Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
P. O. Box 3711
204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Virginia to send new voter IDs in mail
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Registered voters in Henry County and Martinsville as well as throughout Virginia will be receiving new voter identification cards in the mail soon.
The cards are Gov. Bob McDonnell’s way to ensure that voters can identify themselves at the polls on election days without having to spend money to get identification cards on their own, according to state and local officials.
To help prevent fraud, a new law that took effect this year requires voters to present one form of identification — the voter ID card or another type of acceptable confirmation of identity — in order to cast ballots.
Voters lacking ID cards still can sign sworn statements as to their identities, but in order for their votes to count, they must provide proper identification before the election is over, either personally or by email or fax.
Some voters last received ID cards around March as a result of changes in congressional districts stemming from the 2010 Census, said Cindy Barbour, Martinsville’s voter registrar.
The voter ID cards being sent out now are the ones that voters should use during future elections, according to Barbour. Anyone not receiving a card should contact their local voter registrar’s office, she said.
The identification card is “a free form of ID ... that comes to you exactly where you are” living, as opposed to other types for which there is a cost, such as ones issued by the state Department of Motor Vehicles, said Nikki Sheridan, a spokesman for the Virginia State Board of Elections.
Other acceptable forms of identification at the polls now include Virginia-issued driver’s licenses, Social Security cards and photo ID cards issued by colleges, employers or the government as well as utility bills or paychecks with the voter’s name and address, according to Barbour and Sheridan.
The next election will be held Nov. 6. It is for U.S. president and congressional races, state constitutional amendments and, in Martinsville, city council races.
To vote in that election, people must be registered to vote by Oct. 15. The last day to cast absentee ballots will be Nov. 3.