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Issues - Voting Rights

The Cost of Voter ID

Bills requiring voters to display a certain kind of photo ID in order to vote (or cast a provisional ballot without valid ID) are a solution in search of a problem. There is no documentation of allegations of widespread voter impersonation fraud in the Commonwealth.

Solving this nonexistent problem carries a large cost burden for the Commonwealth and localities.

    Provisional ballot costs: Eliminating the sworn affidavit provision and pushing voters into provisional ballots significantly increases the volume of voters casting provisional ballots.
    • A Nebraska study found that a provisional ballot costs the registrar approximately $30 per ballot cast in time spent on administration and adjudication.
    • According to numbers provided by the Chesterfield County Registrar, had this measure been in effect during the last election cycle, Chesterfield County would have seen a 328% percent increase in the number of provisional ballots that the electoral board would have to certify. This is time-consuming and costly and could delay the outcome of an election.
    • There will be a need for increased training on processing of provisional ballots and increased number of provisional ballots to print and process.

    Photo ID Costs:

    • The voter ID program is likely to cost taxpayers millions of dollars each year to implement. Virginia will have to offer free IDs to new voters who don’t currently have acceptable form of ID. For example, in Indiana, the State Bureau of Motor Vehicles issued 771,017 free photo IDs between 2007-2010 at a cost of over $10million (according to Jeremy Burton, the Help America Vote Act outreach manager with the Indiana Secretary of State’s office).
    • Introducing new photo ID requirements will require an extensive public education campaign, including mailings, advertising, and public service announcements, updating forms; updating websites, etc.
    • They would also require added poll worker training and potentially more poll workers. These proposals essentially require that poll workers perform a quasi-law enforcement function – checking the validity of individuals’ identification requirements.
    • There will be added administrative costs that the State Board of Elections and local registrars’ offices will incur in order to enforce these voter ID laws.

Voter Suppression

  • Any changes to Virginia’s voting laws are subject to review by the Department of Justice under the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The state must prove that these laws would not affect minority voters more than white voters. The proposed laws welcome potential lawsuits that would be time-consuming and put Virginia in an unnecessary legal battle that would cost the state’s taxpayers.
  • These bills are intended to fix a problem - voter fraud- that is extremely rare. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, there is “no documented wave or trend of individuals voting multiple times, voting as someone else, or voting despite knowing that they are ineligible.” National case studies conducted by the Center have found that states like Missouri have overall voter fraud rates of 0.0003% in 2000, 0.0001% in 2004, 0.0006% in New Hampshire in 2004, 0.0004% in New Jersey in 2004, 0.000009% in New York in 2004.
  • Photo ID laws are designed to keep people of color, students, and seniors from voting. 11 percent of Americans—approximately 23 million citizens of voting age—lack proper photo ID and, as a result, could be turned away from the polls on Election Day. Those without photo ID are disproportionately low-income, disabled, minority, young, and older voters. Photo ID laws also cost millions; at a time when we are facing budget shortfalls, it doesn't make sense to waste money on things we don't need and that don't create jobs.
  • 11 percent of Americans—approximately 23 million citizens of voting age—lack proper photo ID and, as a result, could be turned away from the polls on Election Day. Those without photo ID are disproportionately low-income, disabled, minority, young, and older voters.

From the Progressive Point:

Attacks on our constitutional right to vote

Published Jul 1

ProgressVA Launches GotIDVirginia.Org, Voter Photo ID Education Resource For New Voting Requirements

Published Jul 1

Obenshain tries to make it harder to vote

Published Jun 25

Our right to vote in Virginia is being rigged

Published May 20

Reinforce the foundation of America with a revitalized Voting Rights Act

Published May 9

Getting on the right track includes restoring the right to vote

Published Apr 28

Protecting our right to vote includes ensuring it is restored

Published Apr 18

New voter ID laws threaten our right to vote

Published Mar 20

Forcing Virginia voters into 5 hour lines

Published Mar 13

Ensure everyone can vote in Virginia

Published Feb 3

Voting restrictions have real costs

Published Jan 10

Making it more difficult for Virginians to vote

Published Dec 20 2013

Obenshain open to making your vote meaningless

Published Dec 10 2013

Conservatives continue making it more difficult to vote

Published Dec 9 2013

The cost of gerrymandering

Published Nov 12 2013

Count every vote

Published Nov 7 2013

A vote for progress

Published Nov 6 2013

Voting is the one time we're all truly equal

Published Nov 5 2013

Our responsibility as American citizens to vote

Published Nov 4 2013

Conservatives fighting equal opportunity to vote in Virginia

Published Oct 28 2013

Congress might suck at deadlines but you don't have to

Published Oct 15 2013

Ensure an equal opportunity to vote on Election Day

Published Aug 28 2013

Restoring the rights of all legally eligible Virginia voters

Published Jul 8 2013

Today's SCOTUS decision is major setback for voting rights

Published Jun 25 2013

ProgressVA Statement On Supreme Court Decision in Shelby County v. Holder

Published Jun 25 2013

We must ensure that all eligible Virginia voters' rights are protected

Published Jun 18 2013

Cuccinelli flip-flops on restoring felon's voting rights

Published May 28 2013

Richmond conservatives demonstrate yet again disregard for Virginians' right to vote

