The State Senate passed a bill Friday that will require voters to present identification before they can cast a ballot in the 2018 election. HB 4013 passed the upper chamber on a 20-14 vote, with two Democrats supporting the measure. The bill differs from the original version which required photo identification at the polls. The Senate Committee on the Judiciary amended the bill to include 15 different forms of identification, including a voter registration card, pay stub, SNAP benefits card, TANF card, credit or debit card and a utility bill. If poll workers recognize the voter, no identification is required, the bill says.
Judiciary chair Charlie Trump, R-Morgan, said the committee was given no specific instances of voter fraud attempts, although there are “examples of registration scams.” “This is a reasonable step,” he said. “We have a duty to every validly registered voter to make sure his vote is not diluted.”
Trump said the bill is consistent to the legislature’s constitutional duties, noting West Virginia has had a “long, terrible history of election corruption.” He said 33 states already require voter identification. “This bill does not disenfranchise anyone,” he said.
But Democrats opposed the measure, saying with no examples of anyone attempting to vote who wasn’t entitled to, the bill is a “solution in search of a problem.”
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