Feds Sign Off on Virginia Voter ID Law

The U.S. Department of Justice has cleared the way for Virginia's new voter ID law to be used in the fall elections.

Federal officials on Monday found the law did not violate the Voting Rights Act. The state law closes a loophole that allowed Virginia residents without identification to vote but expanded the type of accepted ID to include a valid student ID, or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck that shows the name and address of the voter.

The Justice Department said in a letter that it does not "interpose any objection to the specified changes," but added that any further changes affecting voting would be subject to review under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

Virginia must get federal preclearance for voting law changes because of a past history of discrimination.

Gov. Bob McDonnell said in a statement he was pleased with the department's decision to sign off on what he called "commonsense legislation."

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