A federal judge has just upheld Virginia’s voter ID law. This decision serves as yet another devastating judicial haymaker for opponents of common sense voter ID laws across the country.
"Mindful that the court's mission is to judge not the wisdom of the Virginia voter ID law, but rather its constitutionality, this court cannot say that plaintiffs have met their burden of proof in showing by a preponderance of the evidence that the Virginia voter ID law ... contravenes the Voting Rights Act, the First Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, the Fifteenth Amendment, or the Twenty-Sixth Amendment," U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson wrote Thursday.
Hudson's ruling concluded: "While the merits of this voter identification law, and indeed all aspects of Virginia's voting regime, can be reasonably debated, it remains true that Virginia has created a scheme of laws to accommodate all people in their right to vote. From in-person voting, to an absentee option, to provisional ballots with the ability to cure, and the provision of free voter IDs, Virginia has provided all of its citizens with an equal opportunity to participate in the electoral process."
Simply stated, the law was found to be firm, fair, and consistent to all voters of the state. It protects the integrity of Virginia elections and ensures that all citizens have an equal opportunity to have their voice be heard. Judge Hudson took a minute to clarify the question presented in the case.
The judge added, "The evidence also revealed that the Virginia voter ID law has created a layer of inconvenience for some voters. But the question squarely presented in this case is whether (the law) is unconstitutional either in its adoption, implementation, or enforcement. Does it, by design or otherwise, adversely affect the opportunity of minorities to vote or is the burden evenly spread?"
The short answer, No. The stakes involved in the selection of our leaders are too significant to leave susceptible to fraud. The ability to ensure an election is free of vote fraud is crucial to voter confidence. Once again, the Court has found that mere inconvenience to a select few, inconvenience that we as citizens are all already subject to, will never outweigh the need for the absolute integrity of our election system.