Editorial: Does Change in Voter ID Laws Matter?

Editorial: Does Change in Voter ID Laws Matter?

More than 22,000 active voters in Northern Virginia are without the required ID.

For the current election, new, more stringent voter identification laws are in effect.

Taken together, more than 22,000 of Northern Virginia’s close-in voters right now do not have the photo identification now required to vote in the coming election. While there are simple ways to get an identification card for Election Day, so far, only a handful of voters have done so.

In Fairfax County, 13,247 of the county’s 672,756 active voters do not have the photo identification they will need to vote on Election Day.

In Alexandria, 2,729 of the City’s 85,671 active voters do not have the photo identification they will need to vote on Election Day.

In Arlington, 6,348 of the 140,255 active voters do not have the photo identification they will need to vote on Election Day.

Register for More Election Information:

Fairfax County Board of Elections, 703-222-0776, www.fairfaxcounty...

12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, Suite 232, Fairfax, 22035; FAX 703-324-2205; email voting@fairfaxcou...

State Board of Elections, 804 864-8901 Toll Free: 800 552-9745 FAX: 804 371-0194

email: info@sbe.virginia...


These numbers are analysed by the State Board of Elections, and include voters who do not have a match in the DMV data, and also are not designated as military, overseas or federal only voters, who do not have an active Federal Postcard Application or Annual Absentee application, and who have voted or registered since and including the last presidential election.

Across the Commonwealth, 93,117 active voters also lack photo ID from DMV or the other likely sources.

When you consider that in the last election, Virginia’s Attorney General was elected by a margin of 165 votes out of more than 2 million votes cast, these numbers are staggering. There is no evidence of voter identification fraud on any scale that requires potentially disenfranchising tens of thousands of voters. Because Northern Virginia is the most populous part of the state, the impact is also greatest in our area.

Here are the “acceptable” forms of identification. “Valid” is defined as a genuine document, bearing the photograph of the voter, and is not expired for more than 12 months: Valid Virginia Driver’s License or Identification Card; Valid Virginia DMV issued Veteran’s ID card; Valid United States Passport; Other government-issued photo identification cards; Valid college or university student photo identification card, must be from an institution of higher education located in Virginia; Employee identification card containing a photograph of the voter and issued by an employer of the voter in the ordinary course of the employer’s business; or a Virginia Voter Photo ID Card obtained through any local general registrar’s office.

Voters arriving to the polls without photo ID will be allowed to vote a provisional ballot and will have until noon on the Friday after the election to deliver a copy of identification to their locality’s electoral board in order for their provisional ballot to be counted.

If you or anyone you know might need identification to vote, the process is simple. Contact your local board of elections and go apply for your ID card. There is help in place to transport voters who need help getting there.

In order to vote on Election Day, you must be registered at your current address no later than Oct. 13, 2014. You can check your registration status online by going to www.sbe.virginia.gov.