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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7/23/14  10:37 am
Commenter: Ned Nicholas

Valid must mean "valid when issued"

The key to determining the meaning of the word "valid" in the statute is to reflect on the announced purpose of the statute: to prevent a certain type of voter fraud (voting by a person who is not who he says he is). To prevent this type of voter fraud, the statute requires a person to produce "a valid Virginia identification card." The idea must be that the process involved in obtaining such a card assures that the person was, at the time the card was issued, who he said he was. So the important point is that the card was valid WHEN ISSUED. If the card was valid when issued, then the issuing process provides the assurance required by the statute (that the person is who he says he is). Expiration of the card has no impact on the value of the card as proof that the person seeking to vote is who he says he is. So "valid" must mean "valid when issued." If the statute included language making it clear that on voting day the card had to be valid for the purpose it was issued, that would be different -- and ridiculous. But there is no such language in the statute and so the sensible interpretation is also the right one. 


CommentID: 33697