House Appropriations Committee Should Reject Costly, New Restrictions on Voting

For Immediate Release
February 14, 2013

Richmond- Instead of expanding access to voting and ensuring we have a free, fair and open democracy, SB1256 adds new and costly restrictions on voting. 

Tomorrow, the House Appropriations committee will consider passage of unnecessary voting restrictions in the form of a photo ID voter bill. We urge lawmakers to oppose this misguided legislation.

SB1256 effectively disenfranchises hundreds of thousands of Virginians for no good reason. The bill would disproportionately impact minorities, students, poor people, seniors and disabled citizens. Similar to the voter ID legislation passed last session and put into practice just six months ago, it is a solution in search of a problem.

On top of that, a study from the Commonwealth Institute reviewed the true cost of implementing photo ID bills in other states and found doing so in Virginia could cost between $7 and $21 million.

“We cannot afford to have laws that push people out of the electorate,” said Doris Crouse-Mays, Virginia AFL-CIO President. “Our democracy is healthiest when more people participate and have a stake in the political process. After voters waited 3 to 4 hours to vote in last years’ election, we hoped the General Assembly would find the will to pass legislation to lengthen polling hours, add more voting machines and expand access to early and absentee voting. Instead, the General Assembly seems poised to add even more obstacles that make the fundamental right of voting more difficult.”

Resources:
The Commonwealth Institute: Voter Photo ID Could Cost Virginia Millions

Virginia AFL-CIO represents 150,000 union members in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Virginia AFL-CIO speaks for labor collectively in Virginia and advances labor’s political and public positions. It represents a consensus of labor’s priorities, policy and opinions.

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