Hall: Voter ID requirement would hurt seniors, Dems

Posted March 7, 2011

A new report from political watchdog group Democracy NC says a Republican proposal to require photo ID at the voting booth would be a barrier to nearly half a million registered voters in North Carolina.

Last month, the State Board of Elections compared voter registration lists to drivers’ license records from the DMV, finding about a million names that didn’t match up. Supporters of voter ID were skeptical of that number, suggesting many on the list could be people who had changed their addresses or their names without updating their drivers’ licenses.

Democracy NC went through the list, weeding out cases where there was potential for clerical error or name/address mismatches.They were left with 460,500 registered voters that do not have a current driver’s license. That's about 8% of the state's "active voters." 

“There’s just a large number of people in NC that don’t have that,” said Democracy NC Director Bob Hall. “To put that level of requirement on voters is a barrier. And to try to solve it would be very expensive.” At $10 each, the current cost for a state photo ID, Hall says the bill could exceed $4.5 million.

Hall says about a third of those without current photo ID are senior citizens. “When they stop driving, they don't renew their drivers’ licenses,” Hall said. “What do they need it for? So they don't have a current ID anymore. That's the biggest group of people.”

He says the report shows a photo ID requirement would affect other voter groups disproportionately, too. “The numbers show that if you’re an African-American active voter, you’re almost 50% more likely not to have an ID than other active voters. It does break down on class, economics, race, gender, and party lines.”

According to the report, as many as 1 in 8 senior citizen voters has no photo ID, 1 in 9 African-American voters, and 1 in 10 women voters. More than half of all voters without photo ID are Democrats.


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  • Mango Mar 10, 2011

    Should I gather by your silence that while you think people should show voter ID, you are not willing to spend your tax dollars on enforcing that rule and that you are not willing to pay more taxes in order to make it happen?

  • Mango Mar 9, 2011

    Forget about whether people should or should not have to show their ID and answer me this: given that there is virtually no voter ID fraud, are you willing to pay higher taxes to implement this law? Because federal law says that NC will have to educate voters on the change and will have to provide poor people with free ids. There is no getting around that. So the money will have to come from somewhere.

    Given -- do you want to pay higher taxes for it? I am truly interested in whether the people commenting on this thread would be willing to do so.

  • The Fox Mar 9, 2011

    I'll only stop those that shouldn't be voting in the first place.

  • RudeDawg Mar 9, 2011

    You are required to have a State issued ID or DL or have a social security card/number to register to vote in Wake County. What's the big deal of having to show ID to vote? You had to provide it to register should be no problem producing one at the poll; it's garbage to say they will have to hire new employees to handle this...I already have to wait in line to get a ballot after they check my name and give me the correct ballot for the district in which I am registered. Pass the law already, move on to the next subject.

  • curiousgeorgia Mar 9, 2011

    Hey, rec1646, your second requirement is a bit much! There are a lot of people, especially now, who cannot afford to own property! That sounds quite feudal.

  • driverkid3 Mar 9, 2011

    You also have to have photo ID for visits to Dr. I have already been asked for mine 3 times this year. I set up a medical appointment for friend yesterday, first thing they said, make SURE he brings photo ID.

  • tammydale Mar 9, 2011

    Well it seems that democrats and blacks need to do a better job of having an I D card. Apparently ONLY Republicans are capable of doing whats right.

  • rec1646 Mar 8, 2011

    Personally I think there should be several requirements to vote:
    1. Have a picture ID.
    2. Be a property owner.
    3. Be able to read and write English.
    4. Be a net tax payer.
    If you cannot meet these requirements, you should not have a vote.

  • EyeSpy Mar 8, 2011

    GREAT clip on this topic:
    These two old timers have a lot more sense than the "lawmakers" trying to push this trough...err, through. And it's an excellent example of people who sure as heck wouldn't have a SS card or drivers license around, but still have a fundamental right to vote.

    "...about a third of those without current photo ID are senior citizens." AND "More than half of all voters without photo ID are Democrats." Come on people!!! Republican majority in General Assembly = Sulfur in the air

  • Mango Mar 8, 2011

    BTW: here are the official rules. You'd have to go through this every time you move:

    Requirements for a North Carolina Identification Card:

    Getting a North Carolina Identification Card is just like getting your driver license, except without the tests. For an ID card you will need:

    * Proof of Residency;
    * Proof of Age and Identity;
    * It is required that you present DMV with a valid Social Security card. If you are not eligible for a Social Security card, you must provide documentation issued by the United States Government indicating legal presence.

    A more detailed explanation of the above requirements can be found under the Driver's Handbook: Chapter 1 - Requirements