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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7/14/14  1:07 pm
Commenter: Greg S Riddlemoser, General Registrar, Stafford County

"Valid" for photo IDs used on Election Day

Photo IDs used on Election Day MUST not be subject to rejection due to “expiration.”

There is no training program in the world adequate to teach volunteer election officials (EB members, GR staffers, and Officers of Election) how to discern the “currency” of an otherwise valid ID.

A large portion of the photo IDs authorized by the GA do not even have an issued or expire date and it would be ludicrous to reject IDs that do have expire dates.

Passports and Drivers’ Licenses and any other authorized Election Day Photo ID that has expired ought still be utile especially given the fact that GRs are now authorized to create photo IDs for voting purposes without having the applicant actually prove who they are.

Again, expired is irrelevant … and "unless recently expired" is just absurd.

CommentID: 32944

7/14/14  1:29 pm
Commenter: E. Randall Wertz, General Registrar, Montgomery County

Definition of "Valid"

The definition of "expired is as follows:

 ex·pire - verb - past tense: expired; past participle: expired

1. (of a document, authorization, or agreement) cease to be valid, typically after a fixed period of time.  "the old contract had expired"

 synonyms: run out, become invalid, become void, lapse; More end, finish, stop, come to an end, terminate "my contract has expired"

•(of a period of time) come to an end.  "the three-year period has expired"   

•(of a person) die.

synonyms: die, pass away/on, breathe one's last; More informalkick the bucket, bite the dust, croak, buy it, buy the farm; dateddepart this life "the spot where he expired"

2. technical exhale (air) from the lung.  synonyms: breathe out, exhale, blow out, expel

Therefore, if the driver's license has expired, it is no longer valid!

CommentID: 32945

7/14/14  1:40 pm
Commenter: James D. Nix, Vice Chair, Charlottesville Electoral Board

The proposed change to the definition of "valid" photo makes no sense

The intent of the majority in the legislature that voted for the new photo ID law clearly was to reduce the possibility of voter fraud by requiring voters to present a state or federal ID that links each voter’s name with a recognizable photograph.  The law provides a list of acceptable types of photo ID, some of which are subject to expiration and some that never expire.  Clearly then, the legislators did not feel that an expiration date was relevant to the primary goal of linking a voters name with his or her face in a photograph.  It makes absolutely no sense to say that some types of ID are valid merely because they include a recognizable photo and the voters name while others also require a date.  How can the proof of identity of the individual voter be established by the photo and the name on one form of acceptable ID but not on another one?  There are many voters who for reasons of age or disability are no longer able to drive a vehicle or travel abroad and therefore have no need to maintain a current driver’s license or passport.  However, barring a major change in physical appearance, an expired license or passport will be just as effective in establishing a voter’s identity as a student ID of comparable age that never expires.  This proposed change in the definition of “valid” for purposes of voter identification will place unnecessary obstacles in the path of some voters without contributing at all to the prevention of vote fraud.

CommentID: 32947

7/14/14  1:57 pm
Commenter: Renee Bergmann Andrews, Falls Church Electoral Board

Valid Photo ID

The photo ID cards to be issued by the Department of Elections have no expiration date.  Therefore, officers of election should be instructed not to use any expiration date on another type of photo ID to determine a voter's qualification to vote.  Officers of election need to be instructed to look at the photo to ensure that it matches the person appearing before them, nothing more, and nothing less.  Just because a license or passport is expired does not mean the person does not exist.  The purpose of the new law is to match the individual with the photo, not to determnine a voter's qualification to drive or to travel.  Do not add the extra burden of determining valid vs. invalid dates on our officers of election.

CommentID: 32949

7/14/14  2:11 pm

your identity never expires

The intent of the General Assembly is to prevent people from voting for somebody else. It is not the intent of the General Assembly to ensure all Virginia voters have an unexpired ID document. This intent is evident due to the fact that the legislation authorizes some forms of ID that do not even have an expiration date.

One's identity never expires. If a properly issued identification document sufficiently establishes that the person standing before the Election Officer is who they say they are, then we can be confident that no voter fraud is being perpetrated. The presence or absence of a future dated expiration date is irrelevant to executing the intent of the General Assembly and ensuring the integrity of elections in the Commonwealth.

