Va. Lawmakers Reject Voter ID Amendment

Thursday, 19 Apr 2012 11:27 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Virginia lawmakers have rejected a voter identification proposal pushed by Gov. Bob McDonnell that would have required the state’s electoral board to certify the signature on a provisional ballot with a voter’s registration file.
 
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, McDonnell said he was disappointed his signature comparison provision wasn’t added to a larger voter ID bill and held out the possibility that he might veto the measure when it reaches his desk.
 
“It’s a much better way of ensuring that we have clean, honest, fair elections without putting undue burden on the voters,” the Republican governor said.
 
“We’re going to have to take a very hard look at that bill now when it comes back to determine what the next step is,” he added.
 
Similar versions of voter ID bills passed both the Virginia House and Senate. Critics of both measures have suggested they will make it more difficult for minorities, young people and the elderly to vote, while the bills’ proponents defend the tougher ID restrictions as a guarantee against voter fraud.
 
As it turns out, a fellow Republican, state Sen. Stephen H. Martin, who sponsored the Senate bill, was instrumental in rejecting the McDonnell’s signature comparison amendment.

The Times-Dispatch reported Thursday that state voter registrars had raised concerns about it, saying that signatures from years ago could look different now and would be hard to verify.
 
McDonnell did have some success, however, in influencing the Senate bill. An amendment he offered eliminating the authority of poll workers to allow voters they personally recognize to cast ballots was accepted.

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