The Virginia General Assembly’s Senate Privileges and Elections Committee has approved a bill that supporters say would thwart voter fraud but opponents say would make it harder to vote. The committee voted 8-6 along party lines for a bill that would limit the number of acceptable forms of voter identification — the types of documents someone must present in order to cast a ballot. Currently, voters can identify themselves by presenting a voter registration card, a driver’s license or various other documents. House Bill 1337, proposed by Delegate Mark Cole, R-Fredericksburg, would remove utility bills, bank statements and paychecks from the list of documents that would be accepted at polling places.
By a 63-36 vote on Feb. 5, the House of Delegates passed a substitute version of HB 1337. That version added a provision that the acceptable forms of ID must be “current and valid” and “contain a photograph or the name and address of the voter.”
After approval by the House, the bill then moved to the Senate. On Tuesday, the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee endorsed the bill. All eight Republicans on the panel voted for the bill; all six Democrats voted against it.
HB 1337 now will be considered by the full Senate.