CommentID: 32950

7/14/14  2:21 pm
Commenter: April Cain, Vice Chair, Henrico Electoral Board

Expired Identifications still provide proof of identity

The new voter identification rules are intended to make certain that the person appearing at the polling place is the person registered to vote.  The photo ID's are intended to prove IDENTITY, and  even an expired driver's license or passport still serves to prove identity, even if the document cannot be used to drive or travel.  Many of the other photo ID's that are acceptable such as student ID's or government employee ID's have no expiration.  Whether or not the ID has expired should be irrelevant, therefore, so long as it was originally issued by a valid government agency.  The person's identity does not expire when the document does.  I fear that the proposed change requiring the document not be expired will have a disproportionately adverse affect on our senior and disabled voters, who often do not have current drivers' licenses as they no longer drive.

CommentID: 32952

7/14/14  2:22 pm
Commenter: Andrew Kohen

Proposal to redefine "valid ID" for the purpose of voting

This proposal makes no sense, either in the words proposed for deletion or those proposed for addition. It seems to be an attempt to obfuscate and make more difficult the process of exercising one's franchise.

CommentID: 32953

7/14/14  2:40 pm
Commenter: Gary LaPorta, Citizen

Photo Id

The photo ID cards to be issued by the Department of Elections have no expiration date.  Therefore, officers of election should be instructed not to use any expiration date on another type of photo ID to determine a voter’s qualification to vote.  Officers of election need to be instructed to look at the photo to ensure that it matches the person appearing before them, nothing more, and nothing less.  Just because a license or passport is expired doesn’t mean the person doesn’t exist.  The purpose of the new law is to match the individual with the photo, not to determine the voter’s qualification to drive or to travel.  Do not add the extra burden of determining valid vs. invalid dates on our officers of election.

CommentID: 32954

7/14/14  4:00 pm
Commenter: Cecil Jordan

No definition of the word "Valid" in Virginia State Election Code


question the State Board of Elections use of an undefined term such as "Valid"

when applying Virginia State Election Code. While the word "Valid is used numerous times
there is no definition of the word "Valid" in Virginia State Election Code.  Without clearly defined terms any application of State Election Code is mote. The Virginia State Board of Elections must ask for explicit language, and fully defined terms from Virginia State Senate and Assembly, before uniformly administering Virginia's Voter ID Law as it stands presently.
CommentID: 32957

7/14/14  4:32 pm
Commenter: Maureen Williams-Wolfe

expired drivers licenses and passports

Expired drivers licenses or passports should not be acceptable forms of ID for voting or registration. Too many people move out of state and keep their previous state licenses. Crossing back and voting in VA from WVA. NC. DC. MD, TN or KY is not unheard of while also voting in their new state. A current bill with current local address and voter's name should accompany any expired form of ID for voting purposes. 

CommentID: 32960

7/14/14  9:34 pm
Commenter: Deb Stevens Fitzgerald, Harrisonburg resident

Expired government ID's should be permitted to verify identity for the purposes of voting.

Expired government ID's should be permitted to be used to verify identity for the purposes of voting.

All the photo ID is supposed to do, according to the intent of the law,  is to  verify identity.  

That is, in part, why the new VA voter ID does not have an expiration date. An expired drivers license means you can't drive;  it doesn't mean that you cease to be yourself.  It still informs the poll worker checking the ID that you are who you are.   An expired passport means you'll have trouble leaving and entering the country.  It doesn't mean you cease to be yourself- you still are who you are.  Many of the photo ID's allowed to be used and authorized by the General Assembly don't have expiration dates at all.  It would be silly in the extreme to reject ID's that do.   Expired or not, they are valid for the purpose intended - verifying identity. 

CommentID: 32966

7/15/14  10:33 am
Commenter: Richard S. Miller, General Registrar, Frederick County

Valid Voter Photo ID

Since I became a General Registrar in 2005 one of the acceptable forms of ID for voting has been a "valid" Virginia Drivers License, which can be expired up to 30 days before the election.  To stay consistent allow both the Virginia Drivers License and the U. S. Passport the same validity of an expiration up to 30 days before the election.  

CommentID: 32970

7/15/14  1:14 pm
Commenter: ROBERT T. MANSKER Citizen of Virginia

What's the purpose of restricting voting privileges?

