For Immediate Release: March 9, 2017
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Brian Coy, Brian.Coy@governor.virginia.gov

Governor McAuliffe Vetoes Unnecessary and Impractical Barrier to Absentee Voting

 

Governor Terry McAuliffe has vetoed House Bill 1428, which would have required voters to submit photo identification when requesting a physical absentee ballot. The Governor’s full veto statement is below:

 

March 9, 2017

 

Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto House Bill 1428, which requires photo identification for any voter seeking absentee ballots by mail, telephonic or electronic transmission.

This bill remains substantively unchanged from a bill that I vetoed in 2015. The bill imposes barriers on an eligible voter's ability to obtain and cast an absentee ballot. The requirement would not in any way deter fraudulent voting since it provides no means of verifying the identity of the individual depicted in the submitted photograph.

The right to vote is a fundamental tenet of our democracy, and we should be doing all we can to facilitate eligible citizens' access to the ballot. This bill would undoubtedly result in the disenfranchisement of qualified eligible Virginian voters and increase the potential for costly and time-consuming litigation.

Accordingly, I veto this bill.

 

Sincerely,

Terence R. McAuliffe

 

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