Republicans resurrect the battle over Voter ID in NC

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ByJoel Brown via WTVD logo
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Debate renews about Voter ID in NC
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Debate renews about Voter ID in NC. Could the voters have the last word?

RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) -- On the floor of the State House on Monday night, Speaker Tim Moore took the first step to bring Voter ID back from the dead in North Carolina.

Moore introduced his own bill to give North Carolinians the power to decide whether to write mandatory photo ID at the polls into the state constitution. If the bill passes the legislature (Republicans have the votes), the constitutional amendment question would appear on the ballot in November.

The move comes two years after a federal court struck down a Republican-backed photo ID law from 2013, which federal judges said targeted African-American voters with "almost surgical precision."

"I think (the judge) was wrong," said Dunn Republican State Rep. David Lewis, a photo ID supporter. "I think if Attorney General (Josh) Stein had not pulled the defense of the case, we would've won; and this issue would've been resolved.

"So before we start over, we want to put it to the people and let people decide if they want photo ID to vote."

Democrats again are pushing back again Republican assertions that photo ID is a needed defense against voter fraud.

"I'm opposed to it because No. 1, it isn't necessary," said Durham Democratic State Rep. Mickey Michaux, a photo ID opponent.

A North Carolina Board of Elections audit in 2016 found only what it called a 'tiny fraction' of ineligible or potential fraudulent votes -- 508 out of 4.8 million votes cast.

Don't Most People Have a Photo ID, anyway?

"Not necessarily. It depends on what kind of photo ID (Republicans) call for," Michaux said. "For instance the last time they passed it, they left out student ID, a state-issued ID. They left that out totally and completely."

Speaker Moore's bill does not specify which kinds of photo IDs would be acceptable at polling locations.

"We will follow the law," Lewis told ABC11 when asked about Democrat's suspicions that Republicans were trying to sneak through a "bare-bones" bill.

What Kind of ID Do You Have?

Critics of photo ID claim low-income minorities would be most unfairly affected by it.

In an unscientific snap poll of Raleigh residents waiting at the Moore Transit Station Monday night, two out of three people had some form of state-issued ID.

Hurley Montague did not

"I do have not a picture ID," Montague said. "I have got a Social Security card and my name on it."

Earlier Monday, the state's leading civil-rights group, the North Carolina NAACP, held a news conference in Raleigh calling on Apple and Amazon not to move to North Carolina -- as long as Voter ID is being considered.