|Action||Revise Valid Definition|
|Comment Period||Ends 8/4/2014|
The Virginia New Majority believes that all elections need to be free, fair, and accessible to all qualified voters of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The current definition of “valid” as adopted by the State Board of Elections on June 10, 2014 is clear and concise, and accurately reflects the purpose of the Virginia voter photo ID requirement, which is to verify the identify of voters who present themselves to vote in an election. The verification of photograph, name and address is sufficient in determining the identity of a voter.
The expiration date of a photo identification card has no bearing on an individual’s identity. In fact, several photo IDs acceptable for voting contain no expiration date, including the free voter photo ID card issued by the Department of Elections. The SBE should set uniform standards for election administration and should not require election officers to consider expiration dates for some, but not all, photo ID cards – this could result in inconsistent application of the law and regulations precinct by precinct.
Requiring election officers to ascertain the present status of a photo ID to determine its “validity” will add an additional layer of scrutiny that could slow down the check-in process on Election Day. For example, election officers may need to access the Department of Motor Vehicles database to determine the current status of an individual’s license, to access employer records to determine current employment status, or to access school records to determine current enrollment status, to name just a few.
The VNM is very concerned with the inevitable voter confusion that will result from the proposed changes to the voter photo ID regulations. Organizations across the Commonwealth have already begun to distribute postcards and flyers informing voters of the voter photo ID requirements based on the current regulations adopted by the SBE.
Potentially changing the regulations yet again before the November 2014 election would create unnecessary confusion over what IDs voters actually need in order to cast a ballot, and would negate nearly two months of voter education and outreach efforts using the current adopted definition of “valid” which began on July 1, 2014 when the law went into effect.