Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a bill that would require voters to show a form of photo identification before voting in person, calling it “a solution in search of a problem.” The bill passed this month largely along party lines. A handful of Democrats voted for it, and the bill passed with veto-proof margins in both the state House and Senate. House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger said in separate statements that the legislature will override Cooper’s veto. “We are disappointed that Gov. Cooper chose to ignore the will of the people and reject a commonsense election integrity measure that is common in most states, but the North Carolina House will override his veto as soon as possible,” Moore’s statement said. Voter ID has been a years-long goal for Republicans. A 2013 law that included a photo ID requirement to vote was overturned by federal courts in 2016. The GOP moved to add photo ID to the state constitution this year, and the amendment passed with 55 percent of the vote. In late November, Cooper said voter ID was “wrong for our state.”
A state elections board audit of votes in the 2016 general election found one case of in-person voter impersonation in the 4.8 million votes cast.
During debate on the bill, Republican legislators argued that suspected voter impersonation is under reported.
In his veto message, Cooper said the problem was not with voter impersonation, but “votes harvested illegally through absentee ballots, which this proposal fails to fix.”