The Department of Justice decided not to challenge Virginia’s voter ID law Monday, approving the law signed by Gov. Bob McDonnell.
According to the liberal “Talking Points Memo,” the bill allows voters to “show a wide range of types of identification to cast a ballot.”
Virginia is one of 16 states covered by the Section 5 pre-clearance provision of the Voting Rights Act, which means any changes to its election laws must be pre-cleared by the Justice Department.
Unlike laws in other states like South Carolina, Virginia’s law is a “strict non-photo identification law,” which means Social Security cards, which can already by used in Virginia to vote, in addition to paychecks, utility bills, student IDs, or bank statements can be used as forms of identification at the polls. A concealed handgun permit is also allowed as form of identification to vote under the new law.
For those who come to the polls without identification in Virginia, the new law would require them to vote provisionally and later present an approved form of identification to their local registrar through e-mail fax, regular mail, or hand delivery.
McDonnell (R) said “it is welcome news” that the Justice Department approved Virginia’s voter ID law and promptly issued an executive order directing Virginia’a State Board of Elections to send every Virginia voter a valid voter card before election day.
“Protecting against voter fraud and making sure our elections are secure are critical for confidence in our democracy,” McDonnell said in a statement. “The legislation I signed into law is a practical and reasonable step to make our elections more secure while also ensuring access to the ballot box for all qualified voters.”