Voters need photos to vote

Published 9:37 am Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Beginning on Election Day — Tuesday, Nov. 4 — voting will require more than just showing up and pushing buttons or pulling levers. Virginians will also have to prove their identities at the polls.

Franklin Voter Registrar Jennifer Maynard said that’s not to be taken lightly.

“The big thing is that effective July 1, there’s a requirement for photo identification. It used to be just a voter card, light bill, bank statement or a concealed gun permit,” Maynard said.

The matter had been in legislation for several years. SB1256 — the Voter Photo ID law — was passed in 2013, but implementation was delayed to this year.

“Now you have to have any of the following, a valid Virginia Driver’s License, a valid Virginia DMV-issued Veteran’s ID card, a valid passport, employee identification photo card or a government-issued photo card, or a Virginia college or university student photo ID,” she said.

Not incidentally, a credit card with a photo won’t count.

And by valid, that includes ID’s that haven’t been expired for more than a year.

“So if your ID expired Nov. 5 even last year, it’s still good,” she added.

If you don’t have any of the previously mentioned acceptable IDs, you can turn to a registrar’s office.

“It’s important to note that up to and including Election Day, you may go to the nearest registrar and get it done for free,” Maynard said. “We actually take pictures with signatures. The card is generated by a third party in Richmond.”

Voting without a valid photo ID is possible, and that’s called a provisional ballot. But such voters have until noon on Friday that week to provide a copy of their photo ID to the voter registrar. Failure to do so means that vote won’t be counted.

To learn more, contact Maynard at 562-8545 or visit

Related to Election Day, Maynard said there’s a proposed Constitutional amendment on the ballot.

The issue is whether or not a surviving spouse of any member of the armed forces, who was killed in action, can be exempt from taxation of real property, so as long as the spouse makes that place their principal place of residence and also has not remarried.