Raleigh, N.C. — Two days after Republicans mapped out their plan to pass a law requiring North Carolina voters to present a photo to cast a ballot, the NAACP attacked the idea as just another poll tax to restrict voters.
The NAACP joined other voting-rights groups Thursday to protest the voter ID proposal, contending that it will unfairly exclude thousands of registered voters who don't have a photo ID, especially minorities, students and the elderly.
They argued that the General Assembly should create more voting opportunities, not less.
Polls show an overwhelming majority of North Carolina residents favor some form of identification to vote.
Rev. William Barber, state NAACP president, also was quick to accept lawmakers' invitation for voter ID opponents to come to the table to help draft a reasonable bill.
"Not only will we be at the table to say, 'You don't need to do this. We don't need it. It's unnecessary. We have the best law,'" Barber said, "but if you do it, there will be vigorous examination, and we will bring every tool we have legally and otherwise to fight (it) – not for black people, but all Americans and all North Carolinians."
One legal challenge could focus on mail-in absentee voting, where no ID is required, although Republican lawmakers said they would look to address that issue in the bill before it's filed.
The groups also protested any efforts by lawmakers to reduce days and times for early voting in future elections, saying it would unfairly take away voting rights.