Va. election board to reconsider expired photo ID rule

Va. election board to reconsider expired photo ID rule

The Virginia State Board of Elections will reconsider a controversial rule that would allow voters to use expired photo IDs at the polls.

The move comes after a column by this reporter and a written complaint from state Sen. Mark Obenshain that stated:

I hope that at their next meeting, the State Board of Elections will reverse its decision and ensure that their regulatory guidance hews to the requirements of Virginia’s photo ID law, which enjoys the support of the overwhelming majority of voters.

The election board quietly adopted the expired-ID policy June 10, without public comment.

Obenshain, who wrote the photo ID law, said the board’s policy was in “seeming contravention of state law.”

The board voted Tuesday to consider alternative language, which will be distributed for public comment in the coming days.

In a statement to Watchdog, SBE Secretary Don Palmer said:

As secretary, I came to the conclusion [and the board agreed] that there should have been additional comment on the definition of what a ‘valid’ ID means in the context of confirmation of voter identity for election purposes. There is no statutory definition of ‘valid,’ so we need to incorporate legal definitions and election administration practices into that determination.

The board came to the conclusion that the final version was a significant enough change that additional comment from stakeholders would have been helpful.

The confirmation of the identity of the voter serves a valuable election administration purpose and some believe the SBE definition is too broad and wish to comment on the proposed definition. The board agrees that is important, and that we get the regulations correct. As with all the different areas of voter ID implementation to date, SBE will take a legal and fact-based approach to the regulatory process and implementation.

When the evidence and facts of our system point to a required adjustment to ease implementation with voters and election officials, SBE has carefully determined the appropriate change to policy and the prudent time to make any necessary adjustments.  As with other aspects of photo ID implementation, SBE may want to see how implementation continues with existing policy and an election before making any adjustments.

SBE will continue take a legal and fact-based approach before making changes to definitions or policy and then determine the appropriate timing of changes.

Read more by Kenric Ward at

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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