Supporters of requiring photo identification for voting in North Carolina say that it protects the integrity of the vote against identity theft and fraud. Opponents, however, aren’t convinced. N.C. House Bill 351, Restore Confidence in Government, requiring that voters provide photo ID was ratified in mid-June. Within a week, Gov. Beverly Perdue vetoed it.
“We shouldn’t be surprised by how far the governor will go to score political points with the liberal wing of her party,” President Pro Tempore Sen. Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, said after her veto. “A measure that ensures voters are who they say they are is a no-brainer, and most North Carolinians agree. It’s a shame Gov. Perdue is playing politics with the integrity of elections.” But opponents said that this argument doesn’t hold up under deeper analysis.
Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said, during a Dec. 1 conference call, that investigations show that there is no “significant amount of fraud” including one investigation done under former President George Bush’s administration. “Even the Bush administration’s White House was unable to come up with any credible or any significant amount of fraud,” Schultz said. “The only evidence was incidental or occasional and certainly not the widespread voter identity theft that they were accusing folks of.”
With several states being led by a republican majority in the legislature, Shultz said that she believes one of their real motives is to drown out the voice of African Americans who are less likely to have photo IDs and also consistently vote for the Democratic Party.
The Dec. 1 conference call was held to announce a new Democratic effort to protect every voting rights by launching a new website: www.protectingthevote.org and releasing a new report: “A Reversal in Progress: Restricting Voting Rights for Electoral Gain,” which can be found at the same website.
Nationally, the GOP has advanced strict photo ID requirements in more than 30 states, and in North Carolina there’s talk that GOP leaders are strategizing to circumvent Perdue’s June veto. An override of the veto failed in late July.
House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, could not be reached for comment.
The State Department of Justice, in a Nov. 23 advisory letter sent to Perdue’s office, indicated that a strategy of GOP leaders to implement voter ID bills in specific counties would run into constitutional issues.
When Perdue vetoed the voter ID bill, she gained applause from the State NAACP, which stated in a release… “she again takes the high road by vetoing a piece of harmful and regressive legislation sent to her desk.” The N.C. NAACP continued: “This morally flawed bill betrayed minorities, our elderly, women, and the poor.”
More than 800,000 people statewide don’t have photo identification from the Department of Motor Vehicles, according to a State Board of Elections and DMV analysis. More than a half-million North Carolinians – 556,513 – have no identification at all. Without a valid photo ID, they could be disenfranchised if a law required it to vote.
Full Article: The Charlotte Post – GOP looks to salvage voter ID.