North Carolina Gov. McCrory signs voter ID law
August 12th, 2013
05:59 PM ET
12 months 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. Wake up People!

    If the GOP manages to hoodwink people into giving them the entire Congress and the WH, we are in trouble. I hope people know exactly what they are doing when they vote because many of you are going to be in trouble. Many PWT are simply voting against Obama, but fail to realize, Obama is the reason many of you have food to eat.

    Idiots.

    August 13, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  2. kirk

    I seriously don't think some people realize how unbelievably ignorant they sound when they repeat the gop talking points. Careful what you ask for

    August 13, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  3. David

    GREAT JOB, Governor McCrory! America is PROUD of you! Democrats are imploding as more and more states are now embracing voter ID, as the SCOTUS did as well! WAY TO GO!

    August 13, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  4. Malory Archer

    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.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    What about those with NO birth certificate?

    August 13, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  5. Fair is Fair

    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.
    ------
    You are correct – it WOULD be a poll tax, which is why states enacting voter ID laws are required to provide the acceptable form of ID at no cost.

    August 13, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  6. beboo

    oh those terrible republicans,,,,actually requiring that you prove who you are,,,how evil and mean can you get..but I bet the dems don't mind identifieng themselves when they go get all their guvment freedies each month...yeah that's ok...

    August 13, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  7. Stephen Nash

    I did a couple of searches on the internet and I just don't see much evidence of voter fraud, certainly not a serious problem in the United States. Changing voter rules to fix a problem that doesn't exist is suspicious behavior. I hope North Carolina reverses it's new rules on voting and registration.

    August 13, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  8. nc_writer

    why, people didn't know what they were doing when they elected Obama...

    August 13, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  9. nc_writer

    Those with no birth certificate? I don't know, how do they even register to do anything? If you don't have a birth certificate, you don't have social security, you don't have a driver's license, you can't work, you can't rent an apartment, buy a house or open a bank account.

    Who are these people with no birth certificates? There are few enough of them, you ought to be able to name them.

    August 13, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  10. tom l

    @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."

    A poll tax would be wrong. I have great news for you! You can rest easy because a voter ID would be free to obtain.

    August 13, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    -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.
    ***********
    Which website did you go to? The only reason I ask is that, given how charged the issue is for a variety of reasons, you need to be as objective as possible. All too often, internet sources turn out to be sources for affirmation, not information.

    August 13, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. ghostwriter

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

    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."

    This is the entire problem and a nice little tactic republicans have been doing for some time now. I think you'd be hard pressed to actually dispute the ID parts of these laws (though there have been some disputes). But what about the rest of it? No early voting, no same day registration......Those limit the voting availability of all people. And for once, the opponents have the right argument.

    August 13, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  13. nc_writer

    Consider – I could be disenfranchised now by the mere spectre of voter fraud. If the idea that there is voter fraud makes someone refuse to vote then they are disenfranchised. Isn't it a good idea to fix that?

    August 13, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  14. nc_writer

    The issue of who votes early is irrelevant. Today in NC, if you show up at the poll with a fake power bill and a name, they have to let you vote. Voter rolls with precint information and voting history is available online. How difficult is it to pick 50 names that have never voted and go vote in their place? How likely are you to get caught doing it?

    August 13, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  15. The Real Tom Paine

    -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.
    ******************
    The phrase " illegal vote" is an oxymoron: give me a concrete example of a statewide or national race where so-called "illegals" were able to vote and where it affected the outcome in favor of the Democrats. Please provide something more than a link to a rant on the " Daily Caller".

    August 13, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  16. nc_writer

    Early voting and same day registration are items that didn't exist 20 years ago. The democrat legislators put that in to encourage more voting. Taking it away does not disenfranchise anyone. If they want to vote, if it's important to them, then they can show up on voting day like everyone else does and vote.

    August 13, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  17. The Real Tom Paine

    The notion that the voter IDs would be free is incorrect: someone has to process the requests and make sure the information is correct. simply saying its free does not make it so, and adding more layers to state government to combat a problem that has never impacted a single state or national race is a waste of time and effort by people who decry the cost and reach of government.

    August 13, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  18. EDDIE

    If Obama was changing the voter laws like repubs are they would crying and crying and crying.It will be funny when they get to the polls and learn they can't vote because they don't have enough i.d's to vote.

    August 13, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  19. Tampa Tim

    A right wingnut earlier posted that you need an ID to buy Claritin D, so why not for voting? Maybe because Claritin D is not in the constitution.

    August 13, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  20. Michael

    I suspect that if NC added a voting requirement calling for a minimum of a 90 IQ, or, alternatively, a requirement that a voter had at least 10 teeth, pretty much the entire State of North Carolina would be disenfranchised. Just sayin.

    August 13, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  21. The REAL Truth...

    @nc_writer – why, people didn't know what they were doing when they elected Obama...
    ----------------------------
    Sure they did.. TWICE !! that's why the Republicans were shellacked last Nov. Now, thanks to the SCOTUS, we are now mired in VoterID laws from red states, whose sole goal is to disenfranchise voters that tend to vote left. The ID part is valid.. as someone else pointed out.. that's the tip of the iceberg. It's the same tactic they have used in DC since Obama assumed office.. add unacceptable (anti-abortion, defense spending increase, entitlement cutting) riders to every piece of legislation exiting the House, then blame the Dems when it stalls in the Senate. It's the extra stuff in these bills that's the deal killer folks..

    August 13, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  22. Fair is Fair

    The Real Tom Paine

    The notion that the voter IDs would be free is incorrect: someone has to process the requests and make sure the information is correct. simply saying its free does not make it so, and adding more layers to state government to combat a problem that has never impacted a single state or national race is a waste of time and effort by people who decry the cost and reach of government.
    ------
    The context of saying the ID is "free" was that of being free to the recipient, as to be otherwise could be considered a poll tax as some have correctly pointed out. What I don't quite understand is I would assume SOME form of ID had to be shown to REGISTER to vote, right? So if it's not an issue to show ID to register, why is it an issue to show ID to actually exercise the franchise?

    August 13, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  23. tom l

    @The Real TP,
    I just googled the state demographics then went to elections dot gmu dot edu slash early underscore vote underscore 2012 dot html. Site seems pretty official to me.
    This is a non-issue. It is just normal to think someone should identify who they are before they vote. Just because there may or may not be cases of this does not mean this shouldn't be done. They are supplying free ID to those that don't have it so there is no cost on the individual. Let's say that I'm correct with those numbers (which I fully believe I am), can you acknowledge that this is a wedge issue that democrats are trying to leverage in to some phony "republicans are racist" angle? If 70% of voters are white and 67% of early voters were white, this would be completely consistent and have nothing to do with race. This is where I say that some on the left suffer from the soft bigotry of low expectations. I'm interested to hear your response.

    By the way, did you see my long diatribe yesterday? :)

    August 13, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  24. ghostwriter

    The same republicans that complained that adding more gun laws would simply be adding more bureaucracy to a process that is protected by the Constitution, that the laws wouldn't stop gun violence and that the number of deaths involving the type of guns weren't enough to warrant new legislation.......

    Cue the irony laughter....

    August 13, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  25. Econ301

    NC_Writer:

    We have horrible turn out already. Under 30% of people eligible to vote do so, and you think making them wait in line even longer is a good thing?

    Early Voting is a concession to the fact that our population is so high and dense in some places that having everyone show up at the same place at the same time is extremely inefficient. It has nothing to do with race or politics, but about where you live. Why make it even more costly to vote (more time off work)

    Please explain why it's a good thing to make voting harder, and more time consuming, for those who are legally able to vote.

    August 13, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
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