Opposition mounted against a photo ID requirement for voters at the Rowan County and East Spencer board meetings Monday. The Rowan County Board of Commissioners heard from several people who spoke against a local bill it requested at its Nov. 21 meeting.
If passed by state legislators, the bill would allow Rowan County to require voters to show photo identification at the polls. It would be patterned after an N.C. Senate bill passed by the General Assembly this year but vetoed by the governor.
Elaine Mills, a chief poll judge, said Rowan County has protections already in place against voter fraud. Poll judges get to know voters in their precinct on sight, she said, and they ask voters they don’t recognize questions about where they live or who their neighbors are.
New voters are asked to show identification at the county elections office. If they are not seen there, they are asked for identification when voting for the first time. “Anything out of line would tend to raise a red flag automatically, without any additional procedures that would take time and money,” Mills said.
Salisbury resident Nancy Lund said that according to the state Board of Elections, nearly 6,000 active registered voters in Rowan County don’t have a North Carolina driver’s license or government-issued photo ID.
Senior adults, women and African-Americans are most likely to be in this category. An African-American voter in Rowan County is twice as likely as a white voter to not have voter ID, Lund said.
“This is why this law will be challenged as a discriminatory barrier to voting and will lead to lawsuits,” Lund said. She said Rowan County must provide free photo IDs to citizens to avoid violating the law.
Full Article: Voter ID campaign draws ire | Salisbury, NC – Salisbury Post.