A Virginia state House panel has approved a Republican-sponsored voter bill that would require people unable to produce identification to cast provisional ballots, according to a report by the Richmond Times-Dispatch
The vote last week by the state House Committee on Privileges and Election caused an uproar among Democrats opposed to altering existing law, which the Times-Dispatch said allows anyone who claims to be a registered voter to a cast a regular ballot that gets counted immediately — regardless of whether they produce proper identification or not.
The Democrats argued that the measure would suppress the vote of the elderly, poor and young voters, as well as minorities.
“I don’t know why we have this bill in front of us if we don’t have documented cases of voter fraud,” Democratic Del. Kenneth C. Alexander was quoted as saying.
Republicans, however, insisted the bill would correct what they see as a flaw in existing election laws.
Republican Del. David B. Albo was quoted by the Times-Dispatch as saying he didn’t “understand what the controversy of the bill is.”
Noting that the provisional ballots would be reviewd by the local electoral board, he said, “If they are legit, they get counted.”
The bill now moves to the full Virginia House for consideration.
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