SENATE DEMOCRATS STAND UNITED AGAINST EFFORTS TO LIMIT ACCESS TO THE BALLOT BOX

RICHMOND – This afternoon, in a string of party-line votes, three bills designed to limit Virginians’ ability to participate in fair, transparent elections passed the Virginia Senate. Senator Amanda Chase’s (R-Cheterfield) SB 872 requires any voter submitting an application for an absentee, mail-in ballot to submit a copy of his or her photo ID. Senator Mark Obenshain’s (R-Rockingham) SB 1105 empowers local electoral boards to “investigate” and produce a report whenever the number of registered voters in the locality exceeds the voting age population even though, from all indications, this seems to be a solution in search of a problem . Senator Dick Black’s (R-Loudoun) SB 1455 penalizes third party and non-partisan groups that work to register voters.
 
Said Senator Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), “The stated purpose for requiring photo ID at polling places is to verify the voter’s identity. So how do election officials compare the photocopies to for mail-in ballots? This is a pointless exercise in the absence of anything to compare the photocopies to.”
 
Said Senator Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon), Logistically, not everyone has access to a scanner. This is an unnecessary barrier to participation – including for our active duty military serving abroad. I don't know how a soldier sitting in a fox hole is supposed to copy his driver's license.”
 
Said Senator Barbara Favola (D-Arlington), "I am disappointed that my colleagues would point to inaccurate information regarding my district to justify their unnecessary legislation limiting access to the ballot box. According to the Arlington County Registrar, even if you take the broadest definitions possible, there are thousands more voting-age residents than there are registered voters in Arlington."
 
Said Senator Mamie Locke (D-Hampton), “Each of these bills amount to nothing less than flagrant voter suppression.”
 
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