The House of Delegates voted to gut Virginia’s popular voter ID law today, removing the requirement that voters present a valid photo ID in order to cast their ballot at the polls. This bill allows someone with no photo ID to vote with just a signature affirming that they are who they claim to be.
The bill does nothing to prevent fraud, but instead gives someone who casts a fraudulent ballot priority over the actual voter: a ballot from someone signing an affirmation is counted as a regular ballot. If the actual voter shows up with a photo ID later under the same name, they will then be directed to cast a provisional ballot and forced to defend their identity after Election Day.
“This bill does not outline a clear mechanism to ensure one person, one ballot,” said Del. Chris Head (R-Botetourt). “Imagine someone shows up at your voting precinct and signs the affidavit claiming to be you. What happens when you legitimately show up later that day with your photo ID? Under this bill the fraudulent vote would be counted.”
“This bill subjects our elections to the same threat of fraud as drivers licenses in Virginia prior to 9/11,” said Del. Mark Cole (R-Spotsylvania). “That affidavit-based system was changed because of how easy it was to falsify records.”