Republicans in the House of Delegates are pushing a bill that would suppress our right to vote. Last week, the House Judiciary Committee advanced HB 4013, which would require voters to provide photo identification when voting. The bill passed the committee on a strict party-line vote, with Republicans voting in favor and Democrats opposed, and will be voted on by the full House TOMORROW.
In the 2014 election, only 37% of West Virginia voters cast ballots – the lowest turnout in at least six decades. In 2012, the state ranked 50th in nation, the only state where less than half of eligible voters went to the polls. With such “dismal” turnout, this is no time to enact measures that risk further depressing the vote – especially the vote of seniors, people of color, low-income voters, and students – populations that are less likely to possess government issued photo identification.
Although the committee made some changes that make the bill less objectionable, there’s no evidence of the problem that the voter id bill would address.
Voter fraud, and more specifically, voter impersonation, is virtually nonexistent.According to the Brennan Center for Justice, “Statistically, an individual is more likely to be killed by lightning than to commit in-person voter fraud.”
HB 4013 is a “solution looking for a problem.”