As North Carolina House leaders try this week to override Gov. Beverly Perdue’s veto of voter ID legislation, they’re ready to risk defeat on one of the most politically divisive issues raised by the General Assembly’s new GOP majority.
House Speaker Thom Tillis has committed the House to attempt that override and several others during this week’s brief legislative session focused on redistricting. An override vote that fails to get a three-fifths majority means the legislation dies until after the 2012 elections. Still, Republicans appear ready to lose some votes to stake out a position for next year’s campaigns.
“You’d rather never lose on a veto override. There are some that you are more willing to take that risk than others, because you know it’s the right thing to do and the public will know that you did the right thing,” said Rep. Ruth Samuelson, who counts votes for House Republicans. “There are some vetoes that are more political than others.”
Tillis, a Mecklenburg County Republican, called the voter ID legislation “a no-brainer” because requiring a photo ID at the polling booth “is a measure that provides confidence in voting and protects the integrity of our electoral process.” But no Democrats supported the voter ID bill, an issue they see in terms of political survival.
The voter ID bill is one of at least eight that Republican House leaders have scheduled for override attempts this week. Perdue, a Democrat, issued a record 15 vetoes during the Legislature’s nearly five-month work session that recessed in mid-June.
… House Democrats say the voter ID bill is part of a state-by-state GOP effort to dampen voter turnout and keep away voters who trend Democratic like young people and blacks.
“I don’t want to reveal any vote counts but we’re certainly optimistic,” House Minority Leader Joe Hackney, D-Orange, said when asked if House Democrats would remain solidly opposed.
If Republican leaders are willing to risk a loss on the voter ID bill, they’re ready to wait for the right moment to get the right vote on others, said Samuelson, R-Mecklenburg.
“If the numbers aren’t there, you wait until they are,” she said. “Somebody might have a change of heart.”
Full Article: The Daily Reflector.