Bobby Orrock wants to suppress voter registration!

At least that’s what can be determined by his sponsorship of HB2642:

Elections; voter registration procedures and revisions; duties of the State Board of Elections with respect to registration procedures; payments for petition signatures or registrations; penalties. Provides various revisions in voter registration procedures: (i) requires proof of citizenship with registration applications effective January 1, 2010; (ii) provides that third-party voter registration organizations must register with the State Board, which shall maintain a list of all registered voter registration drives and post this list on its website, that such organizations must provide quarterly reports to the State Board of all voter registration drives they conducted during that quarter

Let’s break this down, first:

Provides various revisions in voter registration procedures: (i) requires proof of citizenship with registration applications effective January 1, 2010;

Applicants are already required to show that they’re citizens as noted on the voter registration application form [emphasis in original]:

For Registration

If you are registering for the first time by mail, federal law (the Help America Vote Act) requires you to provide identification. To avoid delays, please enclose a copy of one of the following documents that shows your name and address with your application: (1) current and valid photo ID, (2) current utility bill, (3) bank statement, (4) government check, (5) paycheck, or (6) other government document. You can also present this required identification at the polls but may experience delays.

For Voting

Virginia law requires every voter voting in person to show identification or sign a statement, subject to felony penalties for false statements pursuant to §24.2-1016, that the person is the named registered voter.

But now Orrock wants you to provide of a copy of your birth certificate (or naturalization papers) before you can register to vote! I would say that about 10% (or more) don’t have a copy of their birth certificate with them due to whatever causes. Apparently, Delegate Orrock doesn’t think that those people should be allowed to register to vote in this state.

Then you have this part from Orrock’s bill:

(ii) provides that third-party voter registration organizations must register with the State Board, which shall maintain a list of all registered voter registration drives and post this list on its website, that such organizations must provide quarterly reports to the State Board of all voter registration drives they conducted during that quarter

Care to guess how broadly defined a “third-party voter registration organization” is?: “‘Third-party voter registration organization’ means any person, entity, or organization soliciting or collecting voter registration applications, except it does not include a person who solicits or collects voter registration applications (i) from any family or household member, as that term is defined in § 16.1-228, or (ii) pursuant to the provisions of Article 3 (§ 24.2-411 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of this title [relating to general registrars].”

Well, hot damn, that pretty much includes anyone that dares to hand out a voter registration form to anyone (excluding family or household members). Hell, it even includes candidates that happens to have voter registration forms with them while campaigning.

Imagine this scenario: Candidate John Doe is going door-to-door in a community during his campaign for whatever office. He comes across someone who wants to vote for him but isn’t currently registered to vote.

If John Doe happens to say something like, “Well, sir, I happen to have a voter registration form right here!” and gives the citizen a voter registration form, then John Doe would have to go to the State Board of Elections (SBE) and provide them with “the the name of the registered agent and the names of the individuals responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization, including, if applicable, the names of the organization’s board of directors, officers, or other individuals engaged in similar duties or functions” to register as a “third-party voter registration organization”.

John Doe would then have to provide quarterly reports to the SBE “providing the date and location of any organized voter registration drives conducted by the organization in the prior calendar quarter.”

This bill would essentially criminalize the distribution of voter registration forms unless you want to register with the SBE and provide quarterly reports to them.

Hopefully the voters will show Orrock the door this year…

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