Despite a group of protesters today asking him to oppose Voter ID legislation, Sen. Bryce Reeves said he is more concerned about protecting the system from voter fraud and he supports the legislation.
Reeves already voted for Senate Bill 1 which eliminates the provision that allows a voter to sign a sworn statement that he or she is the named registered voter instead of having to present identification. Instead, the voter would have to cast a provisional ballot and the protesters said that these types of ballots are less likely to be counted in the process.
"These bills will disproportionately affect some of our most vulnerable citizens: seniors, minorities, young adults and low-income Virginians," said Evan McLaughlin, a member of the Fredericksburg Chapter of Virginia Organizing. Protesters held signs stating, "Voting is a Fundamental Freedom" and "Voting is at the Heart of What it means to be an American."
Three Fredericksburg Police cruisers with officers were parked a block away watching the activity. At one point, a librarian came out and asked the protesters to make sure they were not blocking patrons from entering and exiting the library.
Reeves said in a prepared statement that voting is a fundamental right that must be protected from fraud and abuse.
“SB 1 will strengthen the integrity of the ballot process," he said. "It is unfortunate that partisan organizations like Virginia Organizing, and their Chairperson, Sandra Cook, assert that ensuring the integrity of the ballot box is not a 'real' issue. Their call for me to 'stop wasting time' on this important issue to the voters of my district is disheartening. I will fight for the right of every Virginian to have their voice heard through the ballot box and continuing to work in a bi-partisan manner, as I already have on other issues affecting the people of 17th District.”
Members of the Spotsylvania Republican Committee crashed the protest with one of their own, led by member Steve Thomas, who tweeted earlier this morning for people to join him at the library. One of the committee members talked over McLaughlin as he tried to speak to about 20 people who gathered in a circle around him. The SRC members also held signs stating, "No to Voter Fraud," "We Love Bryce" and "One Voter=One Vote Only."