Local & State
|North Carolina lawmakers make another run at voter ID law|
|Bill would put matter to November referendum|
|Published Friday, June 8, 2018 7:28 am|
A bill introduced in the N.C. House would make voter identification part of the state constitution.
HB 1092, filed Thursday by Speaker Tim Moore, a Cleveland County Republican, would allow voters to decide in a November referendum whether photo ID should be required to cast a ballot. The bill is co-sponsored by Republicans David Lewis, Michele Presnell and John Sauls.
“This commonsense measure to secure the integrity of our elections system is supported by the vast majority of North Carolinians who know protecting our democracy should be one of lawmakers’ highest priorities,” said Moore, who has backed voter ID bills since he was elected to the House in 2002.
North Carolina is one of 18 states that don’t require voter ID in any form and the only one in the Southeast.
Civil rights and voter advocacy groups oppose voter ID as a solution in search of a problem given that voter fraud is rare in North Carolina and nationally. A state voter ID law passed in 2013 was struck down in court after a legal challenge by the state NAACP. In NC NAACP v. McCrory, the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals found the Republican-sponsored bill “target[ed] African-Americans with almost surgical precision” and enacted with “discriminatory intent.”
Amendment supporters contend voters show identification for everyday matters, and should have the final say in whether it’s worth the effort of protecting election integrity. Polling has shown consistent support for voter ID among North Carolina voters.
“The voters of North Carolina deserve a chance to weigh-in on securing their own rights in the democratic process, and will have the final say on strengthening election protections,” Moore said.
State NAACP President T. Anthony Spearman said the bill is another attempt by Republicans to suppress ballot access for people of color, the poor and college students – groups that traditionally support Democrats.
“If this General Assembly moves forward with this amendment scheme, the courts and the court of public opinion will find against them once again,” he said.
“It was wrong in 2013, and it’s still wrong in 2018. There is no version of a photo ID law that won’t leave voters behind. We must end once and for all this period in North Carolina of ‘suppression sessions.’ The people of North Carolina want to participate in an election in 2018 that is about policy that will change our lives, not politics that puts politicians schemes to remain in power above the democratic process, what is morally and constitutionally sound, and the sacred rights of the people.”
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