Some legal experts say charging people for photo identification cards in order to vote in North Carolina might violate the state constitution. House Republican leaders unveiled their proposal Thursday for a voter ID law, and they plan to hold a public hearing on the legislation next Wednesday before beginning debate on it. House Bill 589 would be one of the strictest voter ID laws in the country. Unlike other states, those who need IDs would be expected to pay for them if they can. “This amounts to a poll tax, and it must be challenged,” said Bob Hall, executive director of voting rights group Democracy North Carolina. Charging someone money to vote is a poll tax, which is outlawed by the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Other states with voter ID laws offer free IDs to anyone, regardless of their ability to pay.
Under the North Carolina legislation, people would have to pay for the ID unless they’re willing to swear under penalty of perjury – a felony offense – that they’re too poor to pay for it.
“If they say they have financial hardship, the same penalties of perjury apply if they misrepresent that,” Rep. Tom Murry, R-Wake, said Thursday.
The voter ID bill doesn’t define financial hardship, and House Speaker Thom Tillis said he isn’t sure how it would be policed.
“What we’re simply saying is someone who comes in who is clearly able to pay for it, then they, like the people who come in and get a driver’s license, should pay the cost,” Tillis said Thursday.
Full Article: Fee for voter ID might be unconstitutional :: WRAL.com.