New Virginia voter ID law in effect
Hot Springs, Va. –
A new voter ID law is in effect in Virginia and it’s bringing changes that might affect the casting of your vote in the November general election. Previously, if you went to your polling place without an ID you could still vote on a regular ballot, provided your name and address was in the poll books. You could sign a form, a statement of affirmation, and then vote. The new law has done away with that form.
Charles Garrett is the General Registrar in Bath County.
“Everybody who votes a regular ballot on Election Day will have to show some form of ID,” says Garrett. “Virginia did not pass a picture ID rule, or law, like some states have, but it did pass that you must have a form of ID. The list of available ID’s has been expanded.”
A number of different types of ID will be accepted at the polls. Some of those include a Virginia voter registration card, a valid Virginia driver’s license, a Virginia ID, a concealed handgun permit, an employer issued photo ID, a utility bill, a bank statement and a social security card.
“If you come to the polls and you don’t have an ID, you will have to vote what’s called a provisional vote,” says Garrett. “And a provisional vote is cast separately in our polling places. It will be on paper, instead of on the voting machine. It will be put in a separate envelope and then after the election you will have until Friday to bring your ID in to this office and provide it to the electoral board or your vote won’t be counted.”
As part of this new law, every registered voter in Virginia is going to receive a new voter card.
“The card that voters will start getting towards the end of September or early October will have their voter information as of August 14,” says Garrett. “If they’ve moved, or updated their registration or made any changes they will also have received, somewhere along the way, another voter card. So they could end up with two voter cards coming to them in September. On every voter card there’s a date when the card was issued. The card that comes from the state in the mass mailing will have a date of August 14. And the card that you would have gotten from your local office when you changed address will have probably a later date. And you need to look at those cards and make sure that your keep the one that’s got the most current date, because that’s the valid one.”
Keep in mind that October 15 is the last day to apply to register to vote or to update your registration name and current address. If you do not receive a new voter card in the mail, be sure to check before October 15 to be sure that your voter registration is up to date.