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North Carolina Governor Expected to Veto Voter Suppression This Week

Voter Identification bills that seek to enforce tougher standards on people at the polls — despite almost zero evidence of voter fraud — continue to make their way to the desks of the governors of the nation. Ohio recently joined the ranks of states implementing what many label Voter Suppression, while Missouri governor Jay Nixon last week vetoed an amendment that would have allowed Voter ID laws to be implemented by the legislature. Now, it appears, North Carolina’s governor, Bev Perdue, will do the very same thing. From the Fay Observer:

Republican-backed legislation requiring North Carolina voters to show picture identification before casting a ballot they know will count was headed Thursday to the desk of Gov. Bev Perdue, who sounds ready to veto the measure that fellow Democrats have called purely partisan.

The House agreed to minor changes to the bill approved Wednesday night by the Senate. The House vote of 62-51 was well short of the margin that would be needed to withstand a veto. Democrats have been critical of GOP efforts to place additional hurdles on voting in a state with history of civil rights restrictions during the Jim Crow era.

“The voter ID is clearly not in a form that the governor can support,” Perdue spokeswoman Chrissy Pearson said.

The Voter ID battle has been making its way down the Right-Wing legislative pipeline, suspiciously appearing in a dozen states all at once.

The Fay Observer article notes this very fact, as well as the importance of North Carolina in the upcoming election and the lack of evidence for the kind of voter fraud that the legislation aims to eradicate:

Democrats say voters already face a felony if they vote using someone else’s name and point out the problem is rare: The State Board of Elections referred 43 cases of potential fraud to district attorneys in 2008 and 21 in 2010.

Democrats panned the restrictions as part of a concerted nationwide effort by Republicans to discourage voting, especially among older adults and black residents. It comes in advance of an election year in which North Carolina is expected to be a battleground state in the race for the presidency.

“Anything that lessens the ability of a voter in North Carolina to register, to actually vote when they get there … and to have their vote to count, we hope that (Perdue) will veto it,” House Minority Leader Joe Hackney, D-Orange, told reporters shortly after the voter ID bill’s passage.

“We need to do all that we can to enfranchise people, and we don’t need to try to discourage them from participating in the political process,” said Sen. Floyd McKissick, D-Durham.

In February, the North Carolina Democratic Party ramped up its push-back against Voter ID (see video below), which enforces the presentation of a photo ID at the polling place in order to vote on election day. A vote can be filed later, upon acquisition of a photo ID. The IDs must be provided free of charge by the state to avoid constituting a poll tax. Still, the cost associated with acquiring the free ID — travel, time, etc — is beyond the means of many of the nation’s poorest individuals. Those who compare the requirement of a photo ID for voting to the requirement of a photo ID for purchasing medicine or boarding a plane — an argument first offered by South Carolina governor, Nikki Haley — fail to understand the fundamental difference between a right and a privilege. Voting, of course, is a right, while spending money of any sum is a privilege through and through.

Below, the NC Dems anti-Voter ID video:


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