Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Governor Signs Voter ID Bill


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Dear Friend: 

Last week, Governor McDonnell signed Senate Bill 1 into law.  This bill will require voters to present proper ID to vote; those who won't will only be allowed to cast a "provisional ballot."  (The ballot will not be included with the other ballots, and will only be counted if the voter can subsequently provide proper proof of identity.)  If you would like to thank Governor McDonnell for signing the bill, you can do so here

This bill comes on the heels of an extensive Virginia State Police investigation of voter fraud in the 2008 election.  According to the Richmond-Times Dispatch story, State Police have issued 39 warrants for voter fraud, and have identified another 194 instances where a violation likely occurred.   Other cases are still under investigation.  Where warrants have been issued, a majority have resulted in convictions.  Of particular concern is that according to the Chesterfield prosecutor, in a majority of his cases, the person arrested had voted, which means their fraudulent votes were in fact counted in the election.

I was happy to vote for Senate Bill 1, and think it is a good first step.  However, I believe we should go much further to prevent voter fraud.  This spring I voted for House Bill 569.  The bill would require actual photo ID for voting.  (It includes provisions for issuance of free photo ID to anyone who does not have one.)  It would also require registrars to check citizenship status for someone registering to vote, to keep illegal voters off the rolls altogether.

I am disappointed that the bill was not successful, but will continue to push for these sorts of measures in the future.  Virginia has a history of very close elections, and we need to ensure that this sort of voter fraud is never allowed to overturn the actual will of the people.


Rob Bell
Delegate, 58th District
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