North Carolina Gov. McCrory signs voter ID law
August 12th, 2013
05:59 PM ET
1 year ago

North Carolina Gov. McCrory signs voter ID law

(CNN) – North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed a controversial voter ID bill into law Monday, citing the "common sense" need to protect the right to vote.

The law will go into effect for the 2016 elections and will, among other things, require all voters to present a valid government-issued photo ID at the polls. Opponents contend such laws unfairly discriminate against minority voters.

"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," McCrory said in a statement.

The law passed the Republican-controlled state legislature at the end of July.

North Carolina lawmakers approve controversial election changes

North Carolina is now able to pass voting laws without federal pre-approval after the Supreme Court's ruling on the Voting Rights Act in June. The act had given federal control over voting laws in several southern states, including North Carolina.

Supreme Court limits federal oversight of Voting Rights Act

A Republican, McCrory argued that most states already have voter ID laws and admonished elements on the "extreme left" for using "scare tactics."

"They're more interested in divisive politics than ensuring that no one's vote is disenfranchised by a fraudulent ballot," McCrory said.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice have already filed a lawsuit challenging the law, according to a statement the ACLU released Monday. The lawsuit criticizes the law for "voter suppression," specifically targeting provisions that limit early voting, end registration on the same day as the vote and prevent voting "out-of-precinct."

These provisions "would unduly burden the right to vote and discriminate against African-American voters, in violation of the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause and the Voting Rights Act of 1965," the statement says.

"Eliminating a huge part of early voting will cut off voting opportunities for hundreds of thousands of citizens," Dale Ho, director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project, said in the statement.

"It will turn Election Day into a mess, shoving more voters into even longer lines."

Allison Riggs, staff attorney for the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, said the law would make it more difficult for African-Americans to cast their vote.

"Taken together, the new restrictions in this law will disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of eligible voters, depriving many of our most vulnerable citizens from being able to easily exercise a constitutional right," Riggs said in the statement.


Filed under: North Carolina
soundoff (165 Responses)
  1. ncvoter

    I find it interesting that people assume that minorities don't have an ID. Seriously, you are telling me that all these people who DRIVE to the polls don't have an ID. I live here people and I've worked at the polls. We don't live in NYC where people get around without cars. They DRIVE!!!!! The real problem here is illegals that vote. And people voting for their friend, neighbor, family member that they know won't vote. It happens all the time! The reason it's not reported?? Cause you can't prove it – without an ID!!!!!! Seriously come watch an election here before you decide what's best for us.

    August 13, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  2. MaryM

    Everyone knows that this law is not just about the voter ID, Its all the other parts of the law that will restrict voting for minorities and young voters

    August 13, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  3. Durundal

    Lets try to actually use our heads for once: The only time something is 'common sense' or 'simple' or 'obvious' in legislation is when you are too lazy to think of the unintended side effects and how it actually works (or you are purposely trying to get people to overlook that part). What we have are either incompetent politicians, or ones who are seeking to game the system for an edge – either case they demean the office they hold

    August 13, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  4. Anonymous

    Only 3 people in Texas have request a voter card so far. The claim to suppress voting is a non issue.

    August 13, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  5. liberalsnob

    So far only 3 people applied for a voter ID in Texas. suppression of the vote is a not issue.

    August 13, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  6. Econ301

    ID Requirement:

    Reducing Early Voting: How is this helpful, shouldn't we be trying to get everyone who can legally vote (ID) to vote instead of having to make a choice of skipping work or voting.

    Where is the argument on how this prevents fraud?

    Republicans it's not about Requiring ID's it's about all the other stuff you are adding to the ID bill that your not talking about as much, because you know you can get the ID bill passed.

    August 13, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  7. luigim

    As at North Carolinian, this state is becoming so backward since McCrory was voted in. So many people are turned off by him.

    August 13, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  8. Mike Wallace

    1. This law contains a lot more than just voter ID. Why can't big government conservatives grasp that? Why resort to logically flawed arguments if you are so sure that your position is strong?
    2. A 92 year old woman in NC has already filed a lawsuit because of the cost she would now incur to be allowed to vote, even though she has been voting for decades.

    August 13, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  9. Daniel Maddigan

    Once again southern republicans show they have more allegiance to the racist values of the confederate flag than the democratic values of the American flag.

    August 13, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  10. onlyfacts

    Explain this then idiot republicans. Why does the new law not allow student ID's from a govt funded university? If that's not voter suppression what is? Also there have been 2 instances of voter fraud in NC in the last 10 years. You mention, "you have to have a license to drive" now tell me how many injuries and deaths due to DWI's have there been in NC in the past 10 years? How many traffic accidents from people making mistakes while driving! Which issue SHOULD your Governor be working on? You mentioned needing to an I.D. to buy Claritan D, how many people have died or have been harmed from illegal drug use in NC in the past 10 years? How does cancelling or moving early voting dates have anything to do with fraud or an I.D.? You are all just brainwashed, gullible sheep!

    August 13, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  11. Econ301

    Reducing Early Voting: How is this helpful, shouldn't we be trying to get everyone who can legally vote (ID) to vote instead of having to make a choice of skipping work or voting.

    I see a lot of arguments for why we should require ID. Where is the argument on why reducing the amount of time people have to vote, and making it so you have to wait longer and miss more work is going to prevent fraud.