The photo is the primary objective of the Repubican move for identification.  What matters the date of the identification, other than the effort of some to restrict voting.  What difference does it make if my picture is three months old or five years old.  I have a photo when I retired from the federal government.  It's ME Senator Obenshein.... It's ME.  The State will look as stupid as when it closed public schools in an effort to evade integration, if such restrictions as proposed by Senator Obenshein are allowed to dominate our elections.  Be reasonable, if that's in the cards.

CommentID: 32972

7/15/14  1:40 pm
Commenter: Sidney Johnson, citizen

Valid IDs

When the SBE, now the DOE, decided to make the new photo ID requirement as fair as possible by offering free photo IDs to those who cannot get them any other way, it made its decision about the true nature of that requirement.  The SBE devised a straightforward method and provided electronic devices across the state to produce an ID with the person's photo and name, which had been verified when the General Registrar or election office staff checked it in VERIS. 

That was it. The bottom line requirement set by the state itself was to be that the voter had to stand in front of the election officer showing a document with a photo of him- or herself accompanied by a name that matched the name on the poll book. The baseline state-issued document should be the standard by which the acceptability of all others is measured, for voting purposes.

The state needs to move forward in its original spirit of extending fairness to all. Many persons, particularly the elderly, have photo IDs that show who they are, even if they can no longer drive. These people need to be informed without ambiguity or vacillation that they can bring their photo IDs to the polling place without fear of being challenged.

Yours sincerely,

Sidney Johnson


CommentID: 32974

7/15/14  1:58 pm
Commenter: Suchada Langley, A Citizen

Create Mass Confusion, Disenfranchising Voters

Requiring photo identification is an intention to disenfranchise voters.  There are hundreds of thousands of Virginians who do not have Virginia DMV-issued photo IDs.  We do not know whether they have other photo IDs.  A month ago, we were told that expired photo IDs are acceptable so long as the photo resembles the voter.  Why now a second change in the regulations this close to the election that will create mass confusion. This legislation is to suppress the vote of poor, minority and young voters who are least likely to have photo IDs.


CommentID: 32976

7/15/14  2:35 pm
Commenter: Bryan Graham, Citizen

Expiration dates should not be considered when determining the validity of a form of identification.

As mentioned by other commenters on this issue, many of the forms of photo identification acceptable by Virginia Code do not have expiration dates (e.g., student and employee ID). The expiration date on presented identification should be ignored, much as the address is ignored on drivers licenses. For those concerned about out of state persons voting with expired identification, Virginia drivers licenses are typically valid for eight years, which provides little evidence that a person still resides in the state. The stated purpose of the photo identification law was to assert the identity of voters prior to being able to cast a vote. Accepting expired identity documents serves this purpose. The Transporation Security Agency, a federal agency in the Department of Homeland Security, will accept expired drivers licenses and passports at airport checkpoints if they are expired within a certain time frame. At the very least, we should give such a grace period to our citizens.  We should make every effort to accomodate the disadvantaged, disabled, and elderly citizens of our Commonwealth to prevent creation and their participation in the Democratic process.

CommentID: 32978

7/15/14  2:59 pm
Commenter: Jeff Moore

Valid for driving and valid for identification are two different things

If there is a discrepancy between the VA Code and the regulatory definition, fix it. The point of driver's license expiration is not to indicate that you have ceased to be the same person; it's to indicate that you must periodically renew your license for driving purposes. I would prefer that voting-related identification not have an expiration date, or if it must have an expiration date for other reasons, that expiration date should not be considered for voter identification. There is no expiration of one's voting rights on the pure basis of time passing. Once you are old enough to vote, you will remain so, and there are already provisions for other changes (e.g. change of residency, death, criminal convictions).

CommentID: 32979

7/15/14  3:04 pm
Commenter: Barbara Tuset, Citizen

An expired photo ID is not an expired voter

Let's say I am a valid voter but I am elderly and no longer drive. Am I to be denied my right to vote because - 1. I have let my license expire because I no longer drive; 2. I don't have a new government-issued ID becuase I can't drive to some location to get this new ID.

Or I live in an area of the state where getting to the an issuing office is a hardhship

Or it is Election Day, Tuesday Nov 4th, 2014 and my driver's license or official ID expired on my birthday, Nov 2nd and I haven't renewed it yet. 

In all cases, why is my government putting a burden on me for proving, and continuing to prove, I am a valid voter? Under what circumstances does the expiration of a government-issued document change my right to vote?

