Bill Bolling explains tie-breaker on Voter ID bill

There was a bit of excitement in Richmond Monday when Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling cast the tie-breaking vote on an amendment to SB719, one of the Voter ID bills in the Virginia Senate, agreeing with Democratic Senator Donald McEachin of Henrico County. Later in the day, the Lieutenant Governor’s office sent out an explanation of his vote:

“Earlier today, I cast the tie-breaking vote in support of a floor amendment to SB719. The purpose of SB719 is to tighten voter ID requirements by removing utility bills, bank statements, government checks, paychecks, etc from the list of acceptable forms of ID that can be provided at the polls. The floor amendment offered by Senator Donald McEachin of Henrico County had two purposes. First, it delayed the effective date of these proposed changes to 2014, and second, it conditioned the implementation of the changes on the appropriation of funds to make voters aware of the changes.

“Let me be clear, I support the purpose of SB719. I think it is a reasonable effort to tighten voter identification requirements and assure greater integrity in the voting process. However, we just changed Virginia’s voter ID requirements in 2012, and we cannot change these requirements every year. I am concerned that this would create unnecessary confusion among voters about what forms of ID are required at the polls. As such, I have been clear throughout this year’s legislative session that I do not believe that any additional changes to our voter ID requirements should be made this year. I felt that the floor amendment had the practical effect of accomplishing this goal. I will support final passage of SB719 with the amendment in place.

“I would note that an additional bill, SB1256, will be considered by the Senate tomorrow. SB1256 goes a step farther than SB719 and would require photo ID at the polls. Interestingly, SB1256 already includes a delayed effective date until July 1, 2014. I will support passage of SB1256 if it comes before the Senate and results in a tie vote. I have always supported photo ID because I believe it will help improve integrity in the elections process. However, it would make no sense to have passed comprehensive changes to our voter ID laws in 2012, to pass the additional changes set forth in SB719 in 2013, and then attempt to implement a pure photo ID requirement in 2014. It is this type of constant change in our voter ID requirements that I fear could create unnecessary confusion in the minds of voters.

“Ultimately, I hope we will take time during this year’s legislative session to carefully decide what we want our voter ID requirements to be. I support a pure photo ID requirement. However, we should delay implementation of these changes until 2014, which should give us sufficient time to obtain approval of the changes from the U.S. Department of Justice as required by the Voting Rights Act and properly educate the public on what our new voter ID requirements will be.”

In a nut shell, the Lieutenant Governor supports tightening Virginia’s voter ID requirements, including the implementation of a photo ID requirement, but does not support implementing those changes until 2014.

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  • Not an unreasonable explanation…

    • Lynn R. Mitchell

      A very reasonable explanation.

    • Loudoun GOPer

      Yes it is. The real reason they don’t want this change to go into effect this year is to make it easier for the Dems to cheat in the Governor’s race, and Bolling wants Cuccinelli to lose. Did you not watch the video of Jim Moran’s son giving instructions on how to create a phony utility bill? This bill was introduced specifically in response to that video. What Bolling is saying here is that he admits that people are voting fraudulently, but he wants to make sure they can do it one more time to screw the guy he hates the most.

      • Proof Or Not Real.

      • Lynn R. Mitchell
        • Loudoun GOPer

          In order to bring a criminal charge against him, they would have had to have more than just a discussion of how to do it on tape. They would have to have evidence of Moran organizing or participating in the creation and distribution of false utility bills for the purpose of fraudulent voting.

          Proving these types of voter fraud is almost impossible, and there would have had to be rock solid evidence of actual fraud (vs conspiracy to commit fraud which they probably could have charged Moran with) in order to go charge the son of a sitting Congressman.

          This is another reason why the claims that voter fraud is “rare” is a farce. When Democrats say there is no evidence of these kinds of voter fraud (i.e. fake utility bills, multiple voting using the names of dead people or non-voters, absentee ballot fraud), what they really mean is that they are getting away with it because it is so hard to catch. That is why you have to remove their avenues for fraud.

          • We’ve done a lot of that. The problem now is that we’re searching for perfect and ignoring good enough. We aren’t losing elections because of fraud, and we’re getting to the point where every year the legislature is making major changes to voting that directly impact voters.

            We had major issues in Northern Virginia with long lines at the polls, and part of it has to do with the fact that this was the first major election after both redistricting and the new voter ID laws. At some point there are diminishing returns from trying to change the laws every year.

            While I don’t have a problem with requiring a photo ID, I can understand Bolling’s point here. It’s not a bad one.

  • EricMcGrane

    FAIL. Every single voter just had a voter ID card mailed to him/her. We JUST did this….and its already paid for.

    • Mike Barrett

      Someday you will realize that the party’s continued attempts to shrink the size of the electorate in a vain attempt to continue to win elections is destined to fail. Just on this day it was announced that military members oversees with be able to vote on the internet, but in Virginia, we are doing all we can to restrict voters in their consititutional right to vote. Of course, the main effect is the outrage of just plain normal voters who are outraged at the efforts of far right republicans to curtain voting rights.

      • EricMcGrane

        Mike, you know that your faux outrageous outrage is completely transparent, right? That everyone can readily indicate your hyperbole? Please, keep talking about extremy extremists who radically radicalize far extreme ideas to the extremely extreme radical far right and how radical those extremists really are.

    • We’ve done it twice in six months. Constant tinkering with the laws it what makes long lines and other problems at the polls. If redistricting goes through, we will go through this all over again. At some point, enough has to be enough.

  • Scout

    Being a Republican in Virginia will be a lot more satisfying when folks in this party stop trying to run away from the citizens and start running toward them. Bolling is a political opportunist, devoid of principle, who would go whatever way he has to go to advance his interests. That’s how he won the primary in 2005. His support for this amendment appears to be part of this weird positioning that will get him absolutely nowhere in the upcoming Governor’s race. Nonetheless, anything that save Republicans from themselves is to be welcomed, whatever the underlying motivations.

  • Louexis

    Please tell me what is wrong with the voter ID card issued to every registered voter in the state of Virginia? Each ID card represents one vote and once shown when voting, is checked off the voter list at the polling place. So in order to commit voter fraud someone has to show up at the polls before the legitimate voter and present a Virginia voter ID card with the proper voters name and address and if he does this he would have defrauded one vote. Who has the money or the time to repeat this scenario the thousands of times necessary to make a difference.? Could it be the Republican party?

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