The tourism slogan of the Old Dominion is “Virginia is for Lovers.”
A Republican bill that imposes identity requirements for voting in Virginia passed the Senate on Monday thanks to Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling’s tie-breaking vote.
The voter ID bill generated bitter opposition from Democrats, particularly African-American senators who said it was akin to Jim Crow-era efforts to suppress black votes in a battleground state bracing for bruising presidential and senatorial campaigns.
Virginia state Sen. Henry Marsh, said:
This is one more barrier beyond those that have been erected over the years. When I first voted, I had to pay $5 for a poll tax. There were blank registration forms used at the time I registered to vote, so they gave you a blank piece of paper and you had to fill out the questions and the answers.
Sen. Yvonne B. Miller added:
I’m old enough to remember Virginia’s inglorious voting history. This is called chilling the vote. There are reasons that people give that may make it for some Virginians. It does not make it with me. Although I won’t change any person’s mind, I will say to you that this is another day of shame for Virginia.
That shameful history notwithstanding, Republicans are writing laws that block access to the ballot box. Meanwhile, voting rights advocates are writing reports.
The calvary is not coming. It's time to wake up and help voters without an official photo ID get ready. With Election Day eight months away, they need help navigating the application process. Many can't do it alone.