State Senator Steve Martin told CBS 6 yesterday that the requirement in his bill, SB 1 (the very first bill prefiled in the Senate), that voter registration cards no longer be an acceptable form of identification when voting was a “mistake.” That’s quite a mistake considering this is the 3rd year in a row he has introduced this language. Kent Willis, the executive director of the ACLU of Virginia, called Martin’s bill “a clear violation of voter rights,” and “any kind of restrictions you impose on ID disproportionately affect the elderly, low-income residents and racial minorities.”
Sen. Martin introduced virtually identical language in 2010 and 2011. He also, coincidentally, pulled a lot of the legislative language from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). He’s one of ALEC’s two Virginia state chairmen and has spent over $22,000 dollars in taxpayer money traveling around to their conferences to meet with corporate lobbyists behind closed doors (View his ALEC profile here).
Attempting to pass legislation that would disenfranchise many Virginia voters once would indeed be quite a “mistake”. File your “mistaken” legislation three years in a row and people might start to think your campaign for voter disenfranchisement was intentional.