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Election Officials: Minimal Challenges after Voter ID Rules

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RICHMOND, Va. (WVIR) -

Virginia election officials say the new voter ID rules have been a success so far.

At the State Board of Elections meeting Wednesday afternoon, the chairperson said the most recent special elections highlighted the success of the updated rules. The new requirement of having voters present a photo ID presented minimal challenges at the polls this month, but new incidents of alleged voter fraud in Fairfax County also came up in the meeting.

After public outcry over additional voting regulation in Virginia, given some on the other side of the debate supported the move, election leaders said Wednesday they struck the right balance.

"What this kind of told us was there was a fair amount of earned media in this community about the need for a photo ID and it worked,” said Charles Judd, chair of the State Board of Elections.

After putting in place the requirement that voters must now present a photo ID to cast a ballot, officials grappled with how expiration dates should be factored in. The board reached a compromise that voters can use an expired ID as long as it happened within a year.

To see how this played out, officials toured polls for the special elections this month. They said in Farmville, only a handful of times did the recent change cause a problem.

"Basically it was flawless as far as implementing it. Granted, it was a small community, fairly low turnout, but I think it gives us some indication that everything we're doing leading up to November 4 is appropriate,” Judd said.

While those against more barriers cite the few incidents on record of voter fraud, the dispute coincided with the news of alleged voter fraud during the last presidential election in Northern Virginia.

"The secretary of the Fairfax Electoral Board has referred 17 voters who have allegedly voted in Virginia and Maryland in the 2012 election to the attorney general for an investigation and prosecution if necessary,” said Kristina Perry Stoney, senior assistant attorney general.

Stoney says the investigation into the voter fraud will continue, and federal and local prosecutors will collaborate to enforce the election laws.

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