Garcia introduces voter ID bill

Politics and government
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News release  

Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, has introduced H.R. 5189, the Voter Integrity and Defense Act, which would require voters to show photo identification. 

“This legislation would improve the integrity and security of our elections by encouraging states to implement common-sense voter ID laws,” said a news release from the congressman’s office.  

“Less than half of the American people have confidence that our elections reflect their will,” Garcia said in the release. “And nearly 80% of Americans across both political parties are supportive of requiring photo identification to vote. You deserve to have faith that American elections are decided in the voting booth, and that demands a more secure process. There is an overwhelming, bipartisan consensus in our nation that showing valid ID should be required to vote. This is a common-sense bill that will encourage states to implement that very practice. I urge all my colleagues – both Democrats and Republicans – to join this effort to better ensure our elections reflect the will of the American people.”  

The Voter Integrity and Defense Act would condition the distribution of Help America Vote Act grants on states having voter ID laws. The bill does allow for states to make exceptions for military voters stationed overseas.  

The bill defines a voter ID law as a statute that requires the appropriate state or local election official to check a valid photo ID before providing a ballot for a federal election, and that requires any individual voting by mail to include a copy of their valid photo ID with their returned ballot. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 37 states already require some form of ID to vote. 

A valid photo ID as defined by the bill includes a valid state-issued driver’s license with a photo and expiration date; a valid state-issued identification card with a photo and expiration date; a valid United States passport; a valid military identification; and any other form of government-issued identification that the state may specify as a valid photo identification for the purposes of this legislation.  

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