Voter ID Bill Needs to Remain Vetoed
It cannot be stressed too much: House Bill 351 is a bad idea. It wouldn’t solve the “problem” it addresses, but it would create a lot of new ones.
The “problem” is a virtually nonexistent one, especially in North Carolina: voter fraud. And even if it were a real one instead of a bogeyman ginned up for transparently political reasons, the “solution” — requiring photo identification cards at the polls — wouldn’t work. With today’s printing technology, phony IDs are a dime a dozen, as any clerk in a convenience store selling beer can tell you.
The real reason that photo ID bills have sprung up in Republican-controlled state legislatures across the nation is that their primary effect in the real world is the suppression of voting by those who lack such cards. And that category just happens to include disproportionate shares of racial and ethnic minorites, young people, old people, poor people and women — all of whom just happen to vote more heavily Democratic.
The General Assembly passed House Bill 351 last year, but Gov. Beverly Perdue wisely vetoed it. Now the House is said to be only five votes short of an override, with the prospects even dimmer in the Senate.
Nobody has even been able to point to any significant levels of voter fraud in North Carolina. Those pushing this supposed remedy for it are out to create mischief. House Bill 351 deserves to stay vetoed.
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