On an overcast Tuesday, voting rights advocates gathered for an afternoon State Capitol rally to protest policy proposals they view as voter suppression efforts. Hours earlier, the General Assembly had already rained on them by approving bills applying new rules to broad voter registration efforts and limiting the forms of identification voters can bring to the polls. They’re hoping that doesn’t turn into a downpour when photo ID legislation and a bill to check the citizenship status of voters could come up for decisive votes in the House of Delegates Wednesday.
One of the Republican-backed measures approved Tuesday, HB 1337, from Del. Mark Cole of Spotsylvania County would remove Social Security cards, utility bills, bank statements and pay stubs as IDs accepted to confirm a voter’s identity.
The House of Delegates approved that measure – it features a Senate amendment making it effective next year, provided the state funds its implementation – by a 64-36 vote.
Republicans say that change will protect elections; they cite an episode from last year where the son of Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Moran of Northern Virginia was secretly recorded discussing utility bill forgery.
That measure now heads to Gov. Bob McDonnell for consideration.