Republican lawmakers are renewing a push for a compromise measure that would require voters to show identification at the polls, conceding that voiding a veto of a tougher bill is unlikely. House Speaker Thom Tillis said he is intent on overriding more of Gov. Bev Perdue’s vetoes before adjourning at the end of the month. But he recently acknowledged the one hill too big to climb may be the voter ID legislation vetoed by Perdue that would require voters to show a driver’s license at the polls. A veto override requires a three-fifths majority, meaning a handful of Democrats would need to side with the Republican majority. The compromise measure being negotiated would allow voters to show a broad range of documents to prove identity, including bank statements, utility bills or any government documents with name and address. Voters without such documents would be required to show that their signature matched their voter registration form.
“Unless something changes … we may not have the votes to get the true, hard-line bill that we had hoped to pass,” Rep. David Lewis, the House election committee chairman, said at a legislative briefing for Republican activists last weekend. Tillis said the compromise is near certain: “I’d give it high odds that you are going to see a voter ID (bill) pass. If it gets vetoed the veto will get overridden.” But Democrats who first suggested the softer approach say it’s unnecessary because fraud cases are relatively few compared to the number of voters. Rep. Larry Hall, a Durham Democrat negotiating with Republicans, said current laws that already require a signature to affirm identity “are more than sufficient.”