Statement of Governor Bob McDonnell on Preclearance of Virginia’s Voter ID Law by the U.S. Department of Justice

RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell issued the following statement after the Department of Justice granted preclearance to Virginia’s voter ID law. The new law expands the forms of acceptable identification for voting, and changes the procedure when someone votes without presenting identification, requiring them to vote provisionally and later present an approved ID to their local registrar through email, fax, mail, or hand delivery. Governor McDonnell also issued an executive order, which directed the State Board of Elections to take a number of steps to implement this legislation. Among other things, the executive order directed the State Board of Elections to send every Virginia voter a voter card, a valid form of ID under state law, before Election Day, so that every registered Virginia voter has a valid ID to present at the polls. “I am pleased that the Department of Justice has granted preclearance to this commonsense legislation. When I signed the legislation, I issued an Executive Order requiring the issuance of a voter card to every active registered Virginia voter. This significant step ensures that every Virginia voter is guaranteed to have at least one of the many different valid forms of ID required to be presented at the polls.

Protecting against voter fraud and making sure our elections are secure are critical for confidence in our democracy. The legislation I signed into law is a practical and reasonable step to make our elections more secure while also ensuring access to the ballot box for all qualified voters.

It is welcome news that DOJ has recognized the compliance of this legislation with the Voting Rights Act.”