With implementation of Virginia’s new voter ID law seven months away, state election officials are scrambling to affordably create a photo ID card that will be provided to voters for free. They also are gearing up to educate the public about the law that will take effect July 1. The state is organizing a marketing campaign and vetting vendors charged with the creation of a voter identification card that will meet requirements under the new law, according to a plan and timeline developed by the State Board of Elections. The new ID will be available in July for voters who do not have other acceptable forms of identification. Other acceptable forms of photo ID include a Virginia driver’s license, a U.S. passport or any other photo ID issued by the United States, Virginia or one of its political subdivisions, a student ID issued by any institute of higher learning in Virginia or any employee identification card. Voters who need the new ID card can apply for the card with their local registrars in a process similar to obtaining a driver’s license at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
“An individual will provide their information and the actual information will be captured, provided to the vendor (in charge of producing the ID), created and then mailed to the voter,” said Don Palmer, secretary of the elections board.
The IDs will likely not be printed at the registrars’ offices to assure statewide uniformity.
“If we are working through a vendor like other state agencies, we know what the quality of the ID is,” Palmer said.
Susan Lee, the agency’s election uniformity manager, said that the new IDs will be for voter identification only and cannot be used for anything else. “It will not have precinct-specific information,” she said. “The voters will continue to receive the (voter registration) card that they currently do, which provides their precinct information.”