Home Virginia Politics Mark “Criminalize Miscarriages” Obenshain Fights to Keep People From Voting

Mark “Criminalize Miscarriages” Obenshain Fights to Keep People From Voting


We already knew that Virginia State Senator Mark “Criminalize Miscarriages” Obenshain, last year’s Republican nominee for Attorney General, is willing to trample the law just like his hero Ken Cuccinelli. Previously, it was his efforts to make miscarriages by Virginia women a crime that needed to be reported to the police. Now, Obenshain has apparently taken up a new cause: making it as hard as possible for people to vote. Check this out.

So what does the Virginia State Board of Elections have to say about this?  In this June 12 article in the right-wing Watchdog.org, it reports that “SBE Secretary Don Palmer said the action – which eliminates the current 30-day limit on expired IDs – should not be considered controversial.” Note that Palmer is no flaming liberal; in fact, he was appointed by Governor Bob McDonnell in 2011, served in President George W. Bush’s Justice Department, and worked for Congressman Tom Feeney, who “earned a reputation as a brass-knuckles campaigner and when he was House Speaker advocated having the Legislature designate electors for George W. Bush during the 2000 recount.” Anyway, here’s what Palmer had to say.

*”SBE Secretary Don Palmer said the action – which eliminates the current 30-day limit on expired IDs – should not be considered controversial.”

*”We thought the law provided more flexibility. Thirty days was arbitrary.”

*”Palmer added that a second layer of identification still requires voters to provide their full name and address to poll workers.”

*”The law separately requires the voter to orally state their name and current residence to the officer of election, who then repeats the information to observers. This separate process confirms the individual is voting at the correct precinct polling place.”

*”The use of the photo ID is the gold standard in confirming the identity of the voter and is not to be used to confirm the address of the individual.”

Yet all that’s not enough for Mark Obenshain in his quest to combat the non-existent-yet-ever-present-in-the-mind-of-right-wingnuts threat of “voter fraud.” Of course, we all know that all the Obenshains of the world want to do is make it harder for minorities, poor people, and others who tend to vote Democratic more than Republican, to exercise their fundamental American right to vote. And this guy seriously wanted to be Attorney General of Virginia? Seriously?!? No wonder why he said that Ken Cuccinelli would serve as his role model. Ee gads.

  • Dave Webster

    On September 23, 2013 I appeared before the Board of Elections to argue what constitutes “express advocacy” under Virginia law.  

    Here is a link to an article I wrote.


    Palmer was not receptive to my arguments that the “magic words” standard was out of date and seemed a little hostile to being criticized.  He also seemed hostile in general.  Not a very impressive man  

    I support voters rights and I also support voter ID laws.  In fact the vast majority of Virginians both black and white support voter ID laws.  

    Virginia voters say 75 – 23 percent that voters should be required to bring photo ID to cast their ballot on Election Day, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.


  • sal paradise

    I mean this with all intent and seriousness, guys like this one are the ones who engage us Democrats in the trenches and carry the fight to us.  He is very good at what he does, even better because as a party Democrats have lost their street fighting skills from the old days.  We don’t fight well, and knocking guys like this out of the box should be a high priority.  Why waste time and effort on a knucklewalker like him?  Because he’s there, which makes him a target.  His success encourages the others in the GOP and allows them to actually carry out plans; plans bought and paid for by the likes of Koch Boys and many other, faceless evil bad guys who back the Party of Evil.  Just letting guys like him walk around unchallenged should make Democrats everyone break down and cry at our lack of collective will.  He is a total rockhead, yet, due to his embellished position in the GOP earned from his fighting us he rose high in their party.  And ALMOST won as AG.  Imagine that: he was the guy behind the Kenny Cuchko team.