The Virginia House of Delegates on Monday passed a bill that would put additional limits on voting in a state where the laws are already among the most restrictive.

Under the bill, voters would have to submit a copy of their photo identification when they apply by mail to vote by absentee ballot. Currently, only people who apply for absentee ballots in person have to present a photo ID.

Proponents say the bill is needed to prevent voter fraud and instill confidence in the electoral process.

Opponents — Democrats and voting rights advocates — say the bill is a politically motivated attempt to suppress the votes of the poor, the elderly and others who are more likely to support Democrats and less likely to have a valid photo ID. They also note that nothing in a voter’s registration record can be checked against his or her photo.

The bill passed, 62 to 34, mostly along party lines. It now heads to the Senate.

Del. Jeffrey L. Campbell (R-Marion), the bill’s primary sponsor, said clerks would merely have to document voters’ photo ID for future reference in cases of suspected fraud. They would not have to authenticate an individual’s ID, he said.

Campbell’s bill would except members of the military and people who are home because of a pregnancy, disability or illness.

“We don’t have any documented cases of record in Virginia, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t capable of happening, and certainly where we can close such a hole to provide for the insurance and integrity of the process and prevent fraud we should do so,” he said, adding that there are cases in question in Alabama and West Virginia.

But Del. Marcus B. Simon (D-Fairfax) said that without a face to compare with the picture on the ID, a copy of the ID sent through the mail is useless.

“I think that Republicans are interested in finding ways to make sure the ‘wrong’ kind of people don’t vote,” he said. “They figure our voters, more Democratic voters, are likely to be in that category of people who don’t have photo ID than their voters, so I think there’s definitely a political motivation here. ”

Alabama has a strict photo ID requirement for absentee voters similar to the proposal pending in Virginia. Kansas and Texas have such laws as well, but with exceptions that allow voters to send in their driver’s license number or Social Security number in lieu of a copy of the ID.

Tram Nguyen, co-executive director of Virginia New Majority, said the Virginia bill “increases barriers for voting while creating additional work and raising costs for local registrars. Requiring a photo ID for mail-in ballots makes no sense.”

Virginia has had voter ID requirements in place for years, but recently Republicans have pushed for laws tightening the definition of what constitutes acceptable identification.

In 2013, Sen. Mark D. Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) sponsored a bill — approved by the General Assembly and signed by then-Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) — that required voters to present a valid photo ID at polling places, but did not address absentee voting.Previously, voters could choose from a long list of accepted forms of identification that did not necessarily include a photograph.

Last year, the Board of Elections advised election officials not to accept photo IDs that had expired more than one year before Election Day. Obenshain noted that there were relatively few problems reported when the law went into effect last year.

“I have long been an advocate for measures that ensure that the electorate retains confidence in the integrity of the election system,” he said. “When there is a perception that the system is flawed, it undermines that confidence.”