Voter ID bill becomes law after House overrides Cooper's veto

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Voter ID will become law of the land after the North Carolina state House overrode on Wednesday Gov. Roy Cooper's veto of legislation implementing a recently approved constitutional amendment on voter ID.

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The override came a day after the Senate also overrode Coper's veto, thus sending it to the House.

"Delivering a voter ID law to North Carolinians who supported this simple yet essential election integrity measure on the ballot in November was a constitutional imperative," said House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland. "I'm proud of the commitment House lawmakers made to finish this accomplishment and keep our promise to the people of North Carolina who approved voter ID in our state constitution."

Thirty-four other states have some form of voter ID law. North Carolina is the last state in the Southeast not to require some form of voter ID.

"My district is full of good, hard-working, well-intentioned people - there is nothing sinister or cynical about them," said Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett, a chairman of the House Committee on Elections and Ethics Law. "The governor does not have a problem with this legislature, he has a problem with his citizens. This bill does exactly what the people of this state wanted us to do."

Just minutes after the regulation became law, opponents filed a lawsuit challenging the state's new photo ID requirements.

A Republican lawmaker called the lawsuit "crazy."

"This is crazy," said Joyce Krawiec, of Forsyth County. "After suing to stop voters from even having the chance to amend the constitution to require voter ID, liberal activists are suing again saying the new constitutional amendment is unconstitutional. It's clear nothing will ever appease them: not the will of voters, not the fact that a Democrat sponsored the bill, and not the broad additions based on Democratic feedback. We've seen this sue 'til blue tactic before, only this time they're up against a clear mandate from 55 percent of voters who want common-sense protections against voter fraud."

The NC NAACP was riled that lawmakers kept talking about the 55 percent number.

"I don't think that is a large enough margin for them to constantly be saying the people have spoken," said the Rev. Anthony Spearman, president of the NC NAACP. "All of the people have not spoken. The North Carolina NAACP has not spoken and our coalition partners have not spoken. But we will speak through the litigation that will be filed and I believe that we will have a wonderful chance of turning this thing around once again."

North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes released a statement following the vote:

"After several years of debate, North Carolina citizens voted to support voter ID in its state constitution. Despite the fact that voter ID is now required, Governor Cooper chose to ignore the people's will and insulted more than two million voters as 'cynical,' 'sinister' racists. Today, NCGA Republicans dismissed Cooper's attempt to ignore the state constitution and implemented the wishes of voters at the ballot box."
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