Just a few moments before the stroke of midnight Wednesday, the state House gave its tentative approval to a bill requiring North Carolina voters to produce a government-approved photo ID to cast their ballots.
The Republican majority limited debate on the bill, entitled “Restore Confidence in Government,” to a brief explanation by bill sponsor Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett, and short comments by Minority Leader Joe Hackney, D-Orange, and Majority Leader Paul “Skip” Stam, R-Wake.
A final vote on the bill could come on Thursday. House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, said that House members would be allowed to debate the bill fully at that time.
Wednesday night’s vote came after a marathon session when the House considered more than five dozen bills. Hackney was highly critical of the bill.
“You all know as I do that there is a Republican effort from across the country to enact voter ID laws for the purpose of suppressing voting,” Hackney said. “The reason that it suppresses voting is that the people who do not have IDs overwhelmingly are African-American, older and women, and Democrats.”