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The Republicans in Virginia are continuing their efforts to suppress the vote of poor and minority voters through new voter ID bills.  The Washington Post reports that HB 1337 was passed by the Virginia Senate today.

According to the Virginia Legislative Information System, HB 1337:  

Removes several items from the list of acceptable identification documents that a voter must present when voting at the polls on election day: a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, or paycheck that shows the name and address of the voter and a voter's social security card.

This bill previously passed the Virginia House but needs to be voted on by  the Virginia House again since it was amended by the Virginia Senate.  

The types of identification removed as acceptable identification by HB 1337 are the types of identification that are more likely to be used by poor and minority voters who may not have government issued photo IDs like driver's licenses.

Interestingly, HB 1337 does not eliminate concealed weapons permits from the list of IDs accepted for a person to be able to vote.  Currently, voters in Virginia can use a concealed weapons permit for ID in order to vote.  

Another bill SB1256 goes even further in that it requires photo IDs.  That bill has passed the Virginia Senate and is still pending before the Virginia House.  According to the Virginia Legislative Information Service, SB 1256

Requires photo ID at the polls by eliminating 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.

According to The Washington Post

The current registration cards, which do not have photos, would no longer be accepted.

While SB1256 does provide that the State Board will provide a voter registration card with a photograph free of charge to anyone not having other valid photo IDs, how much do you want to bet that these IDs will only be offered to voters during regular business hours, which would reduce the number of people applying for these registration cards since they could not afford to take the time off of work.  

Originally posted to night cat on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 08:18 PM PST.

Also republished by Virginia Kos.

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