Withdraw any such restrictive provision to an already overly restrictive regulation.

CommentID: 32981

7/15/14  3:09 pm
Commenter: Todd Smyth

Adding Insult to Injury

The U.S. already has the lowest turnout of eligible voters among all Democracies in the world; largely because we have the most difficult voting process. The new photo ID law has created additional obstacles for the elderly, poor and young voters, who are least likely to maintain a current photo ID. Senator Obenshain seeks only to make this obstacle even more difficult for these eligible voters, who typically do not vote the same way he does.

Voter fraud is almost non-existent in the U.S. because it is so easy to stop before it happens and so easy to prove if it does happen. Between the check-in process and detailed results released by the state board of elections after every election, it is easy to spot irregularities and track them down. Anyone caught is subject to a $10,000 fine and 5 years in prison for each occurrence. And that is why there have been so few examples of actual voter fraud.

Senator Obenshain's challenge of the State Board of Elections serves only to disenfranchise certain eligible voters. Please do not allow Senator Obenshain to further damage our Democracy, disenfranchise eligible voters and harm the people of Virginia.

CommentID: 32982

7/15/14  3:27 pm
Commenter: David Briggman, Notary Public, Commonwealth of Virginia

Valid IDs should be limited ONLY to those IDs which are unexpired.

As a Notary Public in the Commonwealth of Virginia, most of my customers which are, primarily, mortgage banks, reject IDs which are expired because they consider them to be no longer valid. It is not an unduly burdensome requirement to renew a government issued ID card. Virginia allows such to be accomplished over the internet. In fact, law enforcement officers across the Commonwealth will write summons to individuals who operate a motor vehicle with an expired drivers license.

Let's not muck the system up any further than it already is. And, given how important elections are, why wouldn't you minimize the rish of fraud?

CommentID: 32983

7/15/14  4:03 pm
Commenter: Dale Diaz

Voter ID's

If you happened to be listed on voter records there should be no more needed ID. You give your name and address before giving a ballot anyway. Why do you need anymore info since you provided such when you registered.  This is voter harrassment and a ploy to disenfranchise voters.  There hasn't been a significant, let alone barely discovered, incidence of voter in Virginia. Don't fix what ain't roke.

CommentID: 32984

7/15/14  4:15 pm
Commenter: Michele Menapace

Voter ID

It's bad enough that pervasive voter fraud was invented as a pretense for voter suppression.  Any type of photo identification should be permitted at the polls, even if it's expired--driver's licenses, student ids, any that required proof of citizenship to get originally should be permitted.  The right to vote should never be impeded by something as trivial as an expiration date.

CommentID: 32985

7/15/14  4:17 pm
Commenter: Tariq Farooqi

Your I'D does not change or expire.
Type over this text and entefbr your comments here. You are limited to approximately 3000 words.
CommentID: 32986

7/15/14  4:31 pm
Commenter: Jane Tarrant, retired Fairfax County teacher; member FCDC

Do not place hurdles in the way of voters

It has been documented many times across the nation that voter fraud is rare and that the Republican enthusiasm for voter ID laws is motivated by thinly disguised efforts to disenfranchise voters without current driver's licenses and other forms of picture ID's, who tend to be poorer and minority voters who tend to vote for Democrats. It is a fundamental tenet of our democracy that every citizen has the right to vote.

CommentID: 32987

7/15/14  4:33 pm
Commenter: Rachel Rifkind, A Citizen

Voter IDs

It is very clear what is going on here. The SBE had aleady established expired driver's licenses as acceptable ID and then decided this decision needed to be reconsidered. We all know what is about. This decision to disenfranchise many elderly and those struggling economically is strategic and has been in the works for many years. Please retain the driver's license whether expired or not. We should be encouraging people to vote not throwing road blocks in their way.

CommentID: 32988

7/15/14  4:42 pm
Commenter: John Harold, EB City of Fairfax


All registered voters should be allowed to aquire the Registrar issued photo ID.

CommentID: 32989

7/15/14  4:44 pm
Commenter: Brenna Perez, LWV

Identity Has No Expiration Date

The purpose of the ID is to demonstrate that the person proposing to vote is the person whose photo is on the ID. Any expiration date included on the card is not relevant for this purpose. Enforcing a new definition of “valid” to include unexpired IDs will result in a discriminatory application of the ID requirement to Virginia voters because not all eligible IDs, including the new Virginia voter photo ID, include expiration dates. Further, how are election officers supposed to determine whether an otherwise acceptable ID without an expiration date is current? The newly proposed definition will impose significant hardships on many elderly registered voters who could have difficulty in obtaining a free photo ID for the very reasons that they now are able to rely on expired or other not eligible photo identification for their normal everyday needs.

