Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Governor signs voter photo ID bill – adds executive order

Governor McDonnell signed the legislation requiring voters to present a valid form of photo identification with the recognition that almost all citizens already have acceptable forms of photo ID that would allow them to vote and a majority of voters support this policy. He believes that proving that you are a citizen and registered voter by photo ID is a reasonable effort to protect the sanctity of our democratic process. It does not establish an onerous demand upon citizens who are used to providing photo IDs for routine banking, commercial and personal transactions.

The legislation also provides for a free photo ID to anyone who does not have a valid ID.  To ensure that citizens are not denied their ability to cast a ballot because of this change, the governor is simultaneously issuing an executive order directing the State Board of Elections to implement a plan to inform the public about this change in voting laws and to assist them in obtaining appropriate photo identification prior to the 2014 elections when this measure becomes effective.

According to Jeff Caldwell, the Governor’s Press Secretary, “funding was included in the budget to assist” registrars, for education and outreach programs. “The Board shall provide each general registrar with the equipment necessary to obtain a voter’s signature and photograph and no general registrar shall be required to purchase such equipment at his own expense.”  Funds were in the enrolled budget for the costs to the State Board.

The parts of the Executive Order that would require money (outreach) will be part of the next budget (FY 15 budget) because the bill doesn’t go into effect until 7/1/14 explained Caldwell.

Bill’s language:

“Included in the appropriation for Statewide Voter Registration System Services is $166,250 from the general fund in the second year for the purchase of equipment required to implement voter registration photo identification requirements pursuant to Senate Bill 1256 of the 2013 Session of the General Assembly. It is the intent of the General Assembly that registration cards containing the voter’s photograph and signature be provided free to any eligible voter upon request to the general registrar. The State Board shall be responsible for procuring this equipment in a cost effective manner and providing any necessary equipment to each local registrar.”

Executive Order: CLICK HERE

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Politics, State Politics

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