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Sen. McEachin: Signing of Voter Suppression Bill “affront to Virginians and the Constitution”

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Yet again, as on so many other issues, Bob McDonnell has demonstrated cowardice, not courage. This time, it's in an area that is absolutely fundamental to being an American: our right to vote. Sadly, as Sen. McEachin explains in his statement (see below), McDonnell apparently believes that "Virginians' constitutional rights are optional," or at least that they're trumped by his own "partisan, divisive, rightwing, radical agenda." Well, sorry Transvaginal Bob, but those rights are not in any way optional, nor can you make this issue go away by hiding it late on a Friday afternoon when most people are getting ready for their weekends. Nice try, though. Heh.

Senator McEachin Decries Signing of Voter Suppression Act   Henrico – Senator A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) today issued this statement about Governor McDonnell signing Senate Bill 1, the voter suppression bill. Senator McEachin said, “I am disappointed and dismayed that the governor and his Republican allies in the General Assembly continue their partisan, divisive, rightwing, radical agenda unabated. Whether it is women’s health, or the civil rights of LGBT citizens or voting rights, the Republicans continue to act as if Virginians' constitutional rights are optional.   “The right to vote, to participate in our country’s electoral process is the most basic right of a citizen. The very foundation of our democracy is the right to vote and when we put impediments before our citizens’ voting rights, we endanger our very form of government.     “This bill will cost significant resources in training and administration for election officials. In this economy, as we have too few dollars for education, public safety and transportation, we should not be wasting valued monies to suppress voting. This is now a costly boondoggle and an affront to Virginians and the Constitution.

P.S. Also see ProgressVA's statement on the "flip."

P.P.S. Screwing with democracy is, apparently, what Bob McDonnell's sorry excuse for a party does these days. 

ProgressVA Statement on Bob McDonnell’s Refusal to Veto Voter Suppression Legislation

Legislation will increase obstacles to voting for thousands of Virginians while executive order could cost taxpayers millions

 

Governor Bob McDonnell demonstrated yet again today that his allegiances lie with his extreme right-wing allies, not Virginia families. McDonnell refused to veto voter suppression legislation that will make it harder for thousands of Virginians to cast a ballot. ProgressVA Executive Director Anna Scholl released the following statement.

 

“We’re disappointed in Governor McDonnell’s refusal to heed the calls of thousands of Virginians and veto this unnecessary and expensive voter suppression legislation. Unfortunately, Virginians’ constitutional rights have been caught between Bob McDonnell’s allegiance to his right-wing allies and his Vice Presidential aspirations. This legislation and the accompanying executive order are an expensive fix to a nonexistent problem. We’ve never solved anything in this country with less democracy and we shouldn’t start now.”

 

Over fifteen hundred ProgressVA members contacted their representatives and Governor McDonnell urging opposition to this legislation. Additionally, a coalition of organizations including Virginia New Majority, Virginia Organizing, the Virginia Interfaith Center, and Alliance for Progressive Values delivered 6740 petition signatures to Governor McDonnell calling for his veto.

 

According to The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis, the cost to the Commonwealth of new staff training and administration and instituting a voter education campaign around new voting requirements could cost taxpayers millions.

  • glennbear

    Not mentioned is the defense of this half baked law against the inevitable lawsuits.  

  • STATEMENT OF DELEGATE JENNIFER L. MCCLELLAN (71ST DISTRICT) ON GOVERNOR MCDONNELL SIGNING SB1, HB9 AND A RELATED EXECUTIVE ORDER

    RICHMOND – Today, Governor Bob McDonnell signed legislation requiring individuals who do not bring an approved form of ID with them to the polls to vote provisionally, and later present an approved ID to their local registrar to have that vote counted. While the bill expands the forms of acceptable identification, it risks placing undue burdens on Virginians exercising their right to vote with no compelling evidence of a pattern of voters pretending to be someone they are not. I applaud the Governor’s executive order, also issued today, directing the State Board of Elections to send every Virginia voter a voter card before Election Day. However, these flimsy paper cards are easily damaged, lost, or destroyed. Given Virginia’s pernicious history of denying citizens the right to vote during the era of Jim Crow, and the sacrifice of those who fought and died to protect that right, we should tread lightly before enacting any voting restrictions.

  • I am deeply disappointed that the Governor has signed such an unnecessary piece of legislation that will cost the Commonwealth over $500,000 and disenfranchise elderly and minority voters across the state. Rather than spending that money on a solution in search of a problem, we should be spending it on real problems such as fully funding our schools and investing in our transportation infrastructure. Make no mistake. This bill will suppress voting from the impoverished, the elderly, and those living on the margins. With over 3 million registered voters choosing to stay home and only 28% voter participation during the last election, we ought to be figuring out ways to make it easier for Virginians to have their voices heard.

  • STATEMENT ON GOVERNOR SIGNING VOTER ID BILLS

    On Friday afternoon, Governor McDonnell signed into law SB 1 and HB 9, voter identification laws which increase the burden on citizens to cast their ballots.

    “Both of these voter ID bills were solutions in search of a problem,” said Caucus Chairman Mark Sickles (D-Franconia). “No witness in any committee could point to evidence that fraudulent votes were cast by people, sworn under threat of felony perjury charges, coming to the polls in the name of a registered voter. If this practice were occurring, it would be discovered in the course of Election Day.”

    “We have been voting in the Commonwealth for decades with no problems,” said Delegate Jeion Ward (D-Hampton). “But now, after we have elected the first Black President and when we stand a very good chance of re-electing a Black President, we begin to hear about all of these problems with our voting process.  You’ve got to wonder what is actually behind this new law. We have been working hard over the years to encourage people to vote, but with this legislation, it appears that there are some who wish to put enough obstacles in the way that will actually suppress the vote of many citizens: seniors, college students, the poor and minorities.”

  • Teddy Goodson

    to these voter ID laws—- in time to put a stop to this suppression effort before the November elections?