“We do not have any evidence of a lot of people showing up at the polls, pretending to be someone else,” the paper quoted Richmond Del. Jennifer L. McClellan saying.

Reporters would do better to quote credible, independent voices on this point (election law expert Rick Hasen, for example)—or supply the facts in their own voices—rather than feed into the he-said-she-said partisan quagmire the voter ID debate has become.

Unfortunately, the Times-Dispatch did more of said feeding in this paragraph from Tuesday’s story:

Del. Delores L. McQuinn, D-Richmond, said Republicans are trying to create obstacles to make voting more difficult. “This legislative session, House Republicans have defeated every single measure to make voting more accessible for qualified Virginia voters,” McQuinn said. “[They] have blocked legislation to institute an early voting period, expand No-Excuse Absentee voting, extend voting hours and a host of other bills to improve access to the ballot box,” she said.

Well, have they? This is important context that readers should be told as a matter of fact, not partisan attribution. And this holds true for coverage of voter ID battles or any other legislative fight.

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Corey Hutchins is CJR's Rocky Mountain correspondent based in Colorado. A former alt-weekly reporter in the Palmetto State, he was twice named journalist of the year in the weekly division by the SC Press Association. Hutchins worked on the State Integrity Investigation at the Center for Public Integrity and he has contributed to Slate, The Nation, The Texas Observer, and others. Follow him on Twitter @coreyhutchins or email him at coreyhutchins@gmail.com.