@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

Voter ID assailed, backed in House hearing

Posted March 12, 2013

— The idea of requiring North Carolina voters to show photo identification before being allowed to cast a ballot was sharply criticized and rousingly supported Tuesday during a public hearing at the legislature.

Hundreds of people crowded into three rooms for the four-hour House Elections Committee hearing to voice their opinion on legislation that hasn't even been drafted yet. Republican lawmakers said last week that they want to collect as much input from both supporters and opponents before crafting and filing a bill later this month.

"Voter ID laws make as much sense as speed limits at a NASCAR track," said Sam Spencer, president of North Carolina Young Democrats.

"The continued manipulation of the vote is the only logical reason not to have voter ID," said Art Wilson.

ID opponents – many wore white "No Voter ID" stickers on their shirts and lapels – cited statistics showing that cases of voter fraud are few and far between in North Carolina and that minority, elderly and poor voters would be disproportionately affected by the requirement because they are more likely not to have a photo ID.

"The cost and time to get a government-issued ID would be tremendously burdensome," said Sarah Preston, policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union.

Rev. William Barber, state NAACP president, said ID proponents are disingenuous when they say they're only trying to prevent fraud. He called the proposal a "new poll tax" designed to keep certain groups from voting.

"When you tell lies about fraud, you unleash craziness," Barber said. "Disenfranchisement in any way is wrong."

Public hearing on Voter ID Public hearing on voter ID (part 1)

Public hearing on voter ID (part 2) Public hearing on voter ID (part 2)

Jay DeLancy, executive director of the Voter Integrity Project in North Carolina, countered arguments that an ID is a solution in search of a problem by noting that his group has found voter rolls statewide padded with illegal entries. That opens North Carolina up to widespread elections fraud.

"Do not water down this law. Do not fall for all the sob stories," DeLancy told lawmakers.

Other supporters said they have worked in local elections and said there aren't many documented cases of voter fraud because no one looks for them.

"This is not a Republican issue. This is not a Democratic issue. It's a common-sense issue to ensure your vote counts in North Carolina," said Al Bouldin, chairman of the Guilford County Republican Party.

Some supporters ridiculed the idea that a large number of people don't have a photo ID, noting that identification is required for banking and applying for most government services in addition to driving.

"It's bogus that we're out here arguing this issue," said a University of North Carolina at Greensboro student, saying that he has three IDs. "This is not about women's rights. This is not about bringing back Jim Crow laws."

Steven Rader of Beaufort County said he has worked for years with Moldova, a former Soviet state that is a sister state of North Carolina, where voter IDs have been required since the country gained independence.

"From my observations, the voter ID requirement has not impaired the right to vote of anyone," Rader said. "If you look at the fact, the system works."

Opponents said, however, that North Carolina's current system without an ID requirement also works.

"We have a radical alternative to voter ID by picture, which is your signature," one woman said. "It is very powerful to write your name and swear or attest that you are who you say you are."

Frankie Price, a precinct judge in Orange County, said a mandatory ID would create a burden for poll workers in addition for voters.

"It's going to create a hostile environment by trying to match voters with a fuzzy picture that could be 5 years old," Price said.

Others said IDs would only lengthen voting lines. They called, instead, for more early voting sites and days and better technology to improve voting.

Representatives from AARP, Disability Rights North Carolina and the League of Women Voters also spoke against a required voter ID. Other groups traditionally opposed to the idea said, however, that they recognize Republicans have enough votes to win passage of any bill, and they offered suggestions on how to improve it.

The North Carolina Center for Voter Education said the ID process needs to be as simple as possible and urged lawmakers not to turn anyone away at the polls for lack of an ID. Action North Carolina said funds must be available to help people obtain birth certificates and other documentation needed to even obtain a state ID.

396 Comments

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  • junkmail5 Mar 14, 12:21 p.m.

    The line above is your "opinion"- PanthersFan45

    No, it's not.

    Unless you can explain how spending money on a problem that doesn't exist is not a waste.

    It's odd how you keep tap dancing around my direct questions though- it's almost like you know your answer will make no sense.

    Once again-

    Do you believe in-person voter fraud exists?

    If so, why, given the lack of any evidence for it.

    If NOT, then how is spending money to fix a problem that doesn't exist NOT a waste?

  • PanthersFan45 Mar 14, 12:08 p.m.

    Money is spent in situations to make a system better, improve it, doesn't make anything wasteful- PanthersFan45

    But this solution doesn't do that.

    It wastes money to fix a problem that doesn't exist. - junkmail5

    The line above is your "opinion". You see it as waste and I don't (why didn't you quote me saying this was waste ? I have no clue)... you didn't need to reply with a list, which by the way didn't quote me on SINGLE thing I asked you to. But if it makes you feel better to put words in my mouth to validate your argument feel free. You answered "0" though, .... thanks for your time. I got the answer I expected.

  • junkmail5 Mar 14, 11:35 a.m.

    Money is spent in situations to make a system better, improve it, doesn't make anything wasteful- PanthersFan45

    But this solution doesn't do that.

    It wastes money to fix a problem that doesn't exist.