CommentID: 32990

7/15/14  4:56 pm
Commenter: Patrick F Lapensee

Voter ID

My 19 year old son tried to get a photo ID because he did not have a drivers License. It took us three trips to the DMV to get the ID. It was earier to regester to vote than it was to get the photo ID. Voting should be made easier not more difficult.

CommentID: 32991

7/15/14  5:12 pm
Commenter: Frederick Esch, FCDC, IAAP

Valid Photo ID

I have never seen statistical data that supports the need for voter ID. Asking for an unexpired photo ID discriminates against senior citizens and disabled persons. If a person does not drive, then getting a photo ID is a burden. Adding the requirement to ensure the ID is current simply discriminates against the disabled which may have no other need for ID. Likewise as seniors give up driving they too would be discriminated against.

As a member of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals, I find this measure offensive and believe it may be an illegal barrier to the disabled.This is a clear violation of disabled persons rights, harking back to Jim Crow, where certain parties do not feel the disabled and elderly should vote and try to enforce their view by putting barriers to voting in their way. 


CommentID: 32993

7/15/14  5:16 pm
Commenter: Jim Black

Restrictions on the Right to Vote Undermine our Democracy

I believe it is absolutely critical that the rules and procedures governing voting be written and interpreted in such a way to maximize participation by people who have the right to vote, regardless of social or economic status, while providing for the least intrusive measures that are necessary to reduce voter fraud.  It is clear that limiting the forms of ID that will be considered valid for purposes of exercising the right to vote to unexpired forms of identification will disenfranchise people who are legally entitled to vote, particularly those with more limited resources, while it has not been credibly shown that this measure is necessary to combat voter fraud.  As a result, I strongly oppose this proposal and ask the SBE to stand up to political pressure and to do the right thing in the interest of preserving a vibrant and participatory democracy for the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

CommentID: 32994

7/15/14  5:22 pm
Commenter: Eleanor Herman Dyment

Dudes--there's no voter fraud out there! These rules are to prevent Democratic votes.

Voter fraud is extraordinarily rare to non-existent. Republicans are throwing up barricades in front of the polls for poor, black, and Hispanic citizens who normally vote Democrat. If my driver's license expires today, I am the same person I was yesterday, with the same address that appears in the Electronic Poll Book, and the same face. Shame on Republicans for taking to dirty underhanded tricks to prevent voters from voting against them. If they created policies that are less anti-everbody-- gay, black, poor, Hispanic, female, immigrant-- they wouldn't have to resort to such foul tricks.

CommentID: 32995

7/15/14  5:33 pm
Commenter: Carolyn Caywood

definition of valid

The current definition serves the purpose of identification, verifying that the person proposing to vote is the person whose photo is on the ID. Any expiration date included on the card is not relevant for this purpose.  The suggested changes would cost Virginia taxpayers even more money to enforce and would disenfranchise even more eligible voters. 

CommentID: 32996

7/15/14  5:50 pm
Commenter: Janet Carver

Squashing the vote.

50 years ago the entrenched Byrd Machine, which controlled Virginia, did everything in its power to restrict the franchise.   Poll taxes, few registrars who were difficult to reach, blank applications to fill out (exactly, or you weren't registered), challenges at the polls -- all these National Democrats fought.   Obenshain and his Republicans are providing just a variant of the old attempts to squash the voters.   Disgusting, smarmy and un-American.   Keep up the pressure!

CommentID: 32997

7/15/14  5:52 pm
Commenter: Catherine M. Kasko

Valid voter ID

There is absolutely no reason an expired photo ID should not be valid for purposes of voting.

CommentID: 32998

7/15/14  5:55 pm
Commenter: carrie bruns

an expired license is still valid.

 There are reasons why a US citizen would have an expired license; don't take their right to vote away.

