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
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7/16/14  3:09 pm
Commenter: Sharon Richardson, Prince William County Election Officer

Reject the proposal to require that "valid" IDs be unexpired

This is the problem with legislation that is enacted to control who votes. Let's look at recent U.S. history: Southern states sought to disfranchise racial minorities during and after Reconstruction. From 1868 to 1888, electoral fraud and violence throughout the South suppressed the African-American vote. From 1888 to 1908, Southern states legalized disfranchisement by enacting Jim Crow laws; they amended their constitutions and passed legislation to impose literacy tests, poll taxes, property-ownership requirements, moral character tests, requirements that applicants interpret a particular document, and grandfather clauses that allowed otherwise-ineligible persons to vote if their grandfathers voted (which excluded many African Americans whose grandfathers had been ineligible). This is the kind of nonsense the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was enacted to stop. Yet, here we are -- not even 50 years down the road -- and it's now a different roadblock seeking to disenfranchise the elderly, the disabled and the poor. We're caught up in this discussion about "valid" ID, as if RAMPANT voter fraud were the norm instead of a statistical insignificance.

As an election officer, I have enough to do on election day(s) to ensure that our democracy operates the way it is supposed to -- that is, that everyone who wishes to vote and is eligible to vote is able to do so in a safe, efficient and secure manner. I do NOT have time -- particularly in presidential election years -- to squint at every form of ID to a) see if it even HAS an expiration date and then b) if it does have an expiration date to discern whether it has expired. I vote NO on the question of valid = unexpired. Do NOT add to our burdens during elections by requiring this; especially since rampant voter fraud has NEVER been shown in Virginia in the last 40 years or so.

CommentID: 33050