Published Mar 27 2013

ProgressVA Strongly Condemns Governor's Signature of Photo ID Legislation

Published Mar 26 2013

Making it harder for seniors, students, minorities and the poor to vote

Published Feb 20 2013

For Valentine's Day, conservatives gift VA new voting restrictions and disregard for voters

Published Feb 14 2013

Conservatives push third Virginia voter ID requirement in 3 years

Published Feb 6 2013

Richmond conservatives pushing you aside and picking their own voters

Published Jan 29 2013

Conservative politicians trying to pick and choose their voters in Virginia

Published Jan 28 2013

Blocking your access to the ballot in Virginia

Published Jan 24 2013

If you can't win, change the rules

Published Jan 23 2013

An overreaching, sneaky, underhanded political power grab

Published Jan 22 2013

Ensure Virginia seniors' fundamental right to vote

Published Jan 21 2013

Conservatives block 450K Virginians' fundamental right to vote

Published Jan 14 2013

They don't think they made it hard enough for us to vote last year

Published Jan 9 2013

Cuccinelli thinks they didn't suppress enough voters

Published Nov 27 2012

More attacks on voting rights

Published Nov 26 2012

Long lines are a form of voter suppression

Published Nov 15 2012

Virginia needs no excuse absentee voting

Published Nov 8 2012

Virginians have spoken

Published Nov 7 2012

What's at stake today for Virginians

Published Nov 6 2012

Shutting down voter intimidation

Published Nov 5 2012

ProgressVA Education Fund: New True the Vote documents show organization misleading Virginia poll watchers

Published Nov 2 2012

No excuses. Go vote.

Published Nov 2 2012

Protect your vote by making a plan

Published Oct 31 2012

An assault on the right to vote is an assault on the Constitution

Published Oct 24 2012

The real threat to this election

Published Oct 19 2012

Today is the last day to make sure your voter registration is current!

Published Oct 15 2012

Voter restrictions and intimidation

Published Sep 11 2012

Changing the rules to vote restricts our American rights

Published Sep 6 2012

A fair, free, and accessible democracy

Published Aug 30 2012

Rigging our right to vote

Published Aug 21 2012

Virginia's democracy should be free, fair, and accessible

Published Aug 14 2012

ProgressVA Applauds Board of Elections Rejection of Romney Attack on Democracy

Published Aug 7 2012

We won--Voting Rights Upheld

Published Aug 6 2012

Romney's tax plan: cuts for the top 2% while middle class pays more

Published Aug 2 2012

Keeping your vote from counting

Published Jul 31 2012

Making it harder for Virginians to vote

Published Jul 27 2012

Focus on participation in our democratic process

Published Jul 24 2012

The cost of McDonnell's voter suppression

Published May 30 2012

Rigging the vote

Published May 21 2012

ProgressVA Statement on Bob McDonnell's Refusal to Veto Voter Suppression Legislation

Published May 18 2012

America has never solved anything with less democracy

Published Apr 24 2012

Worst of the Week: Bob McDonnell ignoring his own constituents

Published Mar 16 2012

Virginia's turn for voter suppression to be struck down

Published Mar 15 2012

Worst of the Week: Conservative Voter Suppression

Published Mar 9 2012

The high cost of voter ID

Published Mar 7 2012

Worst of the Week: Voter suppression is going to Virginia's House floor

Published Jan 27 2012

Conservatives want to make your vote irrelevant

Published Jan 18 2012

Worst of the Week - The Power Grab

Published Jan 13 2012

Senate Bill #1 - Voter Discrimination

Published Jan 12 2012

Less Democracy Is Wrong for Virginia

Published Jan 3 2012

The Republican Power Grab

Published Dec 6 2011

Democrats and Republicans Agree on Power-Sharing

Published Nov 30 2011

The Republican Power Grab

Published Nov 22 2011

Twenty is not more than twenty

Published Nov 18 2011

Tuesday, you voted. Wednesday, Bolling and McDonnell decided it didn't matter

Published Nov 10 2011

McDonnell's money couldn't buy support for his policies

Published Nov 9 2011

Today is Election Day. Did your family vote?

Published Nov 8 2011

What's at stake on Nov. 8: Women and Families

Published Nov 7 2011