Friday, February 22, 2013

SB 1256: Voter Photo Identification

Virginia Senate Bill 1256...what can I say?

This bill barely squeaked through the State Senate, 20-20, then cleared the House by a 65-34 plurality. Why this one, and not one of the simpler ones that merely asked voters to show photo ID? Apparently the left wing's objections to asking voters to show state ID cards, which have been available for years, were that this proposal was too cheap and simple. Why require people to use a system that's been working, after its fashion, for years when you can set up yet another board of appointed officials to oversee that system and find yet another excuse to raise taxes?

Several correspondents still seem to think that state photo IDs are a necessary adjunct to state voter registration cards, and they may be pleased by SB 1256. This web site maintains that it's dead easy to get a state photo ID with incorrect information on it, without even trying, and anyone motivated to try could easily get half a dozen photo IDs in different names by visiting different crowded urban DMV offices on different days. This web site maintains, further, that the secret to preventing election fraud is not photo IDs but paper ballots. The position of this web site is that SB 1256 may make some people feel more inclined to trust reported election results, but it won't make election results more accurate. And, unlike its simpler counterparts in the House, SB 1256 will cost the state money.