Assembly did little to ease voter lines

Saturday - 2/23/2013, 6:40pm EST

Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Long lines at the polls in November and a deadly school shooting the next month failed to prompt Virginia lawmakers to make voting easier or curb gun violence.

Several bills intended to eliminate long waits at the polls were rejected by the 2013 General Assembly, which adjourned Saturday. Among them were bills to allow early voting and no-excuses absentee voting. Instead, lawmakers made it harder to vote by requiring voters to show a photo ID.

The mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school led to several gun-control proposals. But the only one that passed was a modest increase in the penalty for so-called "straw purchases" of firearms. Bans on assault-style rifles and large-capacity ammunition magazines were rejected.

Anti-abortion bills that dominated the 2012 session were less prominent this time.

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