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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7/31/14  6:39 pm
Commenter: Marilyn Karp

Allow Expired Photo IDs for Voting

I object to the proposal to limit "valid" IDs for the purposes of voting to unexpired IDs. As many registrars and electoral board members have noted, as long as the voter reasonably resembles photo on the ID, the purpose of the law has been fulfilled. The photo ID is only for identification. There are other safeguards and procedures in place to deal with possible fraudulent voting.

Aside from the fact that some of the acceptable forms of ID, including the new photo ID issued by Virginia registrars' offices for voting purposes, have no expiration date, the fact that one's license or passport has a past expiration date is irrelevant for voting purposes. The identity doesn't expire, only the right to legally drive, travel, etc. Even expired passports are accepted by the DMV for identification to obtain a driver's license! The proposed restriction will adversely affect certain groups, such as the many older voters who use expired licenses or military IDs as their only photo ID.

Retailers who verify ID for age-specific purposes or check-cashing/credit card validation do not look at expiration dates on the IDs. Why should election officers be asked to provide this unnecessary scrutiny, especially if trying to find an expiration date or deciding what to do if an ID has no expiration date is a time-waster, resulting in long delays in checking in voters on election day and large numbers of provisional ballots to process after election day.

Finally, changing the regulations now will confuse voters and make it harder for them to ensure they have an acceptable photo ID. The SBE, local registrars and electoral boards, and civic and other organizations have been preparing materials and educating voters about current requirements; changing the rules now would undermine these efforts and be grossly unfair to Virginia's voters. Retain the current (June 10) version of the regulation and get on with the business of explaining the unnecessary photo ID requirement to voters and potential voters throughout Virginia.

CommentID: 35929