Virginia law will now require all voters to have photo IDs beginning in 2014.

The new legislation, passed last week, provides for a free valid ID to any registered voter. As part of the passage, Gov. Bob McDonnell has asked the State Board of Elections to start a public education program to tell voters about the new requirement before the 2014 congressional and U.S. Senate elections.

McDonnell and fellow Republicans say the law is a safeguard against voter fraud, but Virginia Democrats denounced the legislation as a tactic to suppress the votes of the elderly, minorities and the underprivileged.