North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue vetoed a Republican-written bill Thursday that would require voters to show photo identification before casting an in-person ballot, agreeing with fellow Democrats that the mandate would discourage participation.
“North Carolinians who are eligible to vote have a constitutionally guaranteed right to cast their ballots, and no one should put up obstacles to citizens exercising that right,” the governor said in a statement. “We must always be vigilant in protecting the integrity of our elections. But requiring every voter to present a government-issued photo ID is not the way to do it.”
Perdue’s veto was expected. Her office said last week the photo ID requirement wasn’t something the governor could support in the way it was presented to her.
Republicans have argued the mandate would discourage voter fraud in an era when everyone must show proof of identity to write a check, enter a government building or get on an airplane. Still, Republicans in charge of the Legislature fell short of passing the bill in the House by a margin that would overturn a veto.
The bill got legs after the GOP took charge of the Legislature for the first time in more than 140 years and its leaders are setting its sights on defeating Perdue and President Obama, who won the state’s electoral votes by about 14,000 votes in 2008. The victory ended a 32-year winning streak for Republican nominees in North Carolina.