The battle for voter integrity continues in Virginia. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe's appointees are trying bypassing the state legislature to make changes to allow convicted felons and illegal aliens to fraudulent vote without any consequences. Under the proposed changes to the Virginia Code, voters would no longer need to affirmatively check a box stating that they are a citizen, and they are neither a felon, nor mentally incompetent. Currently, if a voter leaves this box incomplete, the action is a material omission. Thus, if a person does not at least affirmatively state they are a citizen, the vote does not count.
However, due to efforts by McAuliffe’s appointees the State Board of Elections was poised to take up a motion on July 28th to change these procedures so that election directors across Virginia would be instructed to ignore blank boxes. On June 22, 2015, the State Board of Elections issued an extension to the comment period on the proposed Voter Registration Application Regulation and Form, and extended the public comment period again to August 3rd, 2015.
Delegate James M. LeMunyon responded:
Every first-grader in Virginia gets a work sheet from a teacher with boxes to check. If we’ve had this sort of rampant people-haven’t-been-able-to-check-boxes problem, I haven’t heard of that one.
Hans A. von Spakovsky and Rachel landsman of the Heritage Foundation highlight in National Review that the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 added the citizenship question to the federal voter-registration form because of the evidence that non-citizens are registering to vote. Proposed changes would allow non-citizens and felons to continue to illegally register, but eliminate the risk of getting caught.
Each illegal vote negates the vote of a citizen voting legally. Senator Thomas A. Garrett Jr. pleads with Virignia voters stating
If we let Terry McAuliffe have his way, illegal aliens will be able to vote just like you and me — unless you make time to help.
As Del. Rob Bell, a leader in the voter ID fight states (emphasis mine):
This would of course make it easier to commit voter fraud, and would substantially undermine the bills that I worked on with Senator Obenshain in 2013 to address voting by felons, residents of other states, and photo ID.
In 2008, Senator Tom Garrett prosecuted voter fraud prompted by a progressive group that sent out forms to felons encouraging them to register. As Garrett noted to the Board, their new proposal would make it “virtually impossible” to prosecute such offenders.
Through midnight, Virginians can use the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall website here to urge the Virginia State Board of Elections to continue to require affirmation of citizenship and non-felon status as material portions of the voter registration form.