David B. Bjerke, General Registrar of Voters for the City of Falls Church
I do not support the proposed changes
After discussing this issue extensively with both people in favor and people not in favor of this change, I have come to the following conclusion:
Either SBE must rule that an expiration date is not relevant for identification purposes or SBE must rule that identification with expiration dates are not allowable for Voter Identification at all.
The current code already makes expiration irrelevant: “Other data contained on the document, including but not limited to expiration date, shall not be considered in determining the validity of the document.”
In order to maintain uniformity with another part of the current code that allows for free Voter ID that does not contain expiration dates, no valid identification should be rejected for having an expiration date. This means, for example, either a driver's license (or any currently valid ID containing an expiration date) is valid despite containing an expiration date or that a driver's license is invalid because it contains an expiration date.
An expiration date on a driver’s license only pertains to a person’s privilege to drive. It should not have anything to do with a voter’s right to vote or ability to be identified when there are other forms of identification that can be used that do not have an expiration.
A driver’s license was never intended to be used as anything more than a license for driving, which is not a right, but a privilege. It does not permit authorization for any other use including the right to vote. Therefore, how can we use it as a voter ID?
If we permit the use of a driver’s license as a voter ID, we are permitting the ability to be identified by a state government office and we must be uniform and treat all identification cards by government offices the same. Since the Voter ID we are now processing does not have an expiration date as a way to be identified, then a driver’s license should not be an invalid form of _identification_ when the use of a driver's license is not originally intended for Voter identification.
If a driver’s license expires, it is no longer valid for the privilege of driving which is not a right. That does not prevent another agency allowing that license to be used for other purposes such as identification for the right to vote regardless of information on it as the legal language previously stated reads.
Voting is important to all of us in this profession. I interpret my job to find every conceivable way possible to allow a voter his/her right to vote. I do not interpret my job as looking for ways to deny a voter his/her right to vote. Using an expiration date on an otherwise legitimate ID card as a way to prevent a legitimate registered voter from voting is, in my opinion, the definition of disenfranchisement.
An expiration date does not negate a voter's identity in any way which is why the new official Voter ID card does not come with an expiration date. I do not support the proposed changes.