Republicans press again to require photo ID at NC polls this year
Two court cases are still pending on voter ID in North Carolina, and lawmakers asked Thursday to lift an injunction in one of them.Posted — Updated
"It is past time for activist courts to stop blocking another commonsense elections policy that is required by North Carolina's constitution and a strong majority of other states," House Speaker Tim Moore said in a statement.
They argued that a provision included in House Bill 1169 earlier this year should satisfy the court.
It also included language adding a new category of IDs to the ones poll workers would accept: public assistance IDs.
That Republican lawmakers hadn't included those IDs in the bill they passed in late 2018 laying out voter ID rules was part of the court's rationale in blocking implementation this year.
"With the enactment of H.B. 1169, the General Assembly has adopted nearly every 'ameliorative' amendment proposed ... and it also has addressed the key shortcoming identified by the Court of Appeals," Moore's office said in its release.
"That was the poison pill when they put that in," Rep. Marcia Morey, D-Durham, said Thursday.
The bill would allow public assistance IDs to be used at the polls, but only if they have a photograph on them, and it's not clear whether any do in North Carolina. The state Department of Health and Human Services confirmed that EBT cards don't, and Morey said she's not aware of any public assistance IDs that satisfy the bill's requirements.
"We looked into it, and we looked into Social Security cards, Medicaid, food stamps ... none of the cards have a photo," she said. "I think the whole issue is a fallacy."
Moore, R-Cleveland, said in his release that North Carolina's voter ID law is reasonable, noting voters can still cast ballots without IDs if they attest to a reasonable impediment that kept them from having one.
"North Carolina’s voter ID law also accommodates religious objectors, provides for free government-issued IDs and accepts driver’s licenses, passports, military and veteran IDs, student IDs, voter ID cards, as well as state and local government IDs," Moore's office said in the release.
"North Carolina's voter ID law allows IDs expired up to one year and allows voters whose ID expires after their 65th birthday to present any expired ID," the release states.
There are several other lawsuits pending in North Carolina that target various other election rules, and it may be some time before the state's election procedures are locked in for the Nov. 3 elections.
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