RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed a bill Friday that he said would require local election officials to investigate Virginia voters without a clear standard for how and when such investigations should be undertaken.
The bill itself, available here, said that, if passed, it would have required local electoral boards to investigate the list of registered voters when the number of registered voters in a county or city exceeds the population of people old enough to vote.
Once the investigation was concluded, the bill would have required the local electoral board to make a report of the findings to the State Board of Elections, which then would make it public.
In his veto statement, the governor said that the bill would have required general registrars to conduct investigations under “undefined standards.” He said that the bill raised serious constitutional questions in that it might expose eligible and properly registered Virginians to the risk of improper disenfranchisement while increasing the administrative burden on local election officials.
Sen. Mark D. Obenshain, who sponsored the bill said during deliberations that there are more registered voters than there are voting age residents in eight different voting districts in the state.
“This bill simply responds to inquiring minds across Virginia,” Obenshain said. “This simply requires that when that happens, that the local registrar look into it. perhaps this might shed some insight into this anomaly. Perhaps this will show that these statistics are in error, but perhaps it will show something needs to be done, including updating voting rolls.”
The bill now goes back to the General Assembly where the House of Delegates and the Senate where the bill must garner a two-thirds vote in both houses in order to override the governor’s veto.