North Carolina would join 13 other states requiring voters to show a photo ID under a bill passed Thursday by the Republican-led N.C. House. The measure passed 66-48 along party lines, despite Democratic protests that it would decrease turnout.
Some critics invoked comparisons to Jim Crow-era voting barriers. The bill now goes to the Senate, which is expected to endorse it. It would then go to Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue.
… “It’s part of a national trend, a direct result of the Republican sweep at the state level last November,” said University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato. “Elections have consequences.”
Thursday’s vote was essentially a foregone conclusion after the bill passed comfortably in a preliminary vote late Wednesday. That didn’t prevent an often passionate, two-hour debate.
“This bill strikes at the heart of our democracy,” said Rep. Rodney Moore, a Charlotte Democrat.
Rep. Mickey Michaux, a Durham Democrat, recalled his pre-Civil Rights effort to fight for the right to vote. “Now that we are exercising those rights, there are those who want to put the chains back on,” he said.