CommentID: 32999

7/15/14  6:03 pm
Commenter: Jo Ann Hersh, citizen

valid photo IDs

I believe the June 10th definition of what constitutes a valid photo ID for electoral purposes in Virginia is complete, concise & clear. Hence it needs NO REWORKING. There's every reason to go with the most direct, simplest definition -- which we already have. STOP THE BUREAUCRATIC NITPICKING, please!

CommentID: 33000

7/15/14  6:04 pm
Commenter: Mary Alison Galway

I disagree with the proposed changes to the definition of 'valid' in the voter ID regulation.

The first change to the regulation is confusing and unnecessary. As an election official, I will be trying to determine if an ID is 'valid' or not - and this wording is beyond my comprehension and ability. It will already be time consuming to go through the voting process. This will add the component of nightmare.

The second change regarding 'expiration date' is dangerous and unnecessary. Some IDs do not even have expiration dates. Will the ID suddenly be invalid? Will voters whose name and picture obviously identify the voter suddenly be cause to disenfranchise them? Although driver's licenses have expiration dates for reasons having to do with driving, many picture IDs do not have expiration dates at all. It seems to me that this is yet another attempt to disenfranchise voters.

Shame on you.

CommentID: 33001

7/15/14  6:08 pm
Commenter: Jo Ann Hersh, citizen

valid photo IDs

Please use the June 10th definition of "valid photo IDs" because it's clear & concise & easy for election officers to apply quickly (I am one such).

CommentID: 33002

7/15/14  6:16 pm
Commenter: Jim Edwards-Hewitt

Driver's license

The purpose of requiring photo ID to vote (however misguided) is to establish identity. If the voter has obtained a driver's license, they have established their identity, and the expiration of the license does not invalidate that. Maintaining driving privileges (or the non-identity purpose of any accepted ID) is unrelated to the purpose of using the ID for voting, and should not be required in order to use the ID.

CommentID: 33003

7/15/14  6:22 pm
Commenter: Carol Weber, private citizen

Voter photo ID

I am opposed to changing the definiion of "valid" ID.  The current definition is clear and easy to understand.  The proposed definition is confusing.  Let's not make things more difficiult for election officials.  I have been one for many years and in fact have never thought there was a problem with the old requirements.  In addition, if the purpose of the photo ID is to identify the voter, then an expiraton date should not matter.  Let's not make things more difficult for voters.  Thank you.

CommentID: 33004

7/15/14  6:45 pm
Commenter: Cragg Hines

The law was partisan, this objection is partisan.

The SBE got it right the first time: A  government photo ID with name that matches voter registration should be valid, even if it has expired. The question isn't driving, it's voting. Don't make a foolish law any more ridiculous.

over this text and enter your comments here. You are limited to approximately 3000 words.

CommentID: 33007

7/15/14  6:49 pm
Commenter: Sally Fisk

New Voter ID requirement

The proposed voter ID definition/requirement imposes needless hardship on citizens. A change must be made to allow a voter ID without an expiration date and/or allow a voter ID that has expired. The proposed requirement of an expiration date on the card is not relevant for voter identification and, if not changed, obstructs the voting process.

CommentID: 33009

7/15/14  7:55 pm
Commenter: Barbara Hyde

Voter ID

It is shameful to have to show a photo ID in the first place (note to conservatives--photo IDs are not mentioned in the Constitution) but especially under the pretense of avoiding a problem that does not exist. What about absentee ballots? It seems to me there is more opportuity for voter fraud there but they aren't included. This disenfranchises the elderly (note to Republicans--old people tend to vote Republican) and other groups that may not have driver's licenses or other photo IDs.  This requirement is abridging a fundamental Constitutional right and it should be struck down by every court in the land. It is equivalent to a poll tax, which is a shameful chapter in US history.

CommentID: 33012

7/15/14  9:00 pm
Commenter: Stephen W Baker

democracy in the Old Dominion

In the birthplace of American democracy; let's stop disfranchising eligible voters.  The new voter ID law is designed to be one extra hurdle in making voting more difficult.  We did the same in 1902 with literacy tests and poll taxes when our biggest voter fraud problem was ballot box stuffing by election officials.  Modern day cases of individuals casting ineligible ballots are rare. Under our new voter ID law, thousands of eligible voters will be turned away from the polls and we'll still end up with the same handful of "problem ballots."  The supporters of this disreputable law, Sen Obenshain amongst them, are the people who don't believe in American democracy.  They are the people who don't respect the freedoms we are guaranteed in the US Constitution, a document born in part in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Governing should be a contest of the "best ideas", not a game of "dirty tricks" where some people have rights and others have them taken away.  We are better than this and we should set a better example for others to follow.

