Virginia Judge Rules In Voter Identification Case

By Jim Burns | July 7, 2008 | 8:24 PM EDT

( - Virginia judge Melvin Hughes, Jr. has ruled that the state's voters will not have to show identification in the state's general assembly elections on November 2nd.

The pilot program would have required 1 million Virginia voters in certain counties to show a driver's license, voter registration card or another preprinted identification when they vote.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Earley announced in Richmond he will appeal the case to the Virginia State Supreme Court.

Virginia's State Democratic Party was delighted with the decision. Craig Bieber, executive director of the Virginia Democratic Party said, "We feel that the Circuit Court recognized serious problems with the statute and with the pilot program."

The program passed the Virginia General Assembly earlier this year on a party line vote -- Republicans in favor and Democrats in opposition. It passed the Virginia House only because a Democrat voted the wrong way.

Governor James Gilmore (R-VA) defended the voter identification policy. In a statement issued from Richmond, Gilmore said, " President Clinton's Department of Justice approved this requirement as legal and fair for all voters and not racially discriminatory. Thirty nine other states have similar requirements."

Gilmore directed Attorney General Earley to appeal the judge's ruling "in order to guarantee fair and honest elections in Virginia.