House Republicans announced plans Tuesday to begin moving the politically divisive voter photo ID bill through the legislature, saying they would slow walk it to give all parties the opportunity to comment. GOP lawmakers, who have enough votes to pass the measure, disclosed a schedule that will begin with a public hearing on March 12 followed by two House committee meetings in which expert testimony will be heard. The bill will likely be introduced in late March and voted on by the House in mid-April. “We are going to go through a very deliberative, response-full and interactive approach through public hearings so that we arrive at a policy that is fair and that takes into account legitimate reasons why voters may not have an ID and puts into effect a way in which those IDs can be issued,” Tillis said at a news conference attended by about 30 GOP House members.
… But state Democratic chairman Randy Voller, who is the mayor of Pittsboro, called the bill “the specter of Jim Crow.”
“Most folks don’t understand what voter ID means,” Voller said at a news conference Monday at state Democratic headquarters. “Voter ID equals voter disenfranchisement. It’s as plain as that.”
Critics of the legislation, say requirements for voter ID laws disproportionately affect minorities and the elderly.