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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7/18/14  12:52 pm
Commenter: Frank Leone, Arlington citizen

Don't change the voter photo ID regs

The SBE should not change its June 2014 decision to accept expired photo identification cards as valid.  The purpose of the voter photo ID requirement is to verify the identity of voters.  An identification card with a photograph and name is sufficient to prove the voter's identity.  The expiration date has no bearing on an individual’s identity. 

The statute (Va. Code §24.2-643) requires a “valid” identification, but many of the accepted forms of photo ID do not include expiration dates.  In fact many (Virginia) college student IDs, employee ID badges, and even the free voter ID cards you can obtain at your local registrar (if you lack other ID), do not contain expiration dates. Requiring some IDs to be unexpired, while others are not, it provides an inconsistent application of the law.

The proposed restriction will adversely affect certain groups.  For example, many older voters may have expired licenses as their only photo ID, and they should be able to use them.  College students may not have driver’s licenses and an expired school ID may be their only photo ID.  And do we really want to tell soldiers with expired military IDs that they can’t vote?

Finally, changing the regulations now will confuse voters and make it harder for them to ensure they have an acceptable photo IDthe SBE, local electoral boards, and civic and other organizations have been educating voters about current requirements – changing the rules now would undermine these efforts and be grossly unfair to Virginia’s voters. 

CommentID: 33308