Virginia’s voter ID law will go into effect on July 1. Election officials held 13 regional training sessions in May for registrars and their staffs, the Associated Press reported.
The new law now requires that registered voters who come to the polls in person must present forms of identification that have a photograph of the individual. These include: a Virginia driver’s license; a U.S. passport or any other photo ID issued by the U.S., Virginia, or one of its political subdivisions; a student ID issued by any institute of higher learning in Virginia; or an employee ID card.
Voters can also apply for free state-issued ID cards with any one of the state’s local registrars. The process is similar to obtaining a driver’s license at the DMV. The voter ID law came to pass in 2013, while Virginia’s Republican Governor Bob McDonnell was still in office.
According to the Richmond Times Dispatch, McDonnell also signed an executive order to make the application process as convenient as possible.
“You get the applicant to fill out an application, and they sign it in front of you. You look them up in the system and, as long as they are already registered, you click their name and confirm that their address is correct because that’s where they’ll be getting their ID,” Victoria Baldwin, director of training with the elections board, told the Times Dispatch.
The applicant gets their picture taken afterward, and their signature is scanned. The information is then sent to the printer.
“The state board is going to do all the printing in house. We are estimating it will take two to four weeks, depending on mail service, for the applicants to get the ID. If it gets close to election and someone lost their ID, there is the ability to print a temporary ID and still be able to vote,” Baldwin said.
Hope Amezquita of the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia is disappointed with the implementation of the plan, telling the Times Dispatch the law does not mandate registrars to conduct outreach and solicit voters who need satisfactory photo ID’s to vote.