A controversial change proposed for the state constitution gained momentum Thursday as Republican legislators demonstrated their continued commitment to requiring voters show photo identification at the polls. Voters in November would be asked if photo ID for in-person voting should be a constitutional requirement. Legislators would have the power to make the rules, which they could do any time after the election. As they voted to move the proposal to a vote of the full House, Republicans in a House committee knocked down two Democratic proposals, one of which was to wait until next year to write the photo ID rules. Democrats hope to win enough seats in the November election to eliminate Republicans’ supermajorities in next year’s session.
Rep. Darren Jackson, House Democrats’ leader, said the change would prevent a “lame duck General Assembly” from passing a bill. Rep. David Lewis, a Harnett County Republican and an architect of the state’s election laws, said the amendment wasn’t necessary.
… House Speaker Tim Moore told the House committee debating proposal that voter ID is “a common-sense idea we can do to ensure election integrity.”
Civil rights groups, voting rights groups, and the state AARP oppose putting the question on the ballot, saying photo ID requirements will keep African-Americans, elderly people, and people with low incomes from voting.