“Photo identification is necessary in order to ensure legitimacy in our elections.”
Add West Virginia to the list of states considering commonsense legislation to make elections more secure.
HB 2781 requires photo voter identification, allows voters without an accepted photo ID to sign an affidavit and vote a provisional ballot that will be counted if the signature is verified by election officials, and ends the state’s automatic voter registration of driver’s license applicants.
Under this bill, voters will present one of the forms of ID to a poll clerk, and the clerk will verify that the name on the ID matches the name on the voter registration card.
Delegate Saira Blair, R-Berkeley, the bill’s lead sponsor, said the law would put West Virginia more in line with other states.
The bill includes exceptions for voters living in state licensed care facilities and those with religious objections to being photographed, as well as provisions for providing free photo voter ID cards.
HB 2781 also authorizes West Virginia’s Division of Motor Vehicles to share the U.S. citizenship status of voluntarily-registering license applicants with the Secretary of State, who will forward the information to county clerks to help keep non-citizens off the state’s voter rolls.
Keeping voter rolls clean isn’t just a good idea, it’s the law. So regularly removing from the registration rolls voters who have died or moved away is – or ought to be – standard practice for election officials.
West Virginia’s new Republican Secretary of State, Mac Warner, has already scrubbed 36,635 names off the rolls of people who have departed the state or this world.
Warner began working with the state’s 55 county clerks almost immediately upon taking office on Jan.16 and was able to report March 3 that outdated voter lists are being set right.
“Since I took office in January, West Virginia county clerks have canceled tens of thousands of outdated voter registrations,” Warner said in a statement. “I applaud the continued effort by the county clerks to ensure an all-encompassing voter registration list maintenance process ensuring an accurate and up-to-date voter file.”
Warner’s office noted that using updated technology and tools, elections experts have estimated that up to ten percent of the state’s voters, or more than 100,000 registered voters, may have changed residency or passed away and may need to be removed from current voter rolls. Those status updates include voters who have moved from their initial registered address, have died, or have duplicate registration records on file.