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Virginia voter photo ID law to take effect July 1

Among many new Virginia laws that take effect as of July 1 will be the commonwealth’s new voter photo ID law.

The new law will require Virginia voters to show an accepted form of photo identification before being able to cast their votes in any upcoming elections.

The law was sponsored by state Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg), who said the idea originally came to him during the 2000 presidential election, and that he has been working on getting the new law enacted for more than 12 years.

“The Bush/Gore election fiasco undermined voter confidence across the country,” he said. “I decided at that point that we needed photo identification legislation in Virginia to protect the integrity of our voters. Our voting system isn’t a perfect system. We know voter fraud exists, and this law will be a safeguard against fraudulent votes. It is our duty as elected officials to address this issue without undue burden on taxpayers.”

Under the new law’s provisions, Virginia residents who do not already possess one of the accepted forms of photo identification will be provided a photo ID card by their local registrar.

“Any Virginia drivers license or other DMV-issued photo ID, a U.S. passport, any Virginia higher-learning institution photo ID, any government-issued photo ID, and employer-issued photo IDs will be accepted,” said Edgardo Cortes, deputy secretary of the State Board of Elections.

Anyone without one of these accepted photo IDs will be able to go to a local registrar’s office and obtain a photo ID card free of charge.

But at least for the moment—according to officials—residents who apply for these free cards will not have to prove their identity in order to get one.

“Voters are currently not required to prove who they are to get a photo ID,” said Cameron Quinn, general registrar for Fairfax County. Quinn says that even though the new law goes into effect July 1, many of its provisions are still being worked out at the state level.

“Some key policy decisions need to be made before we can implement our plans at the local level,” she said.

One of the key policy decisions currently being debated is whether or not an expired drivers license or other accepted form of photo ID that has already expired will be accepted. “We are looking at an amendment that will be distributed for public comment in the next few days,” said Cortes about the controversial expired ID policy that was originally adopted by the election board on June 10 before they decided to re-examine it .

Cortes said the free voter photo ID program has already required capital output of $166,000 for hardware and equipment for the state’s 133 registrar’s offices to be able to provide the free photo ID cards, along with an annual estimated production cost of between $12,000 to $13,000 statewide.

“The state board has also set aside $200,000 per year for an educational outreach program to educate voters about the new law starting in July through fiscal year 2017,” he said.

Quinn estimates that only about three percent of Fairfax County’s 700,000 registered voters, or about 21,000 people, will need to obtain one of the free cards in order to be able to vote.

New laws take effect July 1

Hundreds of new laws take effect in Virginia on Tuesday, July 1. A few examples include:

Ignition interlock

If someone is convicted of a DUI first offense, and the court does not require installation of an ignition interlock system on at least one vehicle (and any vehicles) he or she operates as a condition of restricted driving privileges, then effective July 1, the DMV will require it.

Penalty for failure to obtain workers’ compensation insurance

Increases to $50,000 the maximum civil penalty that may be assessed against an employer for failure to obtain workers’ compensation insurance or provide evidence of compliance with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act, plus costs of collecting the penalty.

Condominium and HOA late fees

Condo or Homeowner’s Associations may not assess a late fee of more than 5 percent for non-payment of assessments or installments, unless the association’s declarations, rules or regulations allow for a different amount. Previous code permitted other late fee amounts only if they were included in the declarations.

False advertisement

Individuals are prohibited from placing advertisements for services in the Commonwealth that require a license, certification or registration unless they possess the necessary license, certification, or registration at the time of the posting.

Installation of solar devices

No homeowner’s association may ban the installation of solar collection devices unless the ban is specifically outlined in the recorded declaration.

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Chris N. The good news is absentee ballets are only counted if they are needed. If a race is super close (like the VA AG race).

Most voter fraud cases are about ballet box stuffing especially now with electronic votes. Most of the cases are against republicans too LOL

While showing an ID to vote strikes me as a no-brainer, the area of voting that concerns me the most is absentee ballot fraud. Both parties flood the rest homes and senior centers with absentee ballot applications. And I certainly wonder how much “help” caregivers are offering to folks whose days of heightened mental acuity are long-gone.

