Having gone into effect at the beginning of this year, West Virginia’s new voter identification law sees its first statewide election during the May 8 primaries. While state legislators responsible for passing the law say it strikes a balance, experts opposed to such measures — here and elsewhere in the country — say it is a “solution in search of a problem.” Some organizations, though, are teaming with the Secretary of State’s office for public outreach programs to help educate voters about the law and what they need to bring with them to the polls. The West Virginia Legislature passed the law during the 2016 regular session. Under the provisions of the new law, voters are required to show an acceptable form of ID to legally make their way to the polls. The aim, according to Republican leaders, was to prevent voter fraud while not burdening those who legitimately want to exercise their constitutional rights.
… Max Feldman of the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law said strict photo ID laws in other states like Wisonsin, Georgia and Virginia are too tough. Studies by the Brennan Center show that as many as 11 percent of eligible voters in America do not have a photo issued government ID.
… “To the extent this law was put in place in order to combat that type of problem and the rhetoric that’s used to justify the law is that in person voter fraud is a major problem in West Virginia — the reality is that’s not the case,” Feldman said.