Mcdonnell petitioned to veto voter ID bills
Opponents say measures aimed at fraud would affect minorities
RICHMOND | Activists on Thursday delivered more than 6,000 petition signatures urging Gov. Bob Mcdonnell to veto recently passed voteridentification legislation, as the hotbutton issue that has become a recent target of the U.S. Department of Justice and the courts lands on the Virginia governor’s desk.
Opponents have targeted two bills on the subject: one that would require Virginians who cannot produce identification on Election Day and are not recognized by a poll worker to cast their ballot provisionally, and another that would bar the public and press from witnessing the provisional ballot count.
Jay Johnson, 72, of Newport News, said her grandmother taught her grandfather the preamble to literacy tests that voters once had to take so he could pay his poll tax and vote.
“I see any voter-id bill as another poll tax,” said Ms. Johnson, a member of the group Virginia Organizing. “It’s more likely that someone will steal Tide from the grocery store than they will try to vote in someone else’s name.”
The governor’s office said Mr. McDonnell, a Republican, will review the bills in the weeks ahead.
Currently, voters who cannot produce identification can cast an official ballot if they sign a sworn affidavit attesting they are who they say they are.
The bill was amended during the legislative process to expand the forms of ID voters could present to include student-identification cards, copies of utility bills, bank statements, government checks, or paychecks that show the name or address of the voter.