I don’t have an answer. It just seems to me that if somebody is intent on stuffing a ballot box, it would be much easier to manufacture a slew of absentee ballot applications, than it would to come up with a slew of aliases under which to vote in person. But I guess you solve the easy problems first, and that includes the common-sense approach of showing a voter ID for in-person voting.

My grandmother lives in Florida, my mother lives with her and is legally blind. Going anywhere takes arrangements. Beyond that she is old and has a really hard time getting around.

Lucky for her getting registered is all FL needs, she did that 30 years ago.

fedupdude… your grandmother could go over to the DMV now and get an ID.  As for the transportation issue, do like my wife did for her mother and drive her there.  We do this every election as well, pick her up and drive her to the polls.

So if the issue isn’t about preventing illegals from voting, then what is the issue with positive ID?  Is it one-man/one-vote?  Is it people trying to vote in areas they’re not supposed to?  Or is it simply a case of people being unwilling to abide by the rule of law and too lazy to get the ID in the first place?

more cowbell - Its not common sense. Its useless like so many other laws in this nation. If a person can get a fake ID they can vote, this law does not stop that at all. It only puts up hurdles for the elderly and poor people lacking time and resources to get an ID card and yes they exist much more than people think but we know conservatives think if they can do it anyone can.

Its a do nothing law; if it worked at stopping fraud I would support it. Instead it just disenfranchises legal voters.

“Installation of solar devices

No homeowner’s association may ban the installation of solar collection devices unless the ban is specifically outlined in the recorded declaration.”

And this is why northern VA has yet to see the widespread adoption of solar panels.

We should forbid HOAs from making any rules with respect to solar panels.

And Obenshain is right, Bush/Gore did undermind peoples trust in voting because Gore won but the Supreme Court stopped the vote.

Basically a coup and we just went about our day.  Howd that all turn out.  At least Obama crushed McCain and Romney (and yes, based on the past 30 years he did crush them)

Even Rand Paul has admitted the whole voter fraud this is overblown.

I love how the posters say it is a problem with no evidence. 

So we should pass laws based on heresay from the GOP?  Only old whites guys who vote then.

Voting should be incredibly easy.  Why make Democracy harder especially for the poor and elderly?

@fedupdude, Not a conservative, just common sense. Just like voting should occur on a Saturday, when most people are off. Anything that has to do with politicians….There is always going to be corruption. 99.9% of them always lie.

Sterling Park Resident - Lots of problems with this idea:

1) It knocks out eligible voters over stupid technical mistakes. Look at the case of the Texas judge who could not vote due to a divorce name change 20 years prior and the state not keeping current documents.

Then how many old people let IDs expire and now you are going to make them spend hours fixing that just to vote?

Its funny to see conservatives clamor for big government and ID checks for one right and then whine about it on another. My grandmother votes but does not have a current ID, in VA should would be ineligible now and she is not real mobile having a bad knee. She does not drive and arranging to vote is a special one time thing a year.

2) ID checks fail to stop the issue you are trying to address. First there is almost no evidence of illegals voting, they don;t care. Second the voter fraud you are addressing is small potatoes. You get a few people here and there every couple of years doing this sort of thing, a fraction of a fraction of 1% problem. Real fraud has mostly been in the form of ballet stuffing, in reality or on voting machines.

I’ve never understood the liberal opposition to having folks show positive ID to verify identity prior to voting.  This issue has only come to a head in the last 10-12 years, about the same time that large influxes in illegal immigration have started overwhelming communities.

It looks like VA is making it easy to verify your identity.  School IDs, work IDs, and now they’ll even provide you an ID upon request with no proof of identity.  What is the fuss about other than possibly weeding out the folks who shouldn’t be voting in the first place?

I find the argument by those opposed to voter ID extremely offensive: the notion that poor people or the elderly are too stupid to figure out the requirements and comply is simply hateful.

Frank Grimes…voter fraud doesn’t exist? What planet are you from? Stop drinking the kool-aid and get educated. I’m sure you also believe our boarders are safe and Hillary/Obama failures had nothing to do with Benghazi.

Finally, VA can weed out the horrible problem of voter fraud that doesnt really exist.

Well done GOP- you caught the bogeyman.

Surely he’s referring to the number of republican staffers who posed as actual voters in Florida challenging recounts.  If that’s what he meant by undermining confidence…I agree.

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