WRAL News poll: NC wants voter IDs

Posted October 2, 2012
Updated October 3, 2012

— North Carolina voters overwhelmingly want people to present some form of identification at the polls before casting a ballot, according to a WRAL News poll released Tuesday.

SurveyUSA polled 641 registered voters statewide between Saturday and Monday and found that 69 percent want to require a photo ID to vote, while another 10 percent want an ID that doesn't necessarily have a photo. Only 16 percent said voters shouldn't have to present an ID at the polls.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

The idea seems to have support across the political spectrum, with 90 percent of Republicans, 56 percent of Democrats and two-thirds of independents calling for a photo voter ID.

When examined through the lens of the presidential campaign, however, partisan fault lines start to appear.

WRAL News poll: NC wants voter IDs WRAL News poll: NC wants voter IDs

Among supporters of Republican nominee Mitt Romney, 93 percent support photo ID, and just 4 percent say no ID should be needed. Meanwhile, only 46 percent of President Barack Obama's supporters want to see a photo ID for voters, while 29 percent want no ID.

The topic has been highly politicized. Republicans say photo IDs are needed to prevent voter fraud, but Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue vetoed a voter ID bill passed last year by GOP lawmakers.

Gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory urged voters this spring to take IDs to the polls to make a point. U.S. Sen. Richard Burr says requiring identification is just common sense.

"You can't cash a check without photo ID. Is the threshold for voting less than the threshold for cashing a check?" Burr said Tuesday.

Democratic leaders and civil rights groups say there's a big difference – cashing a check is not a constitutional right.

Bob Hall, executive director of political watchdog group Democracy North Carolina, said requiring a photo ID would stop people from exercising their right to vote.

"There are about 400,000 people that do not have a photo ID," Hall said. "Most of them are elderly, (and) they've stopped driving. They're disproportionately African-American. They're poor, more often than not."

The threat of voter impersonation is a fiction, he said, noting that study after study has found only a handful of cases nationwide.

Johnnie McLean, deputy director of the State Board of Elections, said most voter fraud involves registrations, double voting or mail-in ballots. Supporters of photo IDs may not realize that what they want at the polls wouldn't stop any of those problems, she said.

"I think that what it's going to produce is simply a perceived level of comfort to those people," McLean said.


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  • junkmail5 Oct 5, 2012


    And that's great... FOR YOU.

    But given there are literally millions of people who don't have the ID you do, perhaps you might be able to realize not everyone is as lucky as you in being able to get the help you do in obtaining an ID and keeping it current (or being able to afford one in states it's not free)

    Since less than 2 people per election, nationwide, have been found to engage in voter fraud, why do you want to spend millions of wasted dollars AND potentially disenfranchise those millions of legal voters just to possibly stop those 2 people?

    It's great you favor a closer look at absentee ballots- that's someplace REAL fraud actually happens... but voter ID laws don't help with that issue at all.

  • survivorx2 Oct 4, 2012

    I would like to address those who think a voter ID is unnecessary and places a burden on the elderly and sick (& poor). I have had a voter ID for over twenty years, since I had to surrender my driver's license because of medical reasons. As stated, I do not drive, have few people who are willing or have time to help me and I am not a well person. However, I somehow find someone to drive me to the driver's license agency to renew my ID every 5 yrs. I fit all the criteria as far as being one of those who would be burdened. When I go to my doctors at the hospital or for hospital test I am asked to show a photo ID. I was abhorred when I last went to the polls to vote and offered my ID. They turned it down. I do now use an absentee ballot and I think they should be carefully scrutinized. I have nothing to hide and those that protest probably do or think someone does. Thow dost protest too much!

  • junkmail5 Oct 4, 2012

    Ah, day 2 of people listing things you need ID for that aren't constitutional rights and thus have no relevance to the topic at all... awesome!

    Anyway... there's absolutely 0 common sense in spending millions of dollars to 'fix' a problem that doesn't exist, and whose solution won't stop any significant amount of fraud (because there isn't any significant amount of in-person voter fraud) but WILL potentially cause a lot of old people to lose the ability to vote despite being legally qualified to.

    Which is what you're suggesting you want to do.

    Why do you want to waste millions of dollars and disenfranchise old people, all while not actually making ANYTHING better because the problem you're claiming to 'fix' doesn't exist? What's common sense about that?

  • lumberman Oct 4, 2012

    You need a ID to get a smoke a beer a tattoo even some cold meds. But not an ID to make the biggest choice for a country's future. How does that make sense to any one. I really am not sure about this but how does some one on welfare have to have ID to get a check. The government gives them everything else why not send them an ID card with their next check.

  • twatkinsntp Oct 4, 2012

    So... Wildpig777... do you think that having a Drivers Licence is a violation of your rights. Or if you can't have a DL having to have a NC ID card. You seem to watch too much TV and belive too many movies. Remember Voting is a right and we as citizens have the right to make sure you are one before you can vote.

  • baldchip Oct 4, 2012

    This is just common sense!! NO ID-NO VOTE!!

  • Grandpeople Oct 4, 2012

    We need ID for everthing we do. One of the most important rights we have is the ability to cast an honest vote. I will chip in money to help pay for those too impovished to pay for their own ID. I just want to see an honest election.

  • junkmail5 Oct 4, 2012

    I just want to ensure that who's casting a vote is a valid/registered voter- twoods7

    For in-person voting they generally are. And have been for the last 200+ years.

    Hence voter ID laws accomplish nothing but STOPPING -legal- voters from voting because they don't have the right kind of ID card.

    If you -actually- care about fraud then address the fraud that -actually happens- which is via mail-in voting.

  • Mr. Middle of the Road Oct 4, 2012

    It is a really silly idea but no big deal to me. I don't think it will stop anyone from voting or actually stop any voter fraud, but if it makes that many people happy, lets go for it. The whole thing is just a smoke screen to take our thoughts off of the fact that the same legislature that proposed it did absolutely nothing to reduce spending or encourage employment in this State. We are sinking even faster. But is sure does fire folks up.

  • twoods7 Oct 4, 2012


    Really? What arresting powers do you have? I'm a fervent believer of showing ID at the Polls. You want to prosecute me? Go ahead and try; you may not like the outcome. I just want to ensure that who's casting a vote is a valid/registered voter. I don't see the problem with that. I mean you have to show ID to get booze, cigs and even access to see the Deity who lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.