Voting is a fundamental American freedom. Conservatives in the General Assembly are trying to erode that freedom by passing legislation that essentially amounts to a poll tax–requiring specific forms off ID in order to cast a vote. Though Republicans claim they are trying to prevent voter fraud, they are trying to rectify a problem that doesn’t exist. More people get struck by lightning a year than commit voter fraud. Even the sponsor of these bills, Delegate Mark Cole, admits “he knows of no cases in which ineligible people impersonating registered voters have been allowed to vote.
Instead, these laws requiring a photo ID to vote are designed to prevent people of color, students, and seniors from making their voices heard on Election Day. Conservatives are afraid that their policies of giving tax breaks to millionaires while leaving many in the middle class jobless won’t get them re-elected. But instead of adopting policies their constituents support, they are simply silences our voices and making voting harder.
In addition to HB9, which requires a photo identification to vote, Delegate Cole is sponsoring several other bills to further restrict our right to vote including a bill limiting who can vote absentee. Delegate Cole needs to spend less time eroding our fundamental rights as Americans and more time doing the job he was elected to do–bringing jobs to the middle class and representing our interests.
Concerned about conservative efforts to suppress the vote? Contact your legislators today and ask them to vote no on bills that will make it harder for Virginians to vote.