The Virginia Senate recently voted 21-19 to pass a bill to tighten photo requirements for registered voters. The bill, SB 1253, was introduced by Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, and now will head to the House Privileges and Elections Committee. The bill grants localities the option to include photographs of registered voters in their electronic poll books. The localities can get access to voter photographs through the DMV or photo identification cards. The department of election will receive and have access to registered voters photographs and by required upon request to provide them to general registrars.
The officer of election is required under the bill to challenge a voter’s vote if the voter does not appear to look like the photograph in the poll book. “This is the classic photo ID fight,” Sen. Monty Mason, D-Williamsburg, said.
Mason voted against the bill. “I’m a proponent of using DMV’s data but we have to fix the system first,” Mason said.
Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, voted against the bill and voiced his concern about the registrar system not being updated and stopping voters from being able to cast their ballots.