
Posted at 9:08 PM, Jan 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-06 21:08:05-05

NORFOLK, Va. - U.S. Sen. and Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine was trapped in the Capitol during the riots one year ago.

He says it's a day he'll never forget, because for a few moments, he understood what it was like to be attacked for simply casting a vote.

Here's what he shared with News 3 about his awakening.

“I was angry because… I'll be blunt. You know, I'm a white male born in 1958. Nobody had ever tried to disenfranchise me before. For four hours, I had a glimpse personally of what it felt like to be disenfranchised,” he said. “By the next day I walked to the office, the sun was up, the crisis had passed, I was in no danger of being disenfranchised again. But it made realize over those four hours how awful that feeling is. The knowledge that people are trying to take away your vote and even willing to use violence to do it, as has been the case often throughout our history.”

Acknowledging that violence has been used to stop African Americans and other minorities from voting, the senator said the experience connected him to the experience of those who have been disenfranchised throughout history.

Sen. Kaine tells us he is working on the John Lewis Voting Rights Act of 2021 and the Freedom to Vote Act. These measures would prevent states from passing laws that aim to limit voting rights.

He hopes it will move forward by Martin Luther King Jr. Day later this month.

Related: One year later: where Jan. 6 cases from Hampton Roads stand