Feds sign off on Virginia's voter ID law - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Feds sign off on Virginia's voter ID law

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. Department of Justice has cleared the way for Virginia's new voter ID law to be used in the fall elections.

The Washington Post reports (http://bit.ly/Qk80n1 ) that federal officials on Monday found the law did not violate the Voting Rights Act. The state law closes a loophole that allowed Virginia residents without identification to vote but expanded the type of accepted ID to include a valid student ID, or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck that shows the name and address of the voter.

The Justice Department said in a letter that it does not "interpose any objection to the specified changes," but added that any further changes affecting voting would be subject to review under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Virginia must get federal preclearance for voting law changes because of a past history of discrimination.

Gov. Bob McDonnell said in a statement he was pleased with the department's decision to sign off on what he called "commonsense legislation."

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