A Virginian

CommentID: 33014

7/15/14  9:43 pm
Commenter: Bruce Waxman

Voter ID Regulations

The SBE should reject thesSen. Obenshain's proposed revisions and stand by its original definition of valid to include expired passports, driver’s licenses and other documents that reasonably identify the bearer of the document as the person whose photograph appears on it.

If the name and the photo match the voter, why is the expiration date of an I.D. even a matter of concern unless the purpose is to make voting harder for vulnerable populations.

CommentID: 33017

7/15/14  9:56 pm
Commenter: Roger Tarrant

Allow voter ID with expired date

When the purpose of the photo  ID is simply to identify the individual it should be allowed for this purpose even when the date is expired.

CommentID: 33018

7/15/14  10:40 pm
Commenter: kenneth gubin

expired IDs

I cannot think of any valid reason by an expired ID should not be accepted as identification.  The purpose is to establish a person's identity; identity doesn't change because the ID itself has expired.  The goal should be to expand the franchise, not to create ways to stop citizens from voting. 


CommentID: 33019

7/15/14  11:19 pm
Commenter: Valerie L'Herrou

Proposed regulation invites litigation

Dear State Board of Elections:

I strongly object to the proposed amendment to the recently promulgated regulations regarding the validity of photo identification allowed to be used for the purpose of voting.

It is utterly ridiculous to place a time limit on a valid ID. A person's identity does not expire. The only determination an election official needs to make is whether the person presenting themselves to vote is who they say they are. An identity card with the person's name and their photo is more than enough to make that determination. The expiration date does not in any way change the person's identity or their status as a registered voter. This is a clearly irrelevant and unnecessary amendment, and furthermore, goes against the principles of democracy. In a country where less than 60% of eligible voters actually participate in the political process that was designed to make sure our country was not ruled by tyrants, but was truly government of, by, and for the people, such a regulation would be against every principle of democracy. By burdening voters with a ridiculous regulation that bears no rational relationship to any legitimate governmental purpose, it is also likely unconstitutional and exposes the state to expensive, lengthly litigation. 

This regulation would burden many people, including those in nursing homes, those who can no longer drive for any number of reasons, including medical ones, or reasons of age, and those who are too busy working multiple jobs to have time to go to the DMV to renew an expired ID.

Finally, since the information available on the State Board of Elections' own website indicates that expired IDs ARE valid, this rule would negatively impact those who have consulted the SBE, determined that they have valid ID, and therefore feel that they no longer need to pay attention to new information about voter ID.

Thus, this needless proposed rule should not be approved.

Additionally, another proposed change to the rule is also not rational--and further, would create chaos at precincts everywhere in Virginia: changing the term "valid" to mean "having legal effect, legally or officially acceptable or of binding force,"  This proposed amendment would put every election official into the position of potentially engaging in the unauthorized practice of law as they try to determine whether an ID being presented has any legal effect or is of binding force. If you feel the need to more fully explain what "valid" means, why not just say "officially acceptable"? 

Thank you.

Valerie L'Herrou

CommentID: 33020

7/15/14  11:36 pm
Commenter: Bill Love, Member, Albemarle County Electoral Board

Comments on Definition of Valid

Although I am a member of the Albemarle County Electoral Board (EB), I am submitting the following comments in my individual capacity and not on behalf of the EB, which has neither discussed nor taken a position on the definition of “valid” in Virginia’s proposed Photo ID Regulations.

I support the definition of the word “valid” that was adopted by the Virginia State Board of Elections on June 10, 2014 as part of the Photo ID Regulations.  In particular, I strongly agree with the sentence that states, “Other data contained on the document, including but not limited to expiration date, shall not be considered in determining the validity of the document.”

The reason for my position is straightforward.  Under revised Section 24.2-643 of the Code of Virginia that became effective on July 1, 2014, the focus of voter identification at the polling place has shifted exclusively to a limited number of specific types of documents that contain a photograph of the qualified voter (and his or her name, obviously).  Other information on any such document, other than the identity of the issuer, has become superfluous.  Any expiration date on a driver's license or other photo ID is there for a purpose that is unrelated and irrelevant to the usefulness of the photograph in identifying a voter.  

