Voter Intimidation Draws Racial Lines in Virginia’s Prince William County
Wednesday, November 14th, 2007
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Potomac News reported the most unfortunate of election news this past Saturday. More than 40 years after the Voting Rights Act, which was re-signed by George W. Bush in 2006, America is still plagued by blatant racism at the polls.
Keith Walker reports that a group of unidentified residents of Gainesville in Prince William County, Virginia’s third largest jurisdiction, armed themselves with a camera as they yelled at Hispanic voters who showed up to vote. Witnesses say that these victim-voters fled the polls as they were profiled and threatened with deportation if they could not prove citizenship. Moreover, select reader comments on the Potomac News website incorrectly purported that voters who cannot speak English cannot vote. For those residents of Prince William County who are confused about their State’s election law and their County’s demographics please read the following:
Virginia Law does not require voters to prove their citizenship, although voters are asked to prove their identities. Acceptable forms of identification include Virginia Voter Registration Cards, Social Security Cards, Virginia State Driver’s Licenses, any type of Virginia Commonwealth or Federal Identification Card, or an employee photo-ID. If all else fails, voters who cannot supply any of the above forms of ID can sign an affidavit and then proceed to the voting booth. Click here for all States’ voting rules.
Prince William County has experienced a recent boom in population and diversity. The Hispanic community has experienced the fastest growth and now makes up 19.1% of your County. In fact, it is estimated that nearly a third of the population speaks a language other than English at home, while 14.5 % speak English less than “very well.” The increasing diversity, largely due to Hispanics and Blacks, is crucial to Prince William County’s sustained economic vitality and growth. Embrace your neighbors, their diversity, and the right to vote.