Elections have consequences. In North Carolina, which elected Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and a GOP super-majority in both the state House and Senate in 2012, legislation to institute photo identification as a prerequisite for voting is again on the table. In 2011, a bill requiring voters to present government-issued photo identification made it to the desk of Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue, who vetoed it, saying it would “unnecessarily and unfairly disenfranchise many eligible and legitimate voters.” Back then, the legislature did not have the numbers to override her veto. That’s changed. As public hearings on the bill began Tuesday in Raleigh, an eventual bill seems inevitable. There are, however, complications that have state Republicans treading carefully as they look to change voting rules with an eye on the state’s future — and their own. North Carolina has trended purple in recent elections. President Obama narrowly won in 2008 and lost by just two percentage points in 2012. In U.S. House races, though Republicans picked up seats, largely through redistricting, Democratic candidates actually won 51 percent of the vote.
McCrory defeated his Democratic opponent, former lieutenant governor Walter Dalton, when Perdue chose not to seek re-election. Many Democrats and independents who voted for McCrory, a self-described moderate during his 14 years as Charlotte’s mayor, are surprised at his rightward turn as governor.
In a state with a higher than national average unemployment rate of 9.4 percent, the governor last month signed a measure that will cut benefits for jobless workers and reduce the amount of time they can collect. While fellow GOP governors Rick Scott in Florida and Chris Christie in New Jersey reluctantly endorsed expanding Medicaid despite their initial opposition to the Affordable Care Act, McCrory signed a bill blocking expansion in North Carolina.
Full Article: A voter ID battle in North Carolina.