For example, the expiration date on a driver's license is related to the continued ability of an individual to safely operate a motor vehicle on the State's highways.  It reflects a judgment by the State as to how long that person should be allowed to drive with his or her current license prior to renewal, consistent with public safety.  With respect to the photograph on the license, there is no guarantee that the photo on even an unexpired driver's license will be adequate for ID purposes (e.g., if the person's appearance has drastically changed since the license was issued) and, correspondingly, there is no reason why the photo on a license that was validly issued but expired three years ago, for example, could not be adequate for ID purposes if the person's appearance has not drastically changed in the interim. In sum, the expiration date on the license is irrelevant for the purpose of photo identification. 

The same principle applies with respect to expiration dates on the other types of photo ID documents identified in revised Section 24.2-643 that are modified by the term “valid.”  For example, an expiration date on a student identification card (if indeed there is such an expiration date) might be there strictly for the administrative convenience of the school, such as the end of a school year.  An expired card could serve just as well as an unexpired card for photo ID purposes.  Even a student identification card presented at the polling place by a person who is no longer enrolled as a student at that college or university could suffice for ID purposes if the person’s appearance has not changed drastically in the interim.

Finally, the same principle applies with respect to other information on the photo ID document, such as the address of the person at the time the document was issued.  It is completely irrelevant for the purpose of comparing the physical appearance of the person who presents the document at the polling place with his or her photo on the ID document.

While I was not in favor of the change in our election law that restricted identification documents at the polling place to those with a photograph of the voter, we now need to implement regulations that are consistent with the new law and its implications.  We should not be adding additional barriers to voting that are not in the current law and that depart from the law’s focus on using photographs to verify the identity of the voter.

CommentID: 33021

7/16/14  12:04 am
Commenter: Frank Anderson, Executive Director, Fairfax County Democratic Committee

Access versus Integrity

This proposed change in policy seeks to give up a lot of access in exchange for the notion of increasing “ballot integrity.”

Some Virginians are convinced that, through coordinated voter fraud, the integrity of the ballot is constantly under attack and that such actions dilute the power of “one man, one vote.”  Other commenters may have already dispelled this myth but, if you’d like more information, I refer you to a study which found that voter impersonation (the type which Voter Photo ID laws seek to prevent) accounted for about one in 15 million voters.

Nonetheless, a sizable number of voter integrity advocates such as Sen. Obenshain are driven by misinformation; as demonstrated by a recent poll which found that almost 50% of Republicans believe ACORN stole the 2012 election (despite the fact that ACORN had long been defunct).  As a result, we have laws and policies like the one we're considering today.

The access concept is pretty straightforward: it means every citizen should have the right to vote, and the ability to exercise that right should be made as simple as possible in order to expand civic participation.  If you believe voting is a right, not a privilege (such as the privilege of having a driver’s license), then I urge you to reject Sen. Obenshain’s proposal.

No matter what you believe, the fact is that the amount of integrity gained is either infinitesimally small or nonexistent compared to the thousands of voters whose IDs would be rendered ineligible by this proposed policy.

Most Voter ID advocates have never had any difficulty obtaining an ID themselves.  They don’t understand that for some Virginians, this added difficulty will deter them from going to the polls.  It is inevitable that already as a result of the existing voter ID law, many thousands of Virginians will believe (either correctly or incorrectly) that they are unable to obtain the proper ID for voting.  Imposing another restriction banning expired IDs -- despite the fact that other IDs without expiration dates will be accepted -- would just compound the problem and disenfranchise even more voters.

The reality is that this proposal would result in fewer people voting.  Any time you put up additional obstacles to voting, you cause confusion and discourage people from participating.  And when Republicans do it for no defensible reason whatsoever – to solve a problem that frankly does not exist – they reveal their true motivations.

Yes, I am a Democrat and yes, it is proven that when more citizens vote, Democrats win.  Republicans know this, and have calculated that it is easier to stop people from voting than it is to go out and earn those votes.  It’s a short-sighted move; part of a strategy that may produce some victories in the near term, but will inevitably cause unnecessary resentment that could last more than a generation.

Thanks for your consideration,

Frank Anderson
Executive Director, Fairfax County Democratic Committee
2815 Hartland Rd. Suite 110
Falls Church, VA  22043
(703) 573-6811


CommentID: 33022