Va. House, Senate Pass Measures Limiting Forms Of Acceptable Voter ID

Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) on Tuesday cast the tie-breaking vote to help the state Senate pass a bill that would disallow several different forms of identification that are currently accepted at polling places, The News & Advance of Lynchburg, Va. reported.

The legislation passed along party lines in the state Senate. Coupled with a bill that easily passed the House of Delegates on Tuesday, the new measure would eliminate a number of forms of ID that Commonwealth voters can currently present at the polls.

From the News & Advance:

The Senate legislation, and a companion measure — House Bill 1337, sponsored by Del. Mark L. Cole, R-Spotsylvania, which cleared the House of Delegates today on a 63-36 vote — would eliminate the use of a utility bill, pay stub, bank statement, government check and Social Security card as acceptable identification that can be presented at the polls. Voters would still be able to use a voter identification card, concealed handgun permit, driver’s license and student ID card.

If passed and signed by Gov. Bob McDonnell, it would be the second significant change to voter identification requirements in two years.

Last year, legislation passed by the GOP-controlled legislature and signed into law by McDonnell expanded the number of acceptable forms of ID, but required voters without approved identification to cast provisional ballots until they verify their identity. The McDonnell administration spent roughly $2 million to educate voters on last year’s change.

Opponents of the legislation say last year’s law and this year’s proposed ID restrictions would adversely impact the ability of voting-eligible minorities, the elderly, students and poor people to cast ballots.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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