|Action||Revise Valid Definition|
|Comment Period||Ended on 8/4/2014|
Under this proposal, the potential variety and inconsistency among notions of "validity" for different forms of ID would lead to an inherently irregular process. Not all photo ID's bear expiration dates. For example, given that an employee may move to a new job, how will an employer-issued photo ID that has no expiration date be determined by election officials to be valid or invalid? The rationale for photo voter ID in Virginia is entirely fuzzy about whether the purpose of the ID is to establish identity (association of name and photo/person) or to introduce unnamed extraneous and possibly restrictive considerations. Students retaining Virginia residency have already been put at a disadvantage by restricting use of photo IDs from out-of-state educational institutions. No credible evidence of voter fraud in Virginia has been presented to support the ever-increasing attempts to restrict voter access to polls. The vote-suppressing impact of the proposed change is entirely disproportionate to any demonstrated risk, and its burden will disproportionately disadvantage specific demographic groups of eligible voters. The effect of this change will fall primarily on the voting elderly (with expired ID) and on others who lack transportation or time to go in person to obtain or renew a Voter ID card. This will impact broadly the (wage-dependent) working poor, for whom the requirement is indeed the equivalent of a poll tax. Finally, Mr. Obenshain seems oblivious to his conflict of interest (whether actual or perceived) regarding voter restriction. He lost the most recent election for Attorney General in a partisan and hotly contested race, so can hardly be seen as a disinterested party after so short a time. The ill-thought-out implications of the proposed change must cast doubt on both, the legal acumen that led to it and the ethics of so quickly pursuing a rule that would impede eligible Virginia voters from casting their votes, as is their Constitutional right.