Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Wednesday vetoed a bill that would require registrars to deny applications by people who leave out certain details, such as whether they are 18 years old. McAuliffe also vetoed the House version of legislation to extend coal tax credits, terming the credits ineffective. House Bill 298, sponsored by Del. Terry G. Kilgore, R-Scott, was identical to Senate Bill 44, which McAuliffe vetoed March 11, the last day of the General Assembly session. Del. Mark L. Cole, R-Spotsylvania, sponsored House Bill 9, which sought to specify in greater detail information applicants are required to provide on the voter registration form.
Last summer, Republicans grilled officials at the state Department of Elections over proposed changes that would make certain questions on the registration form optional, including the ones that ask whether the registrant is a U.S. citizen or a felon without voting rights. The proposed changes were never implemented.
Cole’s bill passed the House of Delegates on a vote of 64-31. It passed the Senate with amendments on a vote of 22-18.
McAuliffe said in his veto message that Cole’s bill would have required general registrars “to deny voter registration applications submitted by eligible Virginians.” He said the Voting Rights Act “expressly prohibits denying applications for omissions that are not material to determining voter eligibility.”