Virginia voters could see their own face when they check in at the polls under a bill approved along party lines by the Virginia Senate on Monday. Sen. Mark Obenshain’s proposal would have electronic poll books automatically display driver’s license photos of voters, which could eventually be used in place of Virginia’s existing voter identification requirement. “It’s not going to allow any election official to actually turn anybody away right now at all. It is simply porting those IDs over and is simply an additional deterrent to casting votes illegally,” said Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, before the 21-19 vote.
Democrats, who also largely oppose the current voter identification requirement, argued the photographs may not accomplish much.
“I’m somewhat baffled as to its necessity … other than simply another voter suppression bill,” said Sen. Mamie Locke, D-Hampton.
“You’ve got a better chance of being struck by lightning than you’ve got of being charged and convicted of voter fraud, and we’re not spending any money on protecting people from being hit by lightning,” said Minory Leader Dick Saslaw, who represents parts of Fairfax County.