Voter ID in Senate Rules Committee Friday

Posted July 18, 2013

— The Senate Rules Committee will debate Friday morning a new version of a law that would require voters to show photo identification when they go to the polls.

A similar measure passed the state House in April and is a key priority for House and Senate Republicans alike. 

Senate leaders posted a draft of the bill they will consider on the legislative website Thursday morning.

Voters will be educated about provisions in the bill during elections this fall and next year, but they would not be required to show ID until the 2016 election cycle. 

"We have tightened it up from what they (the House) sent over," Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, said of the bill. 

In particular, the Senate version of the bill eliminates the ability of college students to use their university identification cards when they go to the polls. Students would be able to get free IDs issued by the state, Apodaca said. 

"I had concerns with how that could be manipulated," Apodaca said. 

There had been some controversy over the college ID provision. Under the House bill, students at state institutions, such as University of North Carolina campuses, would have been able to use their student IDs, while those at private schools, such as Duke University, would not have been able to do so. 

The Senate bill would not allow voters to use other forms of ID that the House bill contemplated. For example, employee ID cards issued by the state or ID cards given to those on public assistance would no longer qualify. 

The bill also makes changes to how voters can request absentee ballots, calling for a pre-printed "request form" rather than requiring voters to hand-write their request for an absentee ballot. That form will require the voter's drivers license, state-issued ID card or the last four digits of a Social Security number. 

The measure also provides for how the new requirements will be publicized.

Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett, the sponsor of the House bill, said he had not seen the Senate measure, but said there would almost certainly be a negotiation between the House and Senate on a final bill.

"We both want everybody who is entitled to vote to have the opportunity to vote," he said.

According to Senate staff, an outline of the differences between the two bills includes:

1) Deletes the House provision creating the Voter Identification Verification Act Board.

2) Consolidates the various “educational” provisions contained in the House version and deletes other “educational” provisions. [Part V]

3) Changes the list of acceptable ID documents in proposed GS 163-166.13(e) to: i) require unexpired identifications except in some instances and ii) delete several categories such as UNC system or community college student ID, employer ID, and some other kinds of government IDs issued by local governments. Allows out-of-state drivers licenses to be used only for 90 days after the voter registers. [page 3]

4) Clarifies the disaster provision in GS 163-166.1(a)(3) on how to get a disaster declaration form. [pages 2-3]

5) Amends G.S. 163‑226.3(a)(4) to require county boards of elections to promptly dispatch multipartisan teams to assist nursing home resident vote. Calls on the State Board of Elections to issue temporary rules by 10/1/2013 on this subject. Currently there is limited assistance to such persons – only a near relative, legal guardian or multipartisan county board team can assist voter. [Section 4.6, pages 11-12]

6) Amends G.S. 163‑226.3(a)(4) to provide that if county fails to dispatch a multipartisan team within 15 days those voters can get assistance from anyone but: (i)an owner, manager, director, employee of the hospital, clinic, nursing home, or rest home in which the voter is a patient or resident; (ii) an individual who holds any elective office under the United States, this State, or any political subdivision of this State; (iii) an individual who is a candidate for nomination or election to such office; or (iv) an individual who holds any office in a State, congressional district, county, or precinct political party or organization, or who is a campaign manager or treasurer for any candidate or political party; provided that a delegate to a convention shall not be considered a party office. [Section 4.6, pages 11-12]

7) Amends G.S. 163‑229(b) to add to House provision that the envelope for an absentee ballot contain information about criminal penalties the following language “except if there is not room on the envelope, the State Board of Elections may provide for that disclosure to be made on a separate piece of paper to be included along with the container‑return envelope.” [Section 4.1, page 8]

8) Clarifies effective dates to more closely effectuate intent of bill to phase-in the voter identification requirement.


This blog post is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Krimson Jul 19, 2013

    DNut: "what's your point?"

    DNut: "it was Madison, first in personal writings, the Tench Coxe, that made it clear"

    Your first post made it seem like you were referring to Coxe as a thing as opposed to a person. I see now that it was just a typo...

  • kdogwnc Jul 19, 2013

    "Tench Coxe....he's a second generation framer..."

    Tench Coxe was a Redcoat loyalist and a first-rate opportunist, lending support to the British particularly during Howe's occupation of Philadelphia in 1777-78.

    And what exactly is a "2nd generation framer"????

  • kdogwnc Jul 19, 2013

    I will be out working to make sure that every single eligible potential Democrat voter is registered, and will personally help every one of them fill out and mail in the absentee ballot. Because mail-in absentee ballots don't require a voter ID.

  • Dnut Jul 19, 2013

    DNut: "Tench Coxe" was a person...
    t watts1000
    July 19, 2013 11:37 a.m.
    >>>Yes, I know, it's why I mentioned him, he's a second generation framer, and wrote more about the 2nd amendment than anyone in our history, sooo....what's your point?

  • Krimson Jul 19, 2013

    DNut: "Tench Coxe" was a person...

  • junkmail5 Jul 19, 2013

    If I recall, it was Madison, first in personal writings, the Tench Coxe, that made it clear, that "SHALL NOT INFRINGE", was the strongest part of the statement, and made it clear, that it pertained to everything, purchasing, ownership, and use...nice try know it all....

    then your recollection is a bit off.

    Because "keep and bear" were the only parts they ACTUALLY PUT IN THE DOCUMENT.

    That's why things like the FFL system, which has existed for generations now, is entirely legal.

    You can regulate the COMMERCE of firearms. Entirely constitutionally.

    But you can't ban OWNING them outright, thanks to the second.

    It's weird you keep ignoring the bit about how NCs own constitution makes any voter ID law illegal though.

  • Danny22 Jul 19, 2013

    In states that have implemented voter ID, there have been very few problems. Even the elderly have to have ID's for medical care.

  • kdogwnc Jul 19, 2013

    "What part of "shall not be infringed", do you NOT understand?"

    Apparently the same part of "shall not be denied or abridged" that you do not understand.

  • kdogwnc Jul 19, 2013

    "There is some laughable cognitive dissonance going on here."

    The cognitive dissonance, which is far from laughable, is that if this law passes, it will be much easier to purchase a gun in NC than it will be to vote.

  • junkmail5 Jul 19, 2013

    To say that there are all these people who really want to vote but are incapable of having or obtaining an ID is doubtful,- americitizenof

    Except it's not doubtful, because these people actually exist. You can speak to them even!

    What IS doubtful, and nobody can show any evidence of, is in-person voter fraud happening because of LACK of checking IDs.

    So we're going to waste millions of dollars to fix an imaginary problem.

    (and now, as always, folks will insist there IS fraud, and try to prove it by giving the same 3 examples they do every time, NONE of which would have been stopped by voter ID, but they won't bother to read their own source and realize it)