|Action||Revise Valid Definition|
|Comment Period||Ends 8/4/2014|
The ACLU of Virginia opposes the proposed regulation that prohibits voters from using expired photo IDs that are otherwise acceptable to use for voting purposes. To mitigate the burdens the voter photo ID law imposes on voters, the implementation and enforcement of the law should be clear, concise, and accessible to all voters. To amend the definition of “valid” twice in such a short timeframe to prohibit expired photo IDs that are otherwise acceptable, imposes yet another obstacle for voters to overcome to exercise their fundamental right to vote.
The ACLU of Virginia submitted a public comment on March 19, 2014 asking for clarification on the definition of “valid” for the purposes of the voter photo ID law. The State Board of Elections did not adopt a regulation clarifying the definition of valid, which included expired photo IDs, until June 10, 2014---a mere twenty days before the law became effective. To amend the definition of valid twice so close to the upcoming election would ostracize a population of otherwise qualified voters. This population of voters, individuals who no longer drive or travel internationally, will face even more obstacles to voting because the Commonwealth chose not mandate or appropriate funding to general registrars to perform mobile outreach.
Finally, it is illogical to prohibit otherwise acceptable expired photo IDs while other permitted forms, including the new voter photo ID card, do not contain an expiration date at all.
The Commonwealth of Virginia should be ensuring that all voters are able to exercise their fundamental right to vote without placing unnecessary hurdles to the ballot box. Voting should be free, fair, and accessible to all citizens. The ACLU of Virginia requests that the current definition of valid, which permits expired photo IDs to be accepted for the purposes of voting, to remain in force.