Saturday, December 15, 2012

Del. Rob Bell: Virginia needs Photo ID to curb voter fraud

From Delegate Rob Bell (R-58th House District)....

I am very concerned about voter fraud in Virginia.

State Police issued 39 warrants for voter fraud after the 2008 election, and identified another 194 instances where a violation likely occurred. In one instance, a "progressive" group told a felon she was eligible to vote, and she did.  And here is an undercover video of a Democratic field operative, Pat Moran, talking about how to fake a utility bill to make it easier to commit fraud. 

Criminal convictions only occur afterwards, which means that in many cases illegal votes were included in the final tallies and helped decide who won and who lost the election.  And of course, no one thinks that every time the law is broken, someone gets caught.

Voting is a right of citizenship, and illegal and unlawful voting strikes at the root of our democracy.  It cannot be tolerated.

This year I will be patroning a bill to address voter fraud issues.  Based on last year’s House Bill 569, the bill will do the following:

1. Require a true photo ID, issued by the Commonwealth or Federal Government, for voting.  No exceptions.  For most, this will be a driver’s license, but a photo ID will be issued free to those who do not have and cannot afford one.  Presentation of such ID will be required before a voter can vote.

2. Citizenship review at the time of registration.  This will be similar to what is already done when a Virginian gets a driver’s license.

3. Posted notice of the penalties for voter fraud.  

I am also working to ensure that the State Board also implements:

4. Criminal Records Check.  A full comparison of voter rolls to the criminal records, to ensure that felons are removed / barred from the rolls.

5. End to Double Registration.  Full implementation of the ERIC (Electronic Registration Information Center) system, which coordinates between states to ensure that when a voter (like a student) leaves Virginia and moves to another state, the voter is removed from the rolls in Virginia, and vice versa.

At this point, it is not clear that additional laws are necessary to fix these last two issues, but I am prepared to file bills if we have to.

I need your help.

A bill similar to this was presented last year, and although I voted for it, it was not successful. If you support photo ID while voting and a citizenship review at registration, please sign the photo ID petition here.

The more support we have for this measure, the better the chance that it will pass.

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