Virginia governor vetoes key bill to identify voter registration fraud


Governor Terry McAuliffe (D, Va.) has vetoed a bill that would require the state Department of Elections to relinquish information about individuals who are registered to vote in multiple states simultaneously, reports the Washington Free Beacon.

The bill, HB 2343, was introduced by Republican delegate Robert Bell and would have required the Department of Elections “to provide to the general registrars a list of registered voters who have been found through list comparisons and data-matching exchanges with other states to be registered in another state.”

It reportedly passed the Virginia House on a 68-30 vote and the Senate on a 23-15 vote, says the report.

According to McAuliffe’s statement, he vetoed the bill because it would make “unnecessary changes to the election system that could improperly disenfranchise qualified Virginians.”

“Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto House Bill 2343. Requiring the Department of Elections to provide lists of certain voters who may have moved to localities after the Department has conducted list maintenance activities in compliance with state and federal law increases the administrative burden on localities which are currently struggling with limited resources.”

He added that providing general registrars with lists of certain voters and “no clear instructions” could create confusion and “increase the possibility of violating federal law.”

He also claimed, “it would expose eligible and properly registered Virginians to the risk of improper disenfranchisement.”

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Logan Churchwell, a spokesman for the Public Interest Legal Foundation, defended the bill saying McAuliffe’s opposition to checking voter rolls across state lines amounts to “paranoia.” He further asserts the bill is “straightforward: in cases where a person is registered in Virginia and another state simultaneously, Richmond and local officials would work together with the other state and the voter in question to determine which record should be kept active. The governor has a problem with that concept.”

Churchwell added, “For years, leftist groups have declared that comparing voter roll data across state lines for maintenance purposes is dangerous and could lead to mistakes. It appears McAuliffe is beholden to that paranoia as well. For the governor that previously entertained the idea of making the portion of the voter registration form attesting to U.S. citizenship optional, demonstrating a willingness to keep people registered twice on the rolls is just another day at the office.”

The Washington Free Beacon reports that the Virginia governor has vetoed several bills in recent history, many of which were intended to prevent voter fraud. A few of the bills he struck down are as follows:

  • Senate Bill 872, which would have required voters to submit photo identification with absentee ballots.
  • Bill that would require investigations of Virginia jurisdictions whose voter rolls contain more registered voters than residents in the jurisdiction.
  • A bill last year that would have required registrars to deny applicants who omitted biographical information about themselves on voter forms.
  • He also cleared 13,000 felons to vote in August 2016 after a state court struck down his order restoring the franchise to 206,000 felons.

H/T: Free Beacon

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