Virginia's Voter ID Law Takes Effect | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Virginia's Voter ID Law Takes Effect

Play associated audio
Election day in Virginia this year will involve identification requirements, thanks to a law passed by the General Assembly this year.
Michael Pope
Election day in Virginia this year will involve identification requirements, thanks to a law passed by the General Assembly this year.

The voter identification measure that arguably dominated the Virginia's General Assembly session goes into effect this week. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) signed the bill into law, although he didn't agree with some of the provisions. He later issued an executive order as a compromise.  

The voter ID laws establish that a voter who doesn't show an ID can no longer just sign a sworn statement that he's the named registered voter. 

Opponents argued that it's an effort to disenfranchise voters, especially minorities and that there's been no need to strengthen the law. But State Sen. Tom Garrett (R-Lynchburg) counters that while he was Louisa County's Commonwealth's Attorney, there were at least two instances of voter fraud by two groups.

"In one of those instances, a group called 'Women's Voices-Women's Votes' which is part of the Tides Center, has solicited the registration, and when the person who illegally registered queried as to whether or not this was a problem they said, 'don't worry about it, nobody will check and even if they do, nobody will do anything about it,'" Garrett says. "So, you know there are loopholes in the system that some groups, it would appear, are actively seeking to exploit. All we want to do is close the barn door before the horses get out."

Acceptable forms of identification will include utility bills, student and employer IDs, and bank statements. The Governor issued an executive order for the state to send new voter ID cards to all Virginians who are registered and to launch an awareness campaign about the new voting process and the need for proper identification.

NPR

After 20 Years On 'The Job,' NYC Police Officer Tells His Intense Stories

"Your heart is pounding; your adrenaline is shooting out of your ears," Steve Osborne says. "And you got one second to get it right." He retired from the force in 2003. His memoir is called The Job.
NPR

Tea, Tao and Tourists: China's Mount Hua Is Three-Part Harmony

One of China's five sacred mountains, Mount Hua is a lotus-shaped range of peaks and hub of Taoism. It has many harrowing paths to well-being — and to tea.
NPR

A Timeline Of Hillary Clinton's Evolution On Trade

The presidential hopeful has had trouble being consistent on trade. Labor unions are important in Democratic politics, but her work as secretary of state is putting her in a bind on trade.
NPR

What Can #NOLASCHOOLS Teach Us?

Michel Martin is hosting a conversation about education in New Orleans, ten years after Hurricane Katrina sparked a transformation of public schools there. Add your voice at #NOLASCHOOLS.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.