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The voter photo ID measure, passed by the General Assembly last month and signed into law by Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) on Monday, could be in place for the 2014 elections.
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Virginia Enacts Law Requiring
Photo ID for Voters in 2014

The Washington Post
Virginia has become the latest GOP-led state to approve legislation that would ask voters to present a photo ID to cast a ballot.

The measure, passed by the General Assembly last month and signed into law by Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) on Monday, could be in place for the 2014 elections. Virginia now joins Republican-controlled states including Georgia, Indiana, Tennessee and Louisiana that have approved similar measures.

The change is subject to approval by the Department of Justice under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which covers nine states with a history of discriminatory voting practices.

"He believes that proving that you are a citizen and registered voter by photo ID is a reasonable effort to protect the sanctity of our democratic process," McDonnell spokesman Jeff Caldwell said in a statement.

While supporters said such measures are needed to protect the integrity of the vote, critics said the laws are a partisan effort to suppress turnout among the poor, elderly and minorities -- many of whom tend to vote Democrat...

McDonnell's decision was among several made before Monday's midnight deadline to amend or veto bills from the legislative session that ended Feb. 23...

[T]he move appears to represent a change of heart for the governor, who during the session had signaled his support for voting regulations adopted last year.

McDonnell sought last year to blunt criticism that the 2012 voter ID law -- which did not require a photograph -- disenfranchised some voters. He issued an executive order that election officials mail out new voter ID cards to registered voters.

The governor Tuesday explained why he supported the photo ID bill after he had said the current rules had worked well.

"I said there was good compliance with the bill last year," McDonnell said during an interview. "That doesn't mean it is sufficient scrutiny to be sure that when a voter shows up with an ID that does not have his or her picture, that that is sufficient to be able to determine whether or not it is that voter."

McDonnell also issued an executive order directing the State Board of Elections to implement a plan to educate the public about the changes. The board also would help people lacking appropriate photo identification to obtain free IDs before the 2014 elections, when the measure would take effect if cleared by the Justice Department.


Editor's Note: Photo ID at the ballot box is a must to protect against voter fraud...The idea that someone cannot attain a free voter ID card over the course of two years (the time between federal elections) is so absurd that anyone advancing that argument should be laughed into silence...

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