Will new bill make voting harder?

Posted at 12:56 PM, Feb 07, 2012
and last updated 2012-02-08 12:15:34-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Early approval of a controversial voter identification bill has passed the House and Senate. The bill is considered a key objective for Republicans and is being introduced across the country.

It was the very first bill filed in the Virginia Senate this session and a key objective for Republicans.

“It’s a priority for Republicans nationally and that’s why you’re seeing it across the country,” said election expert Stephen Piepgrass.

The bill would require that voters bring identification to the polls in order to cast their ballots. The Senate version of the bill that passed Monday would still allow those without identification to vote, but they’d have to return in a week with proof of identity or their vote wouldn’t count.

“Certainly we wipe out obvious paths to fraudulent voting with that kind of statute,” said Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

Democrats claim that there were only about a 100 people proven guilty of voter fraud in the country last year, when there are over 200 million registered voters. They believe that the bill will hurt minorities and that more important issues remain unsolved in the Commonwealth.

“Without any evidence of voter fraud they’ve elected to make voting harder not easier in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Senator Donald McEachin, (D) Henrico.

Experts say the seven day delay in counting the provisional ballots isn’t likely to delay every election, assuming most people do bring id’s to the poll. But they claim it could really depend on the race.

“In a very close election when 10 or 20 votes really count and there are that many provisional ballots, it could delay results,” said Piepgrass.