Ashton Marra Published

W.Va. Senate Approves Voter ID Bill with Expanded List of Verifying Documents


The West Virginia Senate voted 20 to 14 Friday to approve a bill that would require voters to show some form of identification before casting a ballot. 

House Bill 4013 as approved in the House of Delegates included a list of valid forms of identification beyond just photo IDs, but Senators worked to expand the list even further.

The Senate amended bill allows a voter to use:

  • A valid drivers license from West Virginia or any state
  • A valid military ID
  • A valid employer issued ID from any federal, state, county, or municipal subdivision
  • A Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, SNAP, or TANF card or a birth certificate
  • A voter registration card
  • A hunting or fishing license or a concealed carry permit
  • A utility bill, paycheck, health insurance card, or credit or debit card

The bill also allows an adult who has known the voter for more than 6 months to sign an affidavit certifying a voter’s identity. That person can be a poll worker. 
Some Democrats argued on the Senate floor that the provision is unnecessary in West Virginia and puts an additional burden on voters who may be deterred from showing up to their polling place.

“Yet again, this is a solution looking for a problem,” Sen. Mike Romano said. “You have to show a photo ID when you register to vote. This is unnecessary.”

Senate Judiciary Chair Charles Trump took issue with the statements, saying West Virginia has a long, notable history of voter fraud that even sitting West Virginia Supreme Court Justices have written about. 

“There is more than one way to disenfranchise a voter,” he said. “It is possible to be disenfranchised by having your vote canceled out by the vote of someone who doesn’t have the legal right to vote.”

Trump said if the bill were signed into law, West Virginia would join 33 other states who have approved voter ID laws. Trump argued that the expanded list of forms of ID would make West Virginia one of the least restrictive states with a voter ID law.

Because of the changes approved by Senators, the bill will return to the House for members to consider the expanded list of identification documents.