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Jess Foster, Democratic Candidate in the 88th House District, Responds To Mark...

From the Jess Foster for House of Delegates campaign: Jess Foster, Democratic Candidate in the 88th House District, Responds To Misinformation On the Equal Rights Amendment For...

Video: In HD88 Debate, Far Right-Wing Republican Mark Cole tries to...

by Benjamin Litchfield Bottom Line, Up Front: Del. Mark Cole (R-HD88) is an extreme pro-life social conservative with a track record of killing all progressive...

Del. Mark Cole (R-HD88) Wants Child Victims of Sex Trafficking to...

by Ben Litchfield As Democrats, many of us take it as an article of faith that the decision to terminate a pregnancy rests solely with...

Chaz Looks at Super-Gerrymandered HD-88, Which Went for Trump, Gillespie and...

The latest from Virginia political analyst Chaz Nuttycombe looks at the super-gerrymandered (by Republicans) HD-88 (Stafford County, Spotsylvania County, Fredericksburg City, Fauquier County), a...

Video: Black Legislators in Virginia House of Delegates Blast “Piss-Poor” Independent...

See below for video and highlights of yesterday's Virginia House of Delegates debate on HJ615 ("Requires the establishment of independent redistricting commissions by the...

Analyst from Princeton Gerrymandering Project Gives Far-Right Del. Mark Cole’s “Independent...

With various "bipartisan," "nonpartisan" and "independent" redistricting plans being bandied about in Virginia right now, who knows what's going to end up happening. It's...

Virginia GOP Men Kill Equal Rights Amendment; Vote Them OUT OF...

These anti-women, anti-LGBT, anti-immigrant, anti-environment, etc, etc. Republican men all need to be booted out of office next year. Let's make it so! P.S. The...

Va. Right-Wing Republicans Introduce Bills Making It Harder to Vote, Go...

There were two godawful bills introduced today in the Virginia General Assembly. Not surprisingly, both came from right-wing Republican members: 1) from Del. Mark...

ALEC Ties to Virginia Voter ID Law

The voter ID laws passed in Virginia and other states this year and designed to limit the right of citizens to vote, especially groups that traditionally vote Democratic, have a common origin, the now-notorious American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC. A task force of ALEC, the Public Safety and Elections Task Force, promoted a model law to limit voting through ID requirements. In Virginia, quite a few Republican legislators are a part of ALEC, including the ones who introduced the legislation.

Republicans Dave Albo, Beverly Sherwood, and Ben Cline were all members of the Public Safety and Elections Task Force. However, the legislation that ultimately passed and was signed by Bob McDonnell (who also has ties to ALEC) was introduced in the General Assembly by two other members of ALEC, Del. Mark Cole of Fredericksburg (Education Task Force) and Sen, Steve Martin of Chesterfield (Health and Human Services Task Force, which Martin chairs).

Several groups have begun working to insure the right to vote for some groups of Americans, especially minorities, the elderly, and young adults. One such group, VoteRiders, a non-partisan and non-profit organization, has launched a nationwide program, "Take a Friend to the DMV," to help citizens get their voter IDs. The NAACP has also pledged to have a robust program to insure people's right to vote. Programs are needed most in state like Texas and Pennsylvania, where citizens can only vote if they have a government-issued photo ID, a document that requires a person to also present a birth certificate.

There's no question as to the motive behind the Pennsylvania law. The state Republican majority leader told a meeting of the Republican State Committee: "Voter ID, which is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done."

In Virginia the law is far less draconian.

Blatant Voter Suppression Bill Proposed by Albo

People have been focusing on possible voter suppression if HB 9, which will require that potential voters produce identification in order to be allowed to vote a regular ballot, were to become law. However, there is a far worse bill than Mark Cole's HB 9. HB 895 has been introduced by Dave Albo (R-Springfield) and co-sponsored by Tim Hugo (R-Centreville). That bill would require all persons registering to vote to prove they are citizens of the United States, prove they live in the precinct they will vote in, and produce a current, government-issued photo identification.

I can't see how that bill - should it become law - would ever pass scrutiny by the U.S. Department of Justice, but that didn't stop Albo from introducing it. It even tries to backhandedly overturn the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, better known as the "motor voter bill," by requiring that anyone registering at the DMV or other state agency bring all that identification with them.

Mark Cole, Tim Hugo and Dave Albo have one thing in common besides being right wing Republicans. They are all participating legislators in ALEC, the far-right corporate bunch that writes model right-wing laws for state legislators to introduce. Albo is on ALEC's Public Safety and Elections Task Force. Hugo is on two ALEC task forces. Mark Cole is on the ALEC Education Task Force.

HB 895 and HB 9 both follow ALEC's model bill that is intended to suppress voter turnout in the guise of protecting against imaginary voter fraud.