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General Assembly- Feb. 4 2020

From the State Capitol in Richmond, I’m Craig Carper.

On a party line, 21 to 19 vote, the Senate has passed a bill that would eliminate the requirement for voters to show a photo ID in order to cast their ballot. 

Democrats like Senator Mamie Locke of Hampton have long argued that the requirement discriminates against many elderly minority voters who may be less likely to have a photo ID.   

“A fundamental right like voting should be made available to all eligible voters. Not further restricted due to the myriad circumstances that might prevent a voter from having a photo ID.”

 The current photo ID requirement was passed in 2012 and signed into law by then Governor Bob McDonnell. Republicans say the law guarantees fair elections, by preventing voter fraud. 

Senator Mark Obenshain of Harrisonburg notes that the law was upheld when challenged in federal court.  

The plaintiffs challenging the constitutionality couldn’t come up with a single voter, not one single voter in the commonwealth of Virginia who was denied the right to vote as a consequence of having been asked for a photo identification. 

A similar bill is awaiting a committee vote in the House. 

For Assembly 20, I’m Craig Carper. 


VPM News is the staff byline for articles and podcasts written and produced by multiple reporters and editors.