Yesterday I posted a diary about the Tuesday, January 29 meeting by The Senate Privileges and Elections (P&E) committee which had on the agenda.
SB 719. This bill removes several items from the list of acceptable identification documents that a voter must present when voting at the polls on Election Day: current utility bill, bank statement, government check, or paycheck that shows the name and address of the voter.
SB 723. This bill would create an electoral system in which the Commonwealth's electoral votes for president of the United States would be allocated by congressional district as opposed to the current system where all of the electoral votes from Virginia go to the individual that receives the most votes.
SB 723 would allow a presidential candidate to become president even when a strong majority of the electorate voted for the other candidate.
SB 1256. This bill would require a photo ID at the polls and eliminate all forms of identification that do not contain a photograph of the voter from the list of forms of identification any one of which a voter must present in order to be allowed to vote.
Yesterday the committee voted down SB 723, the bill that would have allocated our votes by electoral district (thereby giving the state to whomever the Republicans ran in 2016). At least for now.
I like to think the 30+ emails/posts I sent out in the past couple of days and those from my fellow Virginia Kossacks might have helped put some of the pressure on to make the republicans back off on their dastardly deeds. We need to keep up the pressure because there are still the other two bills, SB 1256 and SB 719. The need to know that we're watching them. It's a lot easier to stop a bill than to get it reversed.
Information on how to contact your representatives is below. Please, please pass this information on.
This news is important not just for those of us who live in Virginia, but for everyone. Not only do we have the upcoming governor's race later this year (likely to be Ken Cuccinelli as the republican candidate), but Virginia is a swing state, and if any of these bills are passed, it's going to make it difficult or impossible to elect a Democratic president in 2016.
I strongly urge everyone who lives in Virginia to contact their senatorial representative and urge that they vote against these bills. Even if you don't live in Virginia, if you know anybody that does live in Virginia who doesn't care for voter suppression, please let them know about this.
To find your legislator:
Senators on the committee (I emailed all of them):
Senator Obenshain (Chairman) - firstname.lastname@example.org or 804.698.7526
Senator Howell - email@example.com or 804.698.7532
Senator Martin - firstname.lastname@example.org or 804.698.7511
Senator Deeds - email@example.com or 804.698.7525
Senator Puckett - firstname.lastname@example.org or 804.698.7538
Senator Edwards - email@example.com or 804.698.7521
Senator McEachin - firstname.lastname@example.org or 804.698.7509
Senator Petersen - email@example.com or 804.698.7534
Senator Smith - firstname.lastname@example.org or 804.698.7519
Senator Northam - email@example.com or 804.698.7506
Senator Vogel - firstname.lastname@example.org or 804.698.7527
Senator McWaters - email@example.com or 804.698.7508
Senator Carrico - firstname.lastname@example.org or 804.698.7540