Voter ID bill sponsor Rep. Ric Killian, R-Mecklenburg, spoke with us briefly this evening about the contents of House Bill 351, filed tonight and due to be debated Tuesday in the House Elections committee.
“Clearly, the voter identification portion of the bill is what’s most significant,” Killian said. “It ensures that the person who’s going to vote has some confidence that the vote that they are casting is being counted against their name.”
Voters, Killian said, feel “almost affectionately about their vote. And they really want to make sure that the vote they’re casting is being counted against their name. And I think this gives them the confidence to know that that’s in fact what’s happening.”
But the bill would make other election-law changes as well, including a requirement that candidates and campaign treasurers immediately report any potentially criminal campaign finance violations. “It also makes them responsible for those problems,” Killian added. Rep. Killian on the voter ID bill
This isn’t the first time personal liability for campaign fines has been brought up, but perhaps not surprisingly, it’s never found much support among the 170 state lawmakers who would be subject to it. Killian says this time, it will.
House Elections Chairman David Lewis, R-Harnett, said tonight he’s hoping to pass the bill out of his committee tomorrow afternoon. That makes one question the point of two hours of public “input” on the proposal. If the ink on the bill is already dry and the votes on it are already counted, can the hearing be much more than political theater?
We’ll find out tomorrow. The public comment part of the hearing starts at 2 p.m. We’ll stream it live here on WRAL.com.