State House Speaker Thom Tillis signaled what could be a change in messaging on voter ID Saturday – and dropped some hints about the details of upcoming legislation – during an appearance on MSNBC. The left-leaning news channel might not seem like an intuitive choice for an appearance by Tillis, a Republican, but MSNBC has spent much of the day covering the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland. Tillis was invited to appear to address his party’s push for a photo voter ID law in North Carolina.
MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin quizzed Tillis about the scant evidence of actual voter fraud in the state, citing data from the State Board of Elections showing 310 documented cases of improper voting out of more than 4 million votes cast in 2008. “There is some evidence of voter fraud, but that’s not the primary reason for doing this,” Tillis told Melvin.
“We call this restoring confidence in government,” Tillis said. “There are a lot of people who are just concerned with the potential risk of fraud.” He added a voter ID law “would make nearly three-quarters of the population more comfortable and more confident when they go to the polls.”