North Carolina House Passes Restrictive Voter ID Law
North Carolina's Republican-controlled House pushed through a new and restrictive voter ID bill Thursday night. The bill, which requires government issued photo IDs to in order for people to vote, will make its way to the state's governor.
Along with stricter ID requirements, the bill would also eliminate same-day voter registration, cut early voting by a week, prevent extended polling hours, increase poll observers, and require voters to update any information at least 25 days before the election is held. In addition, a high school program that encourages students to vote and register before they turn 18 will also be cut, according to the Associated Press.
If the bill is signed into law, North Carolina will join 11 other states that have made changes to their voting laws in the last two years. The bill's supporters say it will help reduce voter fraud.
"A measure that restores confidence in our election process and ensures voters are who they say they are is a no-brainer — and nearly three-quarters of North Carolinians agree. This bill will bring North Carolina in line with the majority of other states that already require voter ID," Phil Berger, the state's Senate President Pro Tempore said.
Those who oppose the bill say it suppresses voters, especially minorities who typically vote Democratic. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced yesterday that the Justice Department would "use every tool at our disposal to stand against discrimination wherever it is found" after a key section of the Voting Rights Act that prevented voter discrimination was struck down by the Supreme Court this summer.