Opponents of a voter ID bill that passed the North Carolina House on Wednesday are not backing down, vowing to continue to fight what they say is a discriminatory practice. The measure, which passed the House in a 81-36 vote, would require voters to show a state-issued ID in order to vote. It would also make student IDs from public colleges a legal form of identification, but not student IDs from private institutions, and it would tax the parents of college students who register to vote in the state where they are attending school. The changes would go into effect in 2016 if the bill becomes law. College students quietly protested the bill in the Statehouse Wednesday as the vote took place. They wore black tape over their mouths bearing phrases like “Justice” and “My voice is being silenced.”
“You’re saying if you go to a public institution your vote is more powerful than someone who goes to a private institution? It’s not right. It’s inequality,” Tyler Swanson, a sophomore at North Carolina A&T State University and one of the students who participated in the protest, told The Huffington Post.
The bill must pass the Republican-controlled Senate and be signed by Gov. Pat McCrory (R), who supports it, before it can become law. College students are just one group of North Carolinians who would be affected if that happens.
The bill includes plenty of provisions that would disproportionately affect minorities and low-income voters, critics say. Other bills being considered would repeal same-day registration in North Carolina, shorten early voting by one week and put an end to voting on Sundays.