WINCHESTER, VA- The Virginia Voter ID Bill has now passed the state house and senate and is on its way to the governor's office. If signed, it would require a photo ID to vote.
It's legislation that has voter's rights activists concerned.
"I think it's a disenfranchisement for minority populations," says Nancy Sinback, an opponent of the bill. "The elderly, youth, people of color. It places a cost on casting a vote which does harken back to some early discrimination laws that were on the books in terms of laws for voter registration."
Government-issued photo identification, including a valid U.S. passport and a Virginia college ID will be added to the list of acceptable forms. The bill would eliminate all other identification that doesn't include a photo. This comes not even a year after the state mailed all voters new official voting cards without a photo requirement.
"There is an education component where you explain to people this is what you need," Sinback explains. "But if you're telling them something different every year then that's just an opportunity for people to miss what they need to have in order to vote."
Some supporters of the bill say it will help prevent voter fraud.
"I support having a photo ID because I think it's too easy now for people to go to one voting place, check-in as someone and then go to another voting polling place and check-in as someone else,'' says Louise Shickle.
Oponents worry that the cost and extra effort will deter potential voters.
It's an ongoing debate that has caused civil rights groups to challenge the legislation. Both sides say they will plan ahead to prepare voters for future photo identification changes.
The bill has a delayed effective date of July 1, 2014. It is contingent upon funding being included in the general appropriation act, this session.