By Victoria Kidd
A person’s vote is, essentially, a person’s voice. The right to vote is one of the fundamental privileges of American life. Voters intending to exercise that right this November need to be aware of voter identification requirements that could impact their ability to cast a ballot. The law, enacted in July of 2014, is clear. All voters have to provide an acceptable form of photo identification (ID) at the polls.
Those arriving without an acceptable photo ID will have to cast what’s called a “provisional ballot.” If a voter is asked to cast a provisional ballot, he or she will have until the Friday following the election to deliver a copy of accepted identification to the electoral board in order for their vote to count.
To prevent from being asked to cast a provisional ballot, one has to provide a photo ID from the list of acceptable forms of identification. A valid VA driver’s license or identification card, a VA DMV-issued veteran’s ID card, a VA voter photo ID card obtained from the local general register’s office, or a valid U.S. Passport are among the identifications most commonly provided. Additionally, one can provide a valid college or university student photo identification card from an institution of higher education located in Virginia, and employee identification card that includes a photo, or a government-issued photo identification card that is provided by the federal government, the state, or a political subdivision of the state.
The Virginia Department of Elections includes a helpful chart on its website that provides voters with information concerning what forms of identification will be accepted on Election Day. For registered voters who do not currently possess one of the identification forms listed on their website, there is an option to obtain a free Virginia Voter Photo Identification from any general registrar’s office in the state.
Voters can find a wealth of information by visiting http://elections.virginia.gov. The site includes details concerning voter registration, absentee voting, and more. It’s a good idea to visit https://www.vote.virginia.gov/search to check your Virginia Voter Record before Election Day.
For more information about casting your ballot in Clarke County, visit http://clarkecounty.gov and click on “Voting/Elections” under the government tab.