Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Elections
State Board of Elections
Voter Registration [1 VAC 20 ‑ 40]
Chapter is Exempt from Article 2 of the Administrative Process Act
Action Revise Valid Definition
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ended on 8/4/2014
Previous Comment     Next Comment     Back to List of Comments
7/15/14  11:19 pm
Commenter: Valerie L'Herrou

Proposed regulation invites litigation

Dear State Board of Elections:

I strongly object to the proposed amendment to the recently promulgated regulations regarding the validity of photo identification allowed to be used for the purpose of voting.

It is utterly ridiculous to place a time limit on a valid ID. A person's identity does not expire. The only determination an election official needs to make is whether the person presenting themselves to vote is who they say they are. An identity card with the person's name and their photo is more than enough to make that determination. The expiration date does not in any way change the person's identity or their status as a registered voter. This is a clearly irrelevant and unnecessary amendment, and furthermore, goes against the principles of democracy. In a country where less than 60% of eligible voters actually participate in the political process that was designed to make sure our country was not ruled by tyrants, but was truly government of, by, and for the people, such a regulation would be against every principle of democracy. By burdening voters with a ridiculous regulation that bears no rational relationship to any legitimate governmental purpose, it is also likely unconstitutional and exposes the state to expensive, lengthly litigation. 

This regulation would burden many people, including those in nursing homes, those who can no longer drive for any number of reasons, including medical ones, or reasons of age, and those who are too busy working multiple jobs to have time to go to the DMV to renew an expired ID.

Finally, since the information available on the State Board of Elections' own website indicates that expired IDs ARE valid, this rule would negatively impact those who have consulted the SBE, determined that they have valid ID, and therefore feel that they no longer need to pay attention to new information about voter ID.

Thus, this needless proposed rule should not be approved.

Additionally, another proposed change to the rule is also not rational--and further, would create chaos at precincts everywhere in Virginia: changing the term "valid" to mean "having legal effect, legally or officially acceptable or of binding force,"  This proposed amendment would put every election official into the position of potentially engaging in the unauthorized practice of law as they try to determine whether an ID being presented has any legal effect or is of binding force. If you feel the need to more fully explain what "valid" means, why not just say "officially acceptable"? 

Thank you.

Valerie L'Herrou

CommentID: 33020