(Image source: Flickr / Vox Efx)
BY CHRISTINA HARTMAN To call voter ID laws highly controversial
in the last election cycle would be an understatement. It sent protesters to rallies in states like
Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Nevada. (Via YouTube / rbranch234) And Tuesday, Virginia Republican Governor
Bob McDonnell signed a bill into law that would require voters to present photo IDs
at the polls. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Gage Skidmore) Now — what made the issue so controversial
during the 2012 campaign was that it was largely Republican governors pushing the legislation.
(Via South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s YouTube
channels) They said it was to protect against voter
fraud, but Democrats called it a cynical attempt to keep minorities and left-leaning voters
from casting a vote, and they pointed to statistics suggesting lower-income people and minorities
were least likely to already have an acceptable form of photo ID. VIA MSNBC’S ED SCHULTZ: “This all about
stealing the election. This is all about making sure that President Obama’s base doesn’t
get out to vote.” Under the law Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell
signed Tuesday, those without proper identification could get one for free. It’s expected to cost the state $200,000
a year — which supporters say would also go toward an education campaign to make sure
voters understand the changes. (Via WAVY) Though the move is sure to be controversial
— a Quinnipiac poll released in February found ¾ of Virginia voters back the idea
of a photo ID law. Now, before all that could go into effect,
the Justice Department will have to approve it. If approved, Virginia would join Georgia,
Indiana, Kansas and Tennessee as states with photo identification laws.
Other states like Texas, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have laws that are pending.