McAuliffe vetoes three bills on voting regulation


RICHMOND, Va. (WSET) - Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed three bills Monday that that he says would have impeded eligible Virginians from voting.

The Governor said he vetoed Senate Bill 1253 because it would have made "significant and costly changes to the existing voter registration database that will not improve election integrity."

McAuliffe said Virginia already has one of the strictest voter ID laws in the country and that adding photos to the database would "have no effect" on the integrity of future elections.

"We should focus on ensuring that the Department of Elections has sufficient funds to continue its ongoing operations, including vigorous list maintenance activities and voter education outreach, to remain a nationally recognized leader in election administration," McAuliffe said in a statement.

The second bill the Governor vetoed was Senate Bill 1455, which would have criminalized the act of giving or receiving any monetary payment in exchange for registering to vote.

McAuliffe said that was already criminalized on the federal level, and there was no evidence of it happening in Virginia.

"We should not make election laws for Virginians without evidence of the need for a change. Instead, we should work together to focus our efforts on ensuring that all of our citizens are able to fully participate in the democratic process," he said.

The third and final bill vetoed was Senate Bill 1581.

McAuliffe said this bill violated The Voting Rights Acts because it would "require the automatic denial of voter registration applications from certain eligible Virginians solely due to an error" in a database, federal or otherwise.

"Mandating 133 individual general registrars to implement a flawed application denial process will only increase the potential to disenfranchise eligible voters and stretch the limited resources of local elections officials," he said.

The Governor said the three bills would only create problems for the state.

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