Rare is the bill that is so popular the governor feels the need to note its popularity in a lengthy press release, after he signing it without a public ceremony. But that’s the case today: Gov. Pat McCrory has signed House Bill 589. From the release, headlined “Governor McCrory Signs Popular Voter ID into Law”:
“North Carolinians overwhelmingly support a common sense law that requires voters to present photo identification in order to cast a ballot. I am proud to sign this legislation into law. Common practices like boarding an airplane and purchasing Sudafed require photo ID and we should expect nothing less for the protection of our right to vote,” said Governor McCrory.
Side note: You ever notice how voter ID proponents trot this Sudafed argument out all the time, but if you suggest that by the same logic the state should create an electronic database of gun purchases – like we have for Sudafed – you’re just an unAmerican nut who wants the government to go door-to-door taking people’s guns?
Anyway, we’ve had plenty of Voter ID coverage over the last several months. Both sides are going to adapt to it. I’ll be surprised if it affects results like some fear, but I don’t doubt it’s going to be a hassle for some voters and a lot of poll workers. I also think it’s important to remember this bill was 50+ pages, and the Senate Republican leadership waited to roll it out until after the Supreme Court struck down pre-clearance.
The bill does a heck of a lot more than require photo ID at the polls come 2016. You can read my initial breakdown here. I wrote this about the practical effects at the ballot box in coming elections.