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Department of Elections Squashes Voter ID Misinformation

OK, so here’s a newsflash: Don’t believe everything you read on social media. Like that one post saying Virginia voters need one of those new Real ID driver’s licenses to vote.

It’s not true.

Department of Elections Commissioner Chris Piper says it’s an untruth that went viral.  “The information had been shared 4,100 times," Piper admits. "We contacted the social media company, and they were able to take down that post and all the shares that went along with it and notified the individuals who posted it that that information was incorrect.”

Just so there’s no confusion here, you do not need a Real ID to cast a ballot in the election.

Just a drivers license will do, although Piper says you don’t even really need that.  “You can also use any DMV-issued ID, United States passport, your employer-issued photo ID as long as there’s a photo of you on there. Students can use their photo ID issued by school, college or university in Virginia.”

Piper says you can still cast a ballot even if you don’t have your photo ID with you at the time.   “You’ll cast what’s called a provisional ballot," he epxlains. "That ballot will be held by the polling place and eventually transferred to the registrar’s office, and then the individual who cast that ballot has until Friday after the election at noon to present a copy or their actual ID to the registrar and then that ballot will count.”

Polls will be open from 6 am to 7 pm Tuesday.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria. He has reported for NPR, the New York Daily News and the Alexandria Gazette Packet. He has a master's degree in American Studies from Florida State University, and he is a former adjunct professor at Tallahassee Community College. He is the author of four books.