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Anything passed in Virginia would be reviewed by the federal government because the commonwealth is one of a handful of mostly Southern states that fall under the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, intended to prohibit discrimination against minority voters.

Voter ID lawsin Indiana and Georgia in recent years have passed muster with the U.S. Supreme Court and the Justice Department, respectively, and a handful of other states, including Kansas, Tennessee and Wisconsin, enacted similar laws last year.

Sen. Mark D. Obenshain, a Harrisonburg Republican who introduced voter ID bills in past sessions, criticized the Justice Department for politicizing the issue and said bills introduced in earlier years with provisions similar to the one Mr. Martin plans to sponsor are already in compliance with federal law.

“I do not believe anything introduced has any discriminatory effect,” said Mr. Obenshain, who added that he was anticipating heightened scrutiny from the federal government “whether they can do it with a straight face or not.”

“Heck, yeah, I expect it,” he said. “This has been one of the most politically partisan Justice Departments in recent history.”

As for addressing voter fraud, Mr. Englin was skeptical as to what the bills would accomplish. He said he has seen such legislation come and go as a member of an election subcommittee and not once did he hear an example of fraud that proposed legislation would have stopped.

“This is what we call in Richmond a bill in search of a problem,” he said.