Too soon for Voter ID?

Posted March 15, 2011 1:37 p.m. EDT

The House Elections committee is about to begin its marathon four-hour debate on H351, the Voter ID bill. 45 people have signed up to speak from 2 to 4. After that, the committee will debate the measure. 

House Democrats said today the measure is being rushed through, calling this afternoon's hearing a "sham." 

House Speaker Thom Tillis said this morning that today’s public input hearing was initially set for yesterday, but had been moved at the request of the Democratic minority, which had a conflict.

The measure was introduced and posted online late last evening. If it gains approval from the Elections Committee this afternoon, it will have done so in less than 24 hours from its filing. As of right now, neither the bill explanation nor its fiscal note are available to the public.

When Tillis was asked whether he thinks the bill should be moved through the Elections Committee today, he said it’s up to Elections Chair David Lewis, R-Harnett.

“If we’re moving through and there appears to be continued new information, and there is value to continue the debate, then I think we should continue the debate,” Tillis said. “If we get in there and we hear nothing more than a rehashing of all the rhetoric that I’ve heard for years, literally, then the question is, is it really a productive use of legislative time to continue it unless new information is going to be brought?”

“But at the end of the day, that decision will ultimately be made by the committee chair,” Tillis said.