Adding fuel to an already contentious debate over voter identification laws, Virginia’s State Board of Elections decided this week that voters must present a current photo ID or one that has expired within the past year to cast a ballot.
The Republican-controlled board voted 2 to 0 Wednesday, with the Democrat absent, to narrow the definition of a valid ID, a move that one board member said would streamline and simplify the rules.
“We believe it’s a compromise and gives people a reasonable grace period,” said Donald Palmer, who was appointed to the board by former governor Robert F. McDonnell (R).
But Democrats and voting rights advocates argued that the new guideline will confuse voters less than two weeks before a special election where the new rule is expected to apply.
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