Virginia is on track to be the next state where the Republican Party creates new restrictions on voting access in the name of preventing “voter fraud.” From Roanoke Times:
Legislation that would tighten Virginia’s voter identification requirements passed a divided state Senate on Monday, despite protests from Democrats who derided the bill as a thinly veiled attempt to suppress the votes of minorities and other groups.
Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling cast the tie-breaking vote to pass the legislation, providing another measure of the muscle Republicans have flexed since taking working control of the evenly divided Senate last month. Similar bills were killed in a Senate committee the past four years, when Democrats held a majority in the chamber.
The bill should easily pass the Republican controlled House of Delegates and is expect to be signed into law by Republican Governor Bob McDonnell.
The new law would require voters to show proof of ID before their vote will be counted. Not surprisingly groups that are less likely to carry IDs (minorities, elderly and people who don’t own cars, etc…) are also groups that tend to vote for Democrats.
This bill in Virginia is the latest in a wave of voting laws pushed all over the country by the Republican Party after its big wave election in 2010. In the past two years the Republicans have passed similar laws in states like Florida and Kansas that will make it harder for people who mainly tend to vote for Democrats to both register to vote and vote on election day.