Groups to keep fighting voter ID law

January 23, 2013 11:10:10 AM PST
With a comfortable majority in both houses of the Legislature, and a new Republican governor in power, the GOP has pledged to pass some kind of voter ID law in North Carolina this session.

Republicans have wanted an ID law for years, saying it prevents voter fraud, but Democratic Governor Bev Perdue vetoed their last attempt.

Details of any proposed law have yet to be worked out, but Governor Pat McCrory has been quoted saying he'd accept a bill that falls short of requiring a photo ID, and that just a voter registration card might be okay.

Critics of voter ID measures say they're thinly veiled attempts to exclude voters who may by more likely to vote for Democrats. They back that argument by pointing out that voter fraud is not a problem in the state.

According to a study done by The Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, North Carolina has had 22 cases of alleged election fraud since 2000.

Wednesday, a coalition of voter ID law opponents that includes the NAACP announced it's mobilizing to fight the issue.

It unveiled a new protectourvotenc.com website.

"We've got real problems in  North Carolina: unemployment, education quality, health care, tax reform and we don't need to be wasting energy refighting battles we've already won - particularly in the South," offered NC NAACP President William Barber.

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said at a news conference earlier this month that he supports a voter ID bill that includes a photograph.

"There has to be two requirements: one that it is a photograph, government issued of some sort photograph, and two, that the bill will meet the constitutional standards that have been laid down by the courts," he offered.

State elections officials estimate about 600,000 registered voters in North Carolina don't have a state issued photo identification card of any kind.

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