The proposed Voter ID bill HB 589 will impose more restrictions on the right to vote and do great damage to the democratic process in North Carolina, the chair of the N.C. Libertarian Party said in a statement today. “Just when it didn’t seem possible that North Carolina’s election laws could get more restrictive, the Republican majority has come up with a massive bill that would make it even harder for people to vote,” said J.J. Summerell. He said that Republicans were using the excuse combating combat voter fraud, but were actually perpetrating a greater fraud on North Carolina voters under the guise of restoring “confidence in government. Republicans claim to be the party of limited government,” he said. “Now we see what that term really means: when Republicans say limited government, they apparently mean government limited to them and their supporters.”
Summerell said that the voter ID proposal alone was a bad idea to begin with.
“Cramming in further restrictions on the right to vote – including eliminating preregistration for 16- and 17- year olds, ending same-day registration, even with a valid ID, restricting early voting, and banning paid voter registration drives – doesn’t just make a bad bill worse, it perverts the bill into a nightmare for free elections,” he said.
While there may be some issues covered in HB 589 that are real, needed reform, Summerell said that these issues should be debated separately. He said that the overall tenor, and the inevitable result of this bill, and the manner in which it is being rushed to passage, will do great damage to the democratic process in North Carolina.