VIRGINIA

Virginia Senate passes voter ID law

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Legislation forcing voters to bring identification to Virginia polling places on election day has won Senate passage after Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling broke a 20-20 partisan tie.

Monday's vote marked what's likely the last to stop the legislation by opponents who say it will suppress votes of minorities, the elderly or disabled and students and liken it to Jim Crow-era poll taxes.

Democrats challenged the bill's Republican backers to provide evidence of substantial voter fraud.

Legislative Black Caucus chairwoman Sen. Mamie Locke called it "so 1866." And others warned of expensive litigation and challenges to it under the federal Voting Rights Act.

Supporters denied it would suppress voting, noting an array of acceptable ID as wide as drivers' licenses to utility bills.

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