|Action||Revise Valid Definition|
|Comment Period||Ends 8/4/2014|
The new changes to the law are absolutely insane.
This law does not cut down on the amount of voter fraud like the Republicans said it would. If they wanted to do that, they could have gone a lot further with it. For example, there is nowhere in the law about requiring absentee voters to provide photo ID when applying for an absentee ballot.
Let's look at the facts: the type of voter fraud that this law is trying to cut down on is extremely rare, and at the point to where the number of cases does not sway an election. And while there are some documented cases of voter fraud, most of them are not cut down by the voter ID laws in any state, let alone Virginia.
An exhaustive report from News21 reported that since 2000, for every case of in-person voter-impersonation fraud (the type of voter fraud the law is aimed to stop), there is a whopping 207 cases of voter fraud performed in other mediums. Most of these cases are usually performed by third parties, campaigns, or election workers.
What these laws, both nationwide and in Virginia, are designed to do is to disenfranchise voters that do not own a picture identification. There are hundreds of thousands of Virginians that do not have photo ID provided to them by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). And while it is unclear as to how many have gotten photo IDs in another form, the facts are that many if not most of these people are in groups that vote overwhelmingly Democratic: minorities and the poor.
Therefore, despite the complete lack of justification due to the extremely miniscule amount of reported in-person voter-impersonation fraud, Republican lawmakers crafted a law that just so happens to eliminate a large amount of voters that tend to vote for the other guys.
But I will give the Republicans this: it does seem as if there is voter fraud in the Commonwealth of Virginia. But it is being committed by the lawmakers in Richmond instead of the citizens they serve.