North Carolina is amping up on voter suppression by Senate Republicans who unveiled a new voter ID bill Thursday that would further restrict the forms of photo identification accepted at the polls totalling the elimination of at least half of IDs required. Early voting is also targeted, as well as same-day registration.
Eliminated forms of identification include cards from UNC system colleges, state community colleges, local governments, private employers and law enforcement agencies. The bill would take full effect in the 2016 elections.
Charlotte Observer reports:
The new measure would require voters to show one of seven types of photo identification issued by the government, such as driver’s licenses, passports, non-driver IDs and military or veteran cards
The major rewrite came two months after the House approved its voter ID bill and a week before the session’s scheduled end. The disagreement is the latest example of the legislature’s majority party ending up divided over how to deliver on a major campaign promise.
The prohibition on college IDs will draw the most attention – particularly given President Barack Obama’s reliance on the youth vote to win North Carolina in 2008. The large number of college students in the Triangle area helped push him to victory and kept the margin of defeat close in 2012.
The Nation reports:
According to the state’s own numbers, 316,000 registered voters don’t have state-issued ID; 34 percent are African-American and 55 percent are registered Democrats. Of the 138,000 voters without ID who cast a ballot in the 2012 election, 36 percent were African-American and 59 registered percent Democrats. The new draft of the bill does not allow student IDs for voting, making it among the most restrictive laws in the country. It’s worth noting that voter fraud in the state, which the legislation purports to stop, is incredibly rare; there were only two prosecutions of voter impersonation between 2000 and 2010, when millions of votes were cast.
A number of other harsh voting restrictions—such as cutting early voting, ending same-day voter registration and penalizing the parents of students who vote where they go to school—could still be added to the bill or considered separately by the legislature before they leave for the summer.
What next North Carolina, separate voting lines for blacks and whites? When black Americans get to the end of the line, y’all can just chuck ’em in the cotton field. At least be honest and admit what you’re doing, Republicans. We saw this coming ages ago.