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    GOP pushing bills that would suppress voting rights, critics say

    RICHMOND – Augustine Carter spent six years working to get a Virginia identification card so she could vote. Carter had no birth certificate; the only evidence she had of her birth was a certificate of baptism.

    “I went to get my state ID renewed, and I carried this church document, and I was turned down completely. They say the law had changed, and I could not use that. Now what am I going to do? I didn’t know what to do,” Carter said.

    Carter said she has voted her whole life; she has worked, paid taxes and owns a home in Virginia.

    “They told me at Motor Vehicles that morning, ‘You could be a terrorist.’ Those were the words that they said to me,” she said.

    To prove her citizenship, Carter needed the 1940 census from when she was 12. She provided her home address and all the names of the people who lived in her home and their relation to her. Because the information checked out, she was able to use it as a birth certificate.

    “Don’t be so long. Take my photograph. I’m ready for my ID,” Carter said when she went back to the Department of Motor Vehicles for her photo identification card.

    Tram Nguyen, associate director of Virginia New Majority, a citizens’ group that supports “the progressive transformation of Virginia,” said the commonwealth went down this road last year. In 2012, the General Assembly passed laws increasing the identification requirements to vote – and is considering more this year.

    “Voter suppression bills” are “bad for democracy and bad for Virginia,” Nguyen said at a press conference Thursday. She said these bills largely affect the elderly, African-Americans, Latinos and new citizens.

    Nguyen cited a study by the Commonwealth Institute, a public policy think tank, that examined “photo ID” requirements. The study concluded that 800,000 Virginians may be affected. Enforcing such requirements could cost the state up to $22 million. Moreover, Nguyen said, voter fraud has not even been a problem at the polls.

    “The ones that choose to implement these voter suppression bills are clearly stating that … wasting our taxpayer dollars to fix a problem that doesn’t exist means more to them than fixing transportation and education for our youth,” Nguyen said. “We think that that’s a problem.”

    Voting is at the heart at what it means to be an American, Nguyen said. She said Republican legislators were pushing voter ID laws.

    “Let’s not try to make voting harder, because that’s not solving anything,” she said.

    Nguyen said several bills will be the subject of hearings at Capitol Square next Jan. 29. She said they include:

    -Senate Bill 1256, proposed by Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg. It would require voters to present a photo ID at the polls.

    -SB 1077, also by Obenshain. It would allow the State Board of Elections to use the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program to verify the citizenship of voters. SAVE contains citizenship and immigration status information of people in the U.S.

    -SB 723, introduced by Sen. Charles Carrico Sr., R-Galax. In presidential elections, it would allocate the commonwealth’s electoral votes by congressional district. (Currently, all of Virginia’s electoral votes go to the presidential candidate who carries the state.)

    -House Bill 1788, by Delegate Rob Bell, R-Charlottesville. Under this measure, Virginians must provide identification and proof of citizenship when they register to vote, as well as identification when they go to the polls. The ID must include the person’s name, date of birth and a photo.

    -HB 1787, also by Bell. It also states that an ID must have the name, date of birth and photo in order for the voter to cast a ballot.

    Comments

    Am I missing part of the story?  She was turned down by the DMV for a photo id?  “She’s voted all her life but has been fighting for the last 6 years” in order to vote? Is she trying to get an ID card just in case the new laws are passed? It seems like there are 2 different stories going on here.  If she goes to a polling place and she has her voters card and even a utility bill they will let her vote.  The DMV has special exceptions for anyone born before 1937 in order to get an ID card.  NO we should not allow anyone to vote in our elections.  One of the privileges of being a LEGAL citizen is the right to vote. Other countries will NOT allow anyone who isn’t there legally to vote. That’s just silly.


    38 VA cases in 2008; wonder how many cases there were in 2010?  Voter registration fraud OR fraud at the polling place?

    The Oregon woman wouldn’t have voted in VA without ID. Duh.

    Colin Small, GOP operative for PinPoint (formerly Nathan Sproull’s Strategic Allied Consulting, under investigation for previous allegations of fraud) is facing 8 felonies and 5 misdemeanors for his Rockingham County “trash” escapade. Same group SAC is suspect in 10 Florida counties, 100 cases in Palm Beach County; also, SAC paid $3 million for registration drives in swing states CO, FL, NC, NV, VA.  How many of those cases will be prosecuted?

    I was delighted to use my brand new voter registration card to vote in 2012; after all, my VA tax dollars paid for it!


    The lie is that “voter fraud doesn’t exist”...when in fact, it does.
    Fred, you’re pretty close on the absentee ballots. That’s how Fairfax democrats were able to rollout the “beta” test of the use of them back in Steve Hunt’s race. Steve was slightly up until those heavily biased absentees came in. Short of three complaints from registered voters in that district…no investigation would come forth. Coup completed.
    I personally witnessed Obama literature arriving to three Dulles Addresses with a different name than the folks who had lived there for a decade or more. We tracked one of the women back to an address in Oregon.

    The State is currently investigating numerous more allegations after finding 38 folks guilty.


    First off, being requested to prove you are who you claim to be is not unreasonable. Second, if you vote absentee, you don’t need any photo id. So anybody who is too lazy or inept to obtain identification, just vote absentee.


    Give voter amnesty for anyone with a proven address, gas/electric bill,cable bill, water bill, school id or any other form of id with a address and their name. Illegals are part of the culture in American allowing them to vote and become part of the process instead of a ineffective and costly deportation program. Felons out but all others should be welcome.

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