Registrar and Voter Talk about New Voter ID Bill

By: Litsa Pappas Email
By: Litsa Pappas Email

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. -- Some lawmakers want to require everyone to have a photo ID in order to vote. Supporters of the requirement say it's common sense and would prevent voter fraud. While those against it said it would limit some people from voting.

This past election, all a Virginia voter needed was a voter ID form with his or her name on it in order to vote.

Rockingham County Registrar Doug Geib said it was successful, but he said voter fraud isn't really an issue in rural areas, like Rockingham County.

"People know each other, so for somebody to try to impersonate another person is taking a pretty big risk because a lot of our election officers work there year after year and they know who lives there," said Geib.

Geib said voter fraud could be an issue in more urban areas and that was why Del. Dickie Bell supports the new bill. He said requiring a photo ID would make a cleaner, more secure voting process.

"Virtually everything that you have to identify yourself these days requires a photo ID,” said Geib, “I don't know why it's unreasonable, or why some folks think it's unreasonable to request that in order to vote."

People, like Fernando Perez, think it's unreasonable. He has his own photo IDs, but he said, for some people it may be harder to get one and that it shouldn't prevent them from voting.

"It's a right that we're given,” said Perez, “It's the only way this system can function. I think that we're limiting that from people. It's wrong."

Geib said he sees both sides of the debate and hopes lawmakers can reach a compromise.

"There has to be a balance between guarding against voter fraud, but not putting too much of a burden on people to vote," said Geib.

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