In 2013, Virginia passed a photo ID law that won Justice Department approval, but apparently that wasn’t discriminatory enough for Old Dominion Republicans. Under a more recent law voters can no longer use utility bills, bank statements, government checks, or paychecks to prove residence, instead they must obtain the necessary ID from the state if they don’t already have one. But there’s more: The new law directs the Virginia State Board of Elections to: a) remove ineligible voters by comparing state voter rolls with the SAVE database, which we learned earlier is neither accurate nor designed for this type of use; and b) cooperate with other states to develop systems to compare voters and registration lists in order to ensure accuracy of voter registration rolls, to prevent duplicate registration, and to determine eligibility of individuals to vote. The Democratic Party of Virginia has rightly sued the state over these “interstate crosschecks,” maintaining, as others have, that: 1) the database is faulty and 2) the law will disenfranchise poor, elderly and minority voters. According to the Washington Post, a federal judge rejected the Democratic Party’s effort “to restore more than 38,000 names to the state’s voter rolls that it claimed were possibly purged in error, saying the evidence did not convince him that anyone had been disenfranchised.”
“I just don’t find that there’s a strong showing here of any inequitable treatment or the deprivation of anyone’s rights,” U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton said as he denied the Democrats’ request. Flag or no flag, the heart of the Old Confederacy still beats strong.