    August 13, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  12. tom l

    Did anyone take the time to see who votes early? It's all over the place but it clearly is white people who vote more often early than minorites and depending on the state is whether it affects republicans or democrats more. In North Carolina, 67% of early voters were white (they make up 70% of the population) and 27% were black (and they make up 22% of the population). Both of those are well within the statistics so please tell me how this law is racist. To make the assumption that this law would hurt minorities more than others is patently racist.

    August 13, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  13. The REAL Truth...

    @ncvoter – I find it interesting that people assume that minorities don't have an ID. Seriously, you are telling me that all these people who DRIVE to the polls don't have an ID. I live here people and I've worked at the polls. We don't live in NYC where people get around without cars. They DRIVE!!!!! The real problem here is illegals that vote.
    --------------------------------–
    Sorry, but as someone who lives in the 2nd most illegal alien populated state.. BS!
    illegals voting is non-existent. Why would an illegal – who needs to keep a low profile – raise their visilbilty and chances of deportation by voting !!!
    And.. the big question.. how do you know these voters are illegals ??? Got a big "I" stamped on their heads ??

    August 13, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  14. Wake up People!

    So school ID's are not accepted?? What about NRA cards??? I bet THOSE are perfectly accepted.

    The SCOTUS mucked THIS decision up badly.

    August 13, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  15. The Real Tom Paine

    -tom l

    Did anyone take the time to see who votes early? It's all over the place but it clearly is white people who vote more often early than minorites and depending on the state is whether it affects republicans or democrats more. In North Carolina, 67% of early voters were white (they make up 70% of the population) and 27% were black (and they make up 22% of the population). Both of those are well within the statistics so please tell me how this law is racist. To make the assumption that this law would hurt minorities more than others is patently racist.
    ***********
    Out of curiosity, where did you obtain those stats from?

    August 13, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  16. The REAL Truth...

    I've done some detailed research on illegals voting in a number of states. In my state (a red state) for example - where the VoterID laws are a thinly veiled attempt to block/reduce non-Republican eligible voters - there have been 52 cases of voter fraud in 27 yrs, with ONLY 5 convictions. Not a single case was by an illegal.. in fact most were by white Republicans. With over 40 million votes cast during that time, the voter fraud is non-existent.. it's 0.0000013%.
    There are more errors due to miscounts...
    The numbers in other states are similar too.... in other words... it's a NON-ISSUE !!

    August 13, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  17. The Real Tom Paine

    No one has made the case that this supposedly rampant voter fraud has affected the outcome of any major or statewide race, so how is it that the party that claims we have too many laws wants to create another law and additional bureacracy to oversee aproblem they can't quantify in any objective fashion? What races have been affected by illegals (whose presence in this country depends on NOT being detected) voting and tipping elections to the Democrats?

    August 13, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  18. tom l

    @The Real TP,
    Hey man. Hope you're doing well. I searched online for NC demographics and then also searched "who votes early" where I went to a website. I appreciate that your question greatly. It is a great attribute of yours.

    August 13, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  19. nc_writer

    People should read the actual law before commenting. It is H589 available at the website of the NC Legislature.

    Come to think of it, people should read it before filing lawsuits too. One lawsuit filed by Rev. Barber of the NAACP alledges that a poor old 92 year old woman will be disenfranchised because her birth certificate name is wrong. Except that the law provides for the inaccuracies of old birth certificates by providing other means.

    The law is about restoring confidence in the election system. By using early voting, absentee voting and election day voting, it is estimated that a single person...a single criminal...could vote somewhere between 500 and 1000 times in an election with virtually no chance of getting caught.

    August 13, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  20. kirk

    Its not the Id part, its the additional restrictions that they will place on certain voters, just like the motorcycle helmet law how much of that was really about helmets same thing here. Pass a Law saying one thing then put in other stuff that is the real reason to pass that law

    August 13, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  21. Wake up People!

    What next a poll tax?

    Is this 1955 or 2013?

    August 13, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  22. kirk

    If these losers ever get control of both houses, you won't rr ovnize your country after that, and it will be too late to change it. They don't care bow much heat they will take. As long as they get into power.you won't be able to do anything about it after that.I've got an awesome job so I will be OK but how many others will have there standard of living greatly reduced.mine will be too.just because you are racist don't let the gop fool you, if your not rich you will have no rights shortly after they get control.this is serious and very scary. I don't think people realize how bad this will be.you eiil never get them out of power. That will be their first task.remaining in power no matter what.

    August 13, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  23. Econ301

    nc_writer:

    Sure the ID part is about that, what about the part about limiting "early voting." What is that part about?

    August 13, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  24. Scott

    Listen to the libeals cry, the only way the Dem's can win election's is to go to the border and bus illegals to the polls to vote. As a Citizen of this country I agree you need to show ID. Funny I got my voter card by mail and I had to do was show proof of residency and they mailed one to me. You cannot cash a check without ID, you have to show ID to buy Cigrettes and Booze. The only resaon the liberals and Democrats do not want ID is so they can get the illegal vote. Prove me wrong.

    August 13, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  25. Data Driven

    Here, let me help:

    Forcing people to buy a state ID is the equivalent of a poll tax. A poll tax means: you have to pay money to vote. This would be, like, wrong.

    August 13, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
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