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The Virginia State Senate has passed legislation making voter ID requirements more restrictive. The vote was along party lines, with Lt. Governor Bill Bolling casting the tie-breaking vote. It now heads to the Governor for his signature or veto.

Since it is a statewide bill, the Justice Department will have approve it under the Voting Rights Act before it goes into force.

Right now, Virginia has a voter ID requirement, but one can instead choose to sign an affidavit swearing to their identity and that they're only voting once. The new bill, marked SB 1 in the legislature, would make showing proof of ID mandatory in order to vote; if one does not have their ID with them, they would be forced to cast a provisional ballot, to be counted only if they present proof of identification to the county registrar.

The new bill does allow for a fairly wide range of forms of ID:

The bill would allow voters to present any of several documents as valid identification, including a driver's license, voter registration card, government-issued photo ID, social security card, bank statement or utility bill. The Senate approved an amendment Monday to add student ID cards issued by Virginia four-year colleges to the list of acceptable forms of identification.

The Senate also passed a separate bill (SB 663) Monday that would add concealed handgun permits to that list of acceptable voter identifications. Sen. Ralph Smith, R-Roanoke County, is sponsoring the bill.

Which, to me, lays bare the claim that this is to prevent voter fraud. If I got someone's old utility bill, I could claim to be whoever I wanted. It's not like it has a photo of the unfortunate person on it. Republicans are not at all interested in preventing the ridiculously rare occurrence of voter fraud; they simply want to make it harder to vote.

10:24 AM PT: It should be noted that the bill as introduced did not allow for a voter registration card to be used as valid ID; this provision was removed in committee, and a provision added for bank statements and utility bills to be considered valid ID. The full text of the bill as passed by the Senate is here.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied - chains us all, irrevocably.

    by Andrew M on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 09:03:36 AM PST

  •  Maybe I'm reading this wrong... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SquirrelWhisperer

    But I don't see what the big deal is. Who actually wouldn't have ANY of these documents? Doesn't every registered voter get a voter ID card? We do in Florida. Seems to me they are giving voters plenty of options if they only need one of these to vote.

    driver's license, voter registration card, government-issued photo ID, social security card, bank statement or utility bill
    •  Florida is different (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      progressivevoice

      than other states, then. I have no form of photo ID, not even on my driver's license due to a law that exempts the elderly from needing one. So I'm reduced to absentee voting, which I'm not confident even gets counted. Especially since I vote Democratic. See?

      Oh, for Pete's sake!

      by sow hat on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 10:09:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This will be upheld by the DoJ, because it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SquirrelWhisperer, Aspe4

    allows for a LOT of forms of ID which makes it virtually universal.

    After all, I believe EVERYONE has a Social Security Card.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 10:11:35 AM PST

    •  I'd be willing to bet that there are some (0+ / 0-)

      people that have lost their Social Security card, or had it damaged, or whatever. As far as the utility bill or bank statement, that definitely will disenfranchise the poor. In fact, the only one that does not require money is the Social Security card - and how many people carry those with them? I know I don't - mine is in a lock box.

      (-9.25, -6.62) "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both" - Benjamin Franklin

      by trs on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 10:42:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Voter ID's cost money? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SquirrelWhisperer, Lujane

        Doesn't Virginia mail you a voter ID card when you register? It would seem every voter would at least have that, which I've never heard of costing money.

        •  If a voter ID alone is accepted - (0+ / 0-)

          I didn't get the impression from the post that the Voter ID alone would be accepted. Maybe I read it wrong - wouldn't be the first time.

          (-9.25, -6.62) "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both" - Benjamin Franklin

          by trs on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 04:03:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Our guv wants some luv (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane

    from the right for his fight. He wants to be the V.P. nominee for Romney. Oh, I hope he is! Then, when the two lose to Obama-Biden in November, that'll be the end of our guv's stealth political career. He's such a robot. He and Mittens will make a great pair.

    That will leave us with folksy Bill Bolling as our guv, but we'd only have to put up with him until November 2013. This time around, folks, I WILL vote for McAuliffe! I scorned him last time as having too much money and too much baggage but trust me, he would have been a tremendous improvement over McDonnell. Robo-guv has signed, or is about to sign, legislation that will leave this Commonwealth with one abortion clinic.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 10:22:52 AM PST

    •  Ehh. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lujane

      Yeah, McDonnell's a nice dark horse running-mate for Romney, and would probably win him points with the evangelicals. Also, being one of the few Republican governors with high approval ratings would be another plus for Romney. My money's on him or Rubio.

      As for voting for McAuliffe...ugh. Him and his crowd turn my stomach. I wish there was a way to oust McDonnell and his lackey without encouraging the plutocratic dipshit wing of the Virginia Democrats.

      With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied - chains us all, irrevocably.

      by Andrew M on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 10:32:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  McDonnell Would Not Have to Resign Right? (0+ / 0-)

      He could still be governor while running for Vice President and when he loses he would just go back to his day job. Unless there's a provision of Virginia law preventing a sitting governor from running for another office.

      "The problem with posting quotes off the Internet is you never know if they're genuine."--Gen. George Washington at the Battle of Gettysburg, February 30, 1908

      by Aspe4 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 01:12:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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