by Becki Gray
Former Senior Vice President, John Locke Foundation
One of the issues left on the table for the General Assembly is the question of photo id for voting. House Bill 351, Restore Confidence in Government would require that voters provide photo identification before voting and if they don’t have one, government will provide one for free. The bill passed the Senate 31-19 and the House 62-51 and was sent over to the governor who promptly vetoed it. The House has been unable to get the required 72 votes to override the governor’s veto so it sits in limbo, but is alive.
Polling consistently shows North Carolinians support requiring a photo ID to vote. An April Elon University poll indicates that 75% of those polled are favor a photo id for voting while 85% of those polled by Civitas in January were in favor. Another Civitas poll in July showed 60% disagreed with the Governor’s veto of the bill.
The next session of the General Assembly is scheduled for November 7. Consideration of vetoed bills will be allowed. But will they get the votes for an override? If not, they may consider a series of local bills over which the governor has no veto power. By passing a photo ID requirement in North Carolina’s most populous counties, they may be able to circumvent the governor and pass the law anyway, as explained in the most recent print edition of Carolina Journal.( If you’re not getting the print edition – you need it. Subscribe here)
Other states have passed photo ID laws and some of these are being challenged in court. Hans Von Spakovsky, Senior Legal Fellow at the Heritage Foundation has researched and written about the legalities of requiring photo IDs for voting. He debunks the Left’s arguments against photo id; they claim there is no fraud and that African American voters are disenfranchised.
Von Spakovsky will be at JLF for a lunchtime presentation on Thursday. Come and learn why our General Assembly should protect the integrity of elections in North Carolina.