Yesterday Governor McDonnell provided an update on his SB 1 (voter ID) position. He said that he is “very disappointed with the General Assembly on that score” and that he has not made any final decision yet, waiting for “input from the lawyers” and the Board of Elections.
“I submitted an amendment that would have, I think, fixed some of the concerns to make sure you simply do a signature check between the provisional ballot being cast and the voter registration file to see if the signatures match. If not, you know you have a potential fraud by that voter. I’m concerned that we have very good free honest elections in Virginia. But at the same time we don’t want to burden voters and say they have to come back after the fact and so forth.” – Governor McDonnell
In response to a caller on a Norfolk radio station program, the Governor said he had amended about 100 bills and that the General Assembly accepted about 88% of them. He said there are still about two weeks left in the process of reviewing those not accepted including the voter ID bill.
Some legislators were uncomfortable with the required signature comparison. The Governor’s amendment leaves uncertain when the signature process will occur and what the process would be for the vote or the voter if the electoral board or the delegated general registrar or staff member determines the signatures do not match. There is no specification addressing whether the voter is informed or if fraud is presumed when the signatures “do not match.”
If the bill goes into law without the Governor’s signature, voters will be required to provide ID before a provisional ballot will be counted. State Senator Don McEachin (D-9th) is circulating a petition in an effort to help Governor McDonnell make the decision to veto the legislation.