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Election board to reconsider expired ID rule

RICHMOND, Va. -- The State Board of Elections will reconsider a controversial rule that would allow voters to use expired photo IDs at the polls.

The move comes after a Watchdog report and a written complaint from state Sen. Mark Obenshain.

"I hope that at their next meeting, the State Board of Elections will reverse its decision and ensure that their regulatory guidance hews to the requirements of Virginia's photo ID law, which enjoys the support of the overwhelming majority of voters," said Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg.

The election board quietly adopted the expired-ID policy June 10, without public comment.

Obenshain, who wrote the photo-ID law, said the board’s policy was in “seeming contravention of state law.”

The board voted Tuesday to consider alternative language, which will be distributed for public comment in the coming days.

In his letter, Obenshain stated, "Few would argue that an expired license constitutes a 'valid' license for the purposes of employment as an escort driver, operating a forklift or transporting children."

"Had the General Assembly desired to accept expired forms of identification, it would not have adopted legislation expressly requiring such identification to be valid without any language indicating a construction exceeding that plain meaning of that term."

Obenshain is chairman of the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections and was the was the Republican nominee for attorney general in 2013. He represents the 26th District in the Senate of Virginia.