Opinion: Requiring photo ID at the poll undercuts democracy

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(Stock photo)

To the editor:

There are numerous problems with the proposed photo ID law that is in front of our state’s Legislature. Its cost, the effect it will have on elderly and minority voters, and the bureaucracy it will create are all reasons to vote down the law.

After all, the legislation is basically a solution in search of a problem, but there is little-to-no credible evidence of widespread voter fraud in Virginia to begin with.

But the most concerning aspect of this legislation is the idea those who are unable to obtain free IDs offered by the state, paid for by taxpayers, would be issued a provisional ballot. Not only does a provisional ballot give the impression one person’s vote is less legitimate than another’s, but there’s a chance that under certain circumstances, their votes will not even be counted.

It is unfair that residents who have exercised their right to vote for years might now be denied the ability to have their voices heard and their votes counted.

– John Chapman
President of the NAACP, Alexandria chapter

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