Democrats challenging Virginia’s new voter photo I.D. law can inspect correspondence between lawmakers and lobbyists and others, a federal judge ruled. The law, signed by former Governor Bob McDonnell in 2013, requires all voters to provide photo I.D. at the polls. Lawmakers who supported the law claimed it helped prevent fraud in elections. But black and Latino Democrats, as well as voting rights activists Barbara Lee and Gonzalo Aida, claimed in court that the law is nothing more than a bald-faced attempt to keep young people and minorities from participating in elections.
Backed in their claims by the state Democratic party, opponents of the I.D. requirement point to low voter turnout in Kansas and Tennessee, which have similar laws, to make underpin their arguments.
The plaintiffs asked the court to compel House Speaker William Howell, Sen. Mark Obenshain (the bill’s original sponsor), and 23 other Republican lawmakers to turn over documents related to the law so that they can understand the “legislative intent” behind its passage.