On Monday, Governor Pat McCrory (R-N.C.) signed a measure that restructures North Carolina‘s election laws, reports the NPR. The measure states that a government-issued photo ID will be required in order to be able to vote, the early voting period has been cut by one week and same day registration is longer possible. Gov. McCrory sees the measure’s as “…common sense reforms…” that are supported by the GOP and allow for the “integrity” of the the states voting process to be ensured. Gov. McCrory believes that “The integrity of the election process is vital to our democracy.”. If that’s the case, why don’t Civil Rights groups feel that way about the new measures?
If Gov. McCrory gets his way, the new law will take effect for the 2016 election. Voters will have to present one of the following forms of ID: a state drivers licenses, U.S. passport or military ID. Residents without drivers licenses can request a state-issued ID, free of charge, from the Department of Motor Vehicles. What if you don’t have a social security card or birth certificate? Requesting new copies of these documents isn’t free but they are needed if you want to get a state issued ID.
CBS reports that a federal lawsuit, challenging the controversial law, was filled immediately after the signing of the new measure. In a written statement Gov. McCrory wrote that “Common practices like boarding an airplane and purchasing Sudafed require photo ID, and we should expect nothing less for the protection of our right to vote.”. In a Youtube video, Gov. McCrory says that the opponents who criticize the measure are “…from the extreme left…” and are using “…scare tactics…” to criticize the new measure. Gov. McCroy believes that the law will fight against voter fraud but there is very little evidence that voter fraud even takes place in North Carolina. So, are Gov. McCrory and the GOP using scare tactics to support the new measure?
CBS reports that the N.C.’s Board of Elections has only presented two cases of alleged voter impersonation to prosecutors since 2004.
In support of Gov. McCrory, 34 other states have passed similar measures, requiring voters to show some form of ID before they are allowed to vote. N.C. has become the 20th state that requires photo ID versus 14 other states that ask voters to show some form of ID. Since the 2010 elections, 12 other states have adopted laws that require voters to show photo ID. N.C. makes that total 13, Republican governor’s and Republican legislature’s controlled these measure’s in 12 of the 13 states. If there was a Democratic governor who opposed the measure, a Republican legislature would override that governor’s veto.
Democrats believe that the law(s) are used to suppress the votes of groups that fall under their constituents. More specifically, they believe that the GOP is trying to suppress the votes of young voters, blacks and Hispanics. The chances that these groups don’t have the proper ID is higher then within other groups. Because of a long history of discrimination against certain groups, the Voting Right Act of 1965 was passed. This gave the Justice Department the power to block measures such as the one that has been passed in N.C. In June, the Supreme Court determined that the act was outdated, which now limits the power of the Justice Department to block such measures.