With the 2016 elections just around the corner, Clinton confidant Governor Terry McAuliffe is wasting no time getting ready for November’s election. As part of his preparations, he’s shaking cash out of special interests, flying to out-of-state Clinton rallies, and right here at home, vetoing legislation intended to combat voter fraud.
With the flick of his pen, the man leading Hillary Clinton’s Virginia campaign team vetoed common-sense legislation patroned by Delegate Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg) requiring voter registration forms to ask applicants for their social security number, their citizenship status, and whether they are ineligible to vote for other reasons, such as a felony conviction. Voter registrars would be required to reject any application which failed to include the necessary information.
Nowhere in HB9 (bill text and legislative history) was any requirement for the applicant to provide documentation of any information submitted. The bill did not require applicants to prove their social security number, date of birth, or citizenship status. Compared to other voter integrity legislation, HB9 was rather mild, requiring only that applicants tell the truth if they are indeed eligible to vote.
HB9 merely required Virginia’s State Board of Elections to ask for this information and reject as incomplete applications who fail to provide it.
Even though no applicant would be required to furnish proof of the requested information, the mere existence of boxes asking for it proved too onerous for Governor McAuliffe. As the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported:
McAuliffe highlighted a part of the bill that would require the “automatic denial” of applicants who fail to check a box indicating that the applicant will be at least 18 years old before the next general election.
“The checkbox is not material to determining whether the applicant meets the age requirements to register to vote, because the applicant is already required to provide his or her date of birth,” McAuliffe said.
McAuliffe’s credibility-starved explanation is little more than an excuse for an ongoing and obstinate refusal by Democrats to embrace common-sense measures to protect the integrity of Virginia’s elections. Democrats were similarly out of touch with mainstream Virginians several years back, when they steadfastly opposed voter ID laws supported by 76% of Americans, including 78% of independents.
Cole’s bill to strengthen requirements placed upon the State Board of Elections was filed in response to efforts by the McAuliffe administration last year to make questions regarding citizenship status and criminal history optional, much to the dismay of critics who charged that the proposed revisions would make it easier for ineligible voters to cast fraudulent votes in Virginia elections.
McAuliffe’s proposal ultimately fizzled, following widespread public outrage and the efforts of Senator Tom Garrett (R-Buckingham) and then-candidate Senator Amanda Chase (R-Midlothian) to raise opposition to the proposed change.
Following McAuliffe’s veto, Cole’s proposed legislation is unlikely become law, given Democratic opposition expressed in the 59-33 vote in the House of Delegates and corresponding 22-18 vote in Virginia’s Senate. While outraged Virginians can still contact their legislator and urge McAuliffe’s veto to be overridden, it remains unlikely that steadfast Democratic opposition to voter integrity will ultimately be overcome.