In July 2013, North Carolina lawmakers passed the Voter Information Verification Act – known more commonly as voter ID. It’s a controversial law that was ultimately struck down in federal court for being unconstitutional. Nearly four years later, state legislators are now working on another voter ID bill that would be taken to voters as a constitutional amendment, according to sources. Republicans widely support voter ID, and Democrats – making up a small minority – would likely not be needed to approve a measure. “We are a hundred percent committed to the idea of voter ID and we are still working out the logistics of what we believe to be the most sure-fired way to get voter ID implemented that will withstand the inevitable challenges that will come from the left,” said David Lewis (R-Harnett), the Rules Chairman of the North Carolina House.
Some experts believe a voter ID requirement passed by the people could have a firmer footing in court. “I think it would make it somewhat harder to challenge in court, though not impossible,” said Dan Tokaji, a law professor at Ohio State University, who focuses on election law. After the previous court ruling that cited “almost surgical precision” and discriminatory intent, a constitutional ballot initiative would give legislators some cover, according to Tokaji.
“The primary objective to try to avoid a finding of discriminatory intent by saying ‘Hey we put the thing before voters and they approved it.’ Which would put on anyone challenging the law the formidable burden of showing the people of North Carolina acted with discriminatory intent, at least if they want to act on a constitutional claim,” explained Tokaji, who said other types of legal challenges would be possible.
Full Article: NC Lawmakers Consider Another Voter ID Bill | WUNC.