State News

The Latest: Attorneys spar over Virginia voter ID law

Posted 1:43 p.m. Thursday
Updated 1:45 p.m. Thursday

— The Latest on arguments before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals over Virginia's voter identification law (all times local):

1 p.m.

Virginia election officials say the state's voter identification law differs greatly from a North Carolina law recently struck down by a federal appeals court.

Attorneys for the Virginia Department of Elections and Democratic Party of Virginia sparred in front of a three judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday over whether the state's law requiring voters to show photo IDs at the polls discriminates against minorities.

Much of the debate centered on how the Virginia case differs from one over a North Carolina law that required voters to produce a photo ID, scrapped same-day registration and shortened early voting periods. The 4th Circuit blocked that law in July.

Bruce Spiva, an attorney for the Democrats, says Republicans lawmakers' intent to discriminate against minorities with the voter ID law is as clear as it was in the North Carolina case.

Virginia election officials say the law isn't discriminatory and doesn't suppress minorities' ability to vote.

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1:30 a.m.

A federal appeals court is set to examine a challenge to Virginia's law requiring voters to show valid photo ID at the polls.

The Democratic Party of Virginia says in its lawsuit that the 2013 law suppresses voting by blacks, Latinos and young people. Democrats claim Republicans passed the law in response to shifting demographics in the state that helped President Barack Obama win Virginia in back-to-back elections.

A federal judge upheld the law earlier this year. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will examine the case Thursday.

The 4th Circuit recently blocked a North Carolina law that required voters to produce a photo ID. That law also scrapped same-day registration and shortened early voting periods. Virginia officials say the two cases are substantially different.

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