Testimony in Virginia voter ID trial wraps up

Testimony in the Democratic Party of Virginia’s effort to undo the state’s popular voter ID legislation in court ended Wednesday with expert witnesses “attesting that they could not definitively say that the law was intended to blunt the influence of minority voters,” as the plaintiffs claim.

 

Karen L. Owen, an assistant professor of public administration at Reinhardt University in Georgia, offered alternative reasons for why General Assembly members may have voted for the law.   She said legislators may have considered broad public support for a voter identification law, citing polls from the Pew Research Center and Quinnipiac University; were responding to constituents’ concerns about voter fraud; hoped to ensure public confidence in ballots that were cast; sought to enact a best practice; or wanted to prevent voting fraud…

 

Daniel J. Palazzolo, a professor of political science at the University of Richmond, similarly testified that there was not enough evidence to conclude that the law was passed to suppress minority votes.

 

On Tuesday, several former state and local election officials testified that they were not aware of any eligible voter who has been denied the right to cast a ballot because of Virginia’s photo voter ID requirement.

 

“None,” said Cameron Quinn, a former state elections official who from 2011 until last year was the general registrar for Fairfax County… Justin Riemer, a former member of the Virginia State Board of Elections and Donald Palmer, the former secretary of the board, also testified Tuesday that they were not aware of anyone unable to vote because of the photo requirement.