Obenshain: State needs stricter voter ID rules


State Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, at the Capitol in Richmond in February, 2011. (Steve Helber/AP)
January 15, 2013

Another Virginia lawmaker is pointing to an undercover 2012 campaign video in which the son of Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D) can be heard discussing possible voter fraud as proof that the state needs stricter voter identification requirements.

Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) alluded to the incident involving Patrick Moran on Tuesday as he highlighted his legislation on the issue as part of the Conservative Caucus agenda for the 2013 General Assembly session.

“We hear cries from the opposition that there is no problem, that [voter fraud] doesn’t exist,” said Obenshain, a candidate for attorney general this year. “Exhibit One for the existence of a problem was a certain videotape that received national attention . . . emanating from Northern Virginia, in which it sure seemed as if a staff member for a congressional campaign was shopping for ways . . . and intended to circumvent the voter identification requirement we have through fraudulent means.”

Patrick Moran resigned from his father’s campaign in October after the video became public. On the video — dated Oct. 8 and posted by conservative activist James O’Keefe — Patrick Moran does not explicitly advocate or condone the worker’s suggestion to cast ballots on behalf of 100 voters he says are unlikely to show up on Election Day.

At the time, the congressman said in a statement that his campaign did not “endorse any sort of illegal or unethical behavior.”

Del. Mark L. Cole (R-Fredericksburg) has also said the incident inspired him to craft legislation addressing the issue.

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