The Virginia House of Delegates on Monday passed a bill that would put additional limits on voting in a state where the laws are already among the most restrictive. Under the bill, voters would have to submit a copy of their photo identification when they apply by mail to vote by absentee ballot. Currently, only people who apply for absentee ballots in person have to present a photo ID. Proponents say the bill is needed to prevent voter fraud and instill confidence in the electoral process.
Opponents — Democrats and voting rights advocates — say the bill is a politically motivated attempt to suppress the votes of the poor, the elderly and others who are more likely to support Democrats and less likely to have a valid photo ID. They also note that nothing in a voter’s registration record can be checked against his or her photo.
The bill passed, 62 to 34, mostly along party lines. It now heads to the Senate.