A bill introduced by Del. Mark Cole, R-Fredericksburg, which would require people to show a photo ID in order to vote, passed the House of Delegates yesterday and now awaits approval by the Senate. Cole hopes House Bill 9 will discourage voter fraud by “[improving] the integrity of elections without denying anyone their lawful right to vote,” he said in an email. Voters without a form of identification would still be able to cast a provisional ballot said Justin Riemer, a deputy secretary at the State Board of Elections. Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Albemarle, however, said he opposes the legislation because voter fraud does not significantly impact the election process. “Voter fraud is a boogieman,” Deeds said. “There [are] so few cases of it. This legislation is like killing a gnat with a sledgehammer.”
Deeds said, instead of improving the election process, HB 9 would suppress voter turnout. “You can’t convince me we have a big problem to address,” Deeds said. “One more roadblock is just not necessary in my view.”
Kyle Kondik, director of communications at the University’s Center for Politics, said Republicans across the country have been bringing up voter ID laws for the past year. “[Voter identification has] been talked about a lot … especially because of the way a lot of the Republicans took control of a lot of state houses in the big wave of 2010,” Kondik said. “There’s been a movement by national legislators to protect against voter fraud.”
Kent Willis, executive director of the Virginia American Civil Liberties Union, said the bill was specifically designed to suppress turnout of “racial minorities, low-income people and the elderly,” as they are less likely to have identification.
Full Article: Voter ID proposal passes Va. House | The Cavalier Daily.