Voter ID bill heads back to the House

Posted June 15, 2011

voting booth generic, polling place, voting, voter

— North Carolina lawmakers are moving ahead with legislation to require people to show a photo identification card before voting.

The Senate approved the legislation in a 31-19 vote that went down party lines Wednesday evening.

The bill is expected to go to the House on Thursday. The measure passed once in House already, but by a margin too small to override a potential veto by Gov. Beverly Perdue.

Perdue, a Democrat, has indicated she might veto the measure.

Republicans made the legislation part of their campaign platform last fall as they took control of both the House and Senate for the first time in 140 years, and GOP leaders of other states are pushing similar legislation.

“Requiring voters to show a photo ID will boost their confidence and increase participation at the polls – two things the governor should join most North Carolinians in supporting. If she is serious about protecting the integrity of elections instead of scoring political points with her liberal base, she will sign this bill," Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, said in a statement Wednesday.

Democrats and voting rights advocates say the voter ID legislation is a veiled attempt to suppress voting among blacks, older adults and women. It's already a felony for someone to vote using someone else's name.

"They are trying to limit democracy and abridge the right to vote," state NAACP president Rev. William Barber said. 

Currently, voters just need to provide their name and address to get a ballot. 

"You are not curing a problem, you are making it difficult for people to vote," Sen. Dan Blue, D-Wake County, said. 

The state has about 556,000 registered voters who don't have identification issued by DMV, but it's unclear how many have alternative forms of qualifying IDs, according to researchers who work for the General Assembly.

Francis DeLuca, of the conservative Civitas Institute, supports the measure. He said that anyone who can make it out to the polls can make it out to get an ID. 

"Voting was never meant to be completely painless," he said. 

Senate passes Voter ID bill Senate passes Voter ID bill

Damon Circosta, executive director of the N.C. Center for Voter Education, called the bill a "solution in search of a problem, and a poor solution at that."

"In reality, the photo ID requirement in House Bill 351 would do little to improve the security of our election system. Rather, it would only place undue burdens on law-abiding North Carolina citizens, especially older voters, for whom getting a state-issued photo ID may be unfairly difficult," Circosta said in a statement. 

Under the bill, people could make a provisional vote without an ID, but would have to show an ID later for it to be counted or sign an affidavit.

The bill is modeled on a 2006 law in Georgia, which has been upheld by the courts.


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  • Nancy Jun 16, 2011

    "But inevitably there would be duplicate votes as the "name" they were assuming would come in and vote also." Plenty

    No, not necessarily. If someone voted using another person's name, and that person voted absentee, they would simply toss out the duplicate absentee vote. No one would know.

    Or, if someone walked in and gave their name but another had already used the name to vote, they have no recourse, the vote is already in under their name. Sure, file fraud charges but how will they prove the first voter was a fraud when they never ask for ID?

    Real simple and easy to pull off fraud with early/absentee voting options.

  • westernwake1 Jun 16, 2011

    Long overdue. Time to end the continual voter fraud in North Carolina. You need to photo id for just about everything else, one should be required in order to vote.

  • Mark Hayes Jun 16, 2011

    If you want to take part in the right to vote than you should not find it to difficult to get proper ID,there will be ample time,if those that keep making excuses for those that find the task difficult then they can volunteer their services to assist these unfortunate few I'm sure WRAL would assist in making those services known,if then they still resist then they must not really want to vote,people just want to be difficult as we don't have enough to complain about as it is.

  • Vietnam Vet Jun 16, 2011

    When I registered to vote here in NC some 12 years ago, I was given a voter ID card. What happened to those? What's the big deal about showing ID???

  • geosol Jun 16, 2011

    PAPERS!!!! You vill show us your PAPERS!!! SCHNELL!!!!!!

  • fatchanceimwrong Jun 16, 2011

    Last election, ballots were sent to prisoners early and sent to our military overseas too late. Actions speak louder than words.

  • cwood3 Jun 16, 2011

    Why would any party not want a clean election??? Maybe-just maybe-they want the ability to cheat and get away with it!! Oh my,, Democrats cheat??? Yup every day!!! Just give them a chance!!

    Oh-they don't want the military to vote either-more votes for Republicans. That these brave men and women fight for us is irrelevant to Dems-as long as they win-by hook or crook does not matter!!!!

  • wa4dou Jun 16, 2011

    It has been said that there are none so blind as those who do not want to see and none so deaf as those who do not want to hear.

  • hp277 Jun 16, 2011

    Keep that VETO stamp handy, Governor. There's more garbage heading for your desk.

  • SARCASTICLES Jun 16, 2011

    Right on, Komrade! This business of not wanting to pass a law to combat a problem that doesn't exist is FAR more intrusive and "BIG GOVERNMENT" than a "Freedom Loving, Smaller Government" law that stipulates what a woman can do with her reproductive organs. Thank goodness we're saved! ;)