You’ve probably read about the problems that many voters — especially older voters — have encountered under voter ID laws, many of which are relatively new. (There was the recent case, for example, of former House Speaker Jim Wright being turned away because, at 90, he didn’t have a valid driver’s license.) Among those who may have to make long trips to government offices to obtain voter ID cards are people without driver’s licenses (which, like Wright, many older Americans may no longer have), student or employee ID cards (which older Americans likely may not have had for years), or — in the curious case of Virginia — a handgun permit (I guess maybe some older Americans have those). Think about it: Every citizen (with the exception of convicted felons) has the right to vote. When voter ID requirements make it difficult to exercise that right, chaos may follow.
Yep, for many Americans, voting can be a difficult enterprise. The result? Some a may choose not to go through the hassle, and others may show up at polling places without state-sanctioned ID and have to file provisional ballots. This week, with voter ID laws in effect for the first election in some places, we started to see these very real effects playing out.
Take Virginia, for example. On Tuesday, the race for attorney general there was incredibly close — with only 481 votes out of more than 2 million votes cast separating Republican Mark Obenshain, who’s now leading, and Democrat Mark Herring. But there are likely to be lots of provisional ballots to be counted, as voters who did not have the required identification at the polls have until Nov. 7 to present their ID and thereby allow their votes to be counted. The state then has three weeks to finish counting these ballots, as well as those that weren’t tallied because of other issues.
Full Article: Virginia’s Voter ID Law Could Swing an Election – AARP.