Recent news reports incorrectly reported that over 400,000 registered voters in Virginia did not have photo ID that will be required in the upcoming election in November. The part of the article that was accurate was the fact that voters will be required to present a valid photo ID in order to vote in person. However, the number of voters who do not have photo ID was grossly over-exaggerated.
Most registered voters in Virginia have been issued a photo ID by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). In fact, 96% of active voters have the DMV issued photo ID. The real numbers are as follows:
Of 4,850,170 active voters, only 198,902 (4%) do not have a DMV issued ID. That figure includes a large number of deployed military as well as a number of non-military voters working overseas and those voters are ‘filtered’ out of the count, because they all have either military, government, or employer-issued ID. The net result is that 93,117 do not have a DMV-issued ID. To see these counts by locality: http://elections.virginia.gov/Files/VoterRegistration/Information/VotersDMV-IDs-Locality-9-26-2014.pdf
Only 1.9% of all active voters living in Virginia do not have the DMV-issued photo ID.
However, most of those have another form of valid ID that is acceptable for voting purposes, such as valid passport, employer photo ID, US, State, or Local government-issued ID, or student ID issued by institutions of higher learning in Virginia.
The remaining Virginia voters who for some reason do not have any of the Photo ID’s listed here, can get a free photo ID from any of the 133 local registrars in the Commonwealth of Virginia, or from the Department of Elections in Richmond.
The November election will be the first statewide election requiring the photo ID and local election officials have been conducting an aggressive outreach program to educate voters on the photo ID requirement as well as offering the free photo ID for voting purposes.
Therefore, we are confident that the Commonwealth of Virginia is “Election ready.”