One Small Problem With the Virginia Voter Photo ID


     photo 140429VoterIDApplication_TN_zpsc1206f7d.jpgIf you show up to vote with only your shiny new Virginia voter photo ID, you won’t be allowed to vote. Yep, that’s right, despite the genius that is the Virginia General Assembly, a separate class of voters has been created; one that requires two forms of identification to vote.

    I want to believe the Governor and the Attorney General can work this out and find the way to resolve it by issuing an executive order that requires the new photo IDs contain sufficient information to allow a voter to vote. As I discussed in an earlier post about this absolutely inane law, the code was crafted in an effort to suppress the vote through subtle intimidation. It isn’t quite working out the way Republicans originally intended. The offending affirmation on the application for the ID appears to have been removed. But as of now, the new ID is insufficient to allow Virginia citizens their right to vote. They are also required to bring an item that shows they live at the address where they are registered. Of course, that is in the small print somewhere, someplace where it is not evident…until election day.

    Though I am certain that appropriate scrutiny by federal authorities would invalidate such a requirement, that requirement is not stated in the code making this a fight that would probably carry on beyond this fall’s elections. So despite my adamant opposition to this law, it is time to call upon Governor McAuliffe to make it less wrong. Issue an executive order that directs the new identification card contain sufficient information to allow one to vote. Operative word describing the identification card: “Voter;” NOT “photo.”

    Yes, this will increase the lifetime cost of the statute because some of these voters will move and will require a new ID. But that is the burden of poor legislation: a tax on our legislators’ ignorance borne by us.  

    • scott_r

      …appear in support of these voter-suppression laws, but:

      Are you seriously suggesting that some BOE people at the local level will refuse the state-issued voter-id cards when presented because the application form lacks sufficient information to be in compliance with the statute?  

      I’m gonna bet the administrative policy is to accept them, and the burden will be on anyone who challenges it to prove these are inadequate before that policy is changed.  

      I think you’re scratching at straws here.  

      Yes, just the fact that one has to go obtain some kind of documentation is a de-facto poll tax.  

    • glennbear

      With the recent court decision in WI tossing out their photo ID law I am curious if there are any pending challenges to the VA ID law.