    No only does it not "improve" things, it makes them worse, as it puts a burden on hundreds of thousands of people without ID to go get it, the taxpayers to pay for it, and poll workers to now waste time checking IDs to fix a problem nobody can show even exists.

    That's not improvement, that's the opposite of improvement.

    So I agree there's ignorance, but it's entirely on your end.

    "show me my posts where I said there "is" a problem or "isn't" a problem with voter fraud"- PanthersFan45

    " I did not say this would be waste"- PanthersFan45

    The only way it wouldn't be a waste is if you believe there is fraud that it would prevent.

    So DO YOU? Because if NOT it's the very definition of waste.

    If you DO then why, given there's no evidence of it?

  • PanthersFan45 Mar 14, 10:48 a.m.

    Then you are saying EXACTLY what I claimed. There's no evidence of any problem, but you're fine with them spending millions to 'fix' a problem nobody can show exists.

    I'm sorry you didn't understand the meaning of your own view. perhaps you ought reconsider it now that you do?

    Yes I understand my view ... please look thru all my comments and show me my posts where I said there "is" a problem or "isn't" a problem with voter fraud, I only quoted your words. I'll await your "quote" from me. We'll have to learn to disagree. I don't mind spending money to improve or modernize things. You see it as wasteful I don't, 2 ENTIRELY different "views". I would have figured that you of all posters would be able to figure that out. Now I did say that there has been government waste in the past, but I did not say this would be waste. READ.

  • PanthersFan45 Mar 14, 10:23 a.m.

    Then you are saying EXACTLY what I claimed. There's no evidence of any problem, but you're fine with them spending millions to 'fix' a problem nobody can show exists - junkmail5

    You continue to be ignorant, this is too funny. Money is spent in situations to make a system better, improve it, doesn't make anything wasteful. Post us a study after this becomes law showing its wasteful, don't assume, you have no facts to back that up, just an opinion. You can hope all you want for the supreme court to strike something down and if that happens you can celebrate. Your in the minority for now. I know how you feel and it feels awful. In the meantime you can always leave if you don't like it. BTW, that's an option and don't go putting words in my mouth that I'm telling everyone who disagrees with this law to leave. Quote me on that, I'm telling you that the "option" is there for you if you are that upset with it and want to avoid it all together by taking it to the extremes. Keep arguing this

  • junkmail5 Mar 14, 9:53 a.m.

    " I said I have no preoblem with them spending money going forward with this. "- PanthersFan45

    Then you are saying EXACTLY what I claimed. There's no evidence of any problem, but you're fine with them spending millions to 'fix' a problem nobody can show exists.

    I'm sorry you didn't understand the meaning of your own view. perhaps you ought reconsider it now that you do?

    Perhaps there's an outside chance politicians are acting on what therir constituents want ? Do you think thats possible ?-PanthersFan45

    Sure it is. But you're not supposed to get to vote on issues of basic rights. The supreme court will be explaining that to California (and possibly NC and 36 other states) voters in a couple of months in fact.

    I know states like NY require a a Photo ID that is signed by a judge in order to be granted a pistol permit. There is a right to bear arms isn't there ?- PanthersFan45

    Yes, and Heller v. DC suggests you could get that tossed out if you sued too.

  • PanthersFan45 Mar 14, 9:28 a.m.

    Your argument is "There is no problem at all, so lets spend millions to solve it!" - junkmail5

    Quote what I say, don't put words in my mouth to fabricate a point. I said I have no preoblem with them spending money going forward with this. You may not like it but before the election 2/3 of people polled in this state wanted a Photo ID for voting. Perhaps there's an outside chance politicians are acting on what therir constituents want ? Do you think thats possible ? ..... Right versus privledge hasn't mattered for anything in the past. I know states like NY require a a Photo ID that is signed by a judge in order to be granted a pistol permit. There is a right to bear arms isn't there ? .... You're arguments continue to fall flat while you put words in everyones mouth to try and validate your points. As they say "Ignorance is Bliss"

  • junkmail5 Mar 13, 11:26 p.m.

    For those who rightly claim that absentee ballots are a major source of fraud, the GA already has a remedy for that, too- Merlin1246

    Well, not REALLY.

    You have to send a copy of some kind of ID for the very first time you vote at all in the state. Otherwise you don't. Or if it's overseas absentee you don't need to send ID either.

    And it doesn't have to be photo ID (not that that matters much, not like they can check a mailed in copy of a photo against who mailed it).

    I mean, it's better than NOTHING...but it would do nothing to stop most of the absentee fraud we've read so much about, since those are usually people mailing absentee ballots for older folks/friends/relatives who certainly had voted in past elections and thus wouldn't need any ID at all included with the ballot.

  • junkmail5 Mar 13, 8:45 p.m.

    Voter fraud is real and photo ID will only solve a portion of it-merlin1246

    No, it won't solve _any_ of it.

    Because Every. Single. Example. given of fraud was not the kind voter ID would fix.

    It was absentee or registration.

  • merlin1246 Mar 13, 7:37 p.m.

    For those who rightly claim that absentee ballots are a major source of fraud, the GA already has a remedy for that, too....

    We're going to cover ALL the bases and put an end to 140 of voter fraud in this state.

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