We’re in the middle of another contentious primary election season and a debate has emerged about whether voters should be required to provide state-issued identification at polling precincts. Currently West Virginia election law follows the Help America Vote Act, federal regulations which outline voting practices and standards. Secretary of State Natalie Tennant said during an interview with The State Journal’s Decision Makers that a process is in place now that provides checks to the identification and registration process. ” … While Tennant agrees with making more elections more secure, she said she has concerns over whether this type of requirement would discourage or intimidate some potential voters from participating in the election process. “It is a right and not a privilege to vote,” said Tennant. “Someone who doesn’t drive, can’t get there to get a card, or can’t afford a state issued ID card.”
Lane contends it’s necessary to protect the integrity of elections and they’ve thought about the challenges. “If you don’t have or can’t afford a state issued ID, we’ll give it to you for free.” That would cost the state upwards of $1 million according to Tennant. She said she wants details about where that money would come from.
The bill Lane supported died during the recent legislative session, but the debate will continue as another election cycle approaches.