Tuesday, March 5, 2013

N.C. Republicans: 'We want to listen on voter ID'

Updated: 4:46 p.m.

The encouraging news from Raleigh this morning is that Republican lawmakers would like to have a deliberate and productive discussion, even with opponents, on a potential Voter ID bill.

At a news conference at the capitol, House Speaker Thom Tillis and Rep. David Lewis encouraged lawmakers and others who disagree with them to come to the table to talk. Said Tillis: "We're looking for feedback from anyone who wants to engage productively."

The less-than-encouraging news: They've already made up their mind on the issue.

Tillis and Lewis made it clear that when a bill is introduced - probably sometime in April - it will require that voters show a photo ID before casting a ballot. That means no compromise that might involve voters showing forms of ID that didn't include a photo. Tillis and Gov. Pat McCrory seemed to voice support earlier this year for accepting such alternatives, but Tillis put an end to that notion today. (Update: McCrory, however, reiterated to the Raleigh News & Observer today that he was open to other forms of ID.)

As for Tillis' invitation to engage in feedback? The key, apparently, is "productively." If you want to talk about anything other than a photo ID, that's not productive.

As we've written before, we could live with Voter ID, but we worry that requiring a photo might unnecessarily block tens of thousands of voters from their constitutional right to cast a ballot. A report in January from the State Board of Elections found as many as 613,000 voters, or 9.25 percent of North Carolina voters, may not have a state-issued driver’s license or identification card.

Lewis said that any bill should address how to get those voters-to-be a valid photo ID. It also should ensure not only that those IDs are free, but that the paperwork required to get the IDs (such as birth certificates) are also free and easy to obtain.

Said Lewis: "The gold standard is that every citizen of this state who is able to vote, who is lawfully allowed to vote, has what they need to participate in the process."

Funny, we thought that's how it already is.

Voter ID laws attack a voter fraud problem that research shows doesn't exist at polling places. Potential fraud is more likely to involve absentee ballots or registration fraud. We're encouraged, at least, that Lewis said he wants a Voter ID bill to also address absentee ballots.

But if Republicans really want to ensure that all eligible voters get an opportunity to cast their ballots, they might want to focus on issues like North Carolina being 11th worst in the country in waiting time at polling places, according to research this month from Pew Charitable Trusts. Or, at the least, they can vow to stop trying to restrict early voting or Sunday voting.

Otherwise, a strict photo ID voting bill seems designed to limit voting, not ensure it.

Peter St. Onge  


Wiley Coyote said...

As we've written before, we could live with Voter ID, but we worry that requiring a photo might unnecessarily block tens of thousands of voters from their constitutional right to cast a ballot.

"Tens of thousands"?

Do we have "tens of thousands" in NC who don't have a valid driver's license?

Why is it that Democrats seem to be the only group of people who can't find their way to a DMV office, but can to a polling place?

Archiguy said...

Because Republicans are increasingly having trouble winning elections the old fashioned way, they're resorting to cheating in various ways. The massive nationwide gerrymandering effort in 2010, a census year, is the only reason they still hold the House of Representatives.

And so they've manufactured this preposterous "voter fraud" issue to try and disenfranchise poorer voters, many of whom vote Democratic, even though there is virtually no evidence to support such a charge. Poorer people are more likely not to have a photo ID, not as likely to have driver's licenses, and thus not as able to get to DMV offices. They may be older, or in poor health.

Another approach mentioned in the article is to restrict early voting, knowing that poor people who have to use public transportation may have difficulty getting off work to vote on election day.

Voter fraud at the polls, a crime that has no evidence of actually occurring, is just another way the GOP is trying to rig elections. Who can possibly be surprised that this is what they'd do once they got back the reigns of power?

Skippy said...

Don't let actual voter ID support get in your way and I guess Archgenius still thinks the Sleasleys are in power. 30 states are now controlled by the GOP and the 2014 mid terms are looming, yet another expected landslide. And I cchallenge the Peteys of the world to go out and find just one person how does not have some sort of ID to vote, just one.

From Real Clear Politics:

The state chairman of Indiana's Democratic Party resigned recently as a probe of election fraud in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary widened.

State law requires a presidential candidate to gather 500 valid signatures in each county to qualify for the ballot. Barack Obama may not have met it. Investigators think 150 of the 534 signatures the Obama campaign turned in for St. Joseph County may have been forged.

Former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis, who is black, said vote fraud is rampant in African-American districts like his in Alabama.

Laws requiring photo IDs suppress minority voting, Democrats charge.

The facts say otherwise. In Georgia, black voter turnout for the midterm election in 2006 was 42.9 percent. After Georgia passed photo ID, black turnout in the 2010 midterm rose to 50.4 percent. Black turnout also rose in Indiana and Mississippi after photo IDs were required.

"Concerns about voter identification laws affecting turnout are much ado about nothing," concluded researchers at the universities of Delaware and Nebraska after examining election data from 2000 through 2006.

You need a photo ID to get on an airplane or an Amtrak train; to open a bank account, withdraw money from it, or cash a check; to pick up movie and concert tickets; to go into a federal building; to buy alcohol and to apply for food stamps.

Most Americans don't think it's a hardship to ask voters to produce one. A Rasmussen poll in June indicated 75 percent of respondents support photo ID requirements. Huge majorities of Hispanics support voter ID laws, according to a Resurgent Republic poll in September.

This year there have been investigations, indictments or convictions for vote fraud in California, Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina and Maryland. In all but one case, the alleged fraudsters were Democrats.

In none would the fraud alleged have altered a major election, Democrats note. But in the Illinois gubernatorial election in 1982, 100,000 votes cast in Chicago -- 10 percent of the total -- were fraudulent, the U.S. attorney there estimated.

The dirty little secret is the left owns voter fraud and it ain't even close.

And poll after poll indicates that we the people WANT VOTER ID law even a majority of blacks.

You lost, now sit back and be good whittle whiberals.

Wiley Coyote said...

Democrats' revenge in 2012: a radical Illinois gerrymander

Illinois' redistricting plan is poised to turn half a dozen Republican seats Democratic and could help Democrats retake the House in 2012.


On October 20, 2011, Governor Martin O’Malley D-MD, signed the new Congressional Districting Plan into law, drawing heavy criticism from both political parties. Critics maintain the new congressional map is specifically designed to enhance the power of Democrat incumbents while minimizing the voting power of minorities, rural voters and Republicans.

And this priceless ditty:

In January 2009, Slate Magazine found that North Carolina has the most gerrymandered districts in the entire United States

That was at the end of the reign of NC being controlled by Democrats for 100 years.

Nahhh...Democrats don't gerrymander districts...

Ever heard of Mel Watt?....LOL

Ghoul said...

600,000 without an ID, isn't that the same number of illegals in the state? Coincidence?

janet shepherd said...

I just don't get it. You need an ID to rent or buy a place, you need ID to cash a check, open accounts,pick up some meds at the pharmacy, even if you are just out taking a walk in the park and something goes wrong and the police are called, they ask for your ID and what happens if you don't have one? Anyone have an answer?

Pamela Grundy said...


If you're out taking a walk in a park, "something goes wrong" and the police are called, if you don't have ID, that isn't illegal. It is in lots of other countries, but not this one. I hope it stays that way.

I have precisely two photo IDs: a driver's license and a passport. Both took time and money to obtain. Someone who doesn't drive or doesn't travel out of the country would have no particular need for either.

Wiley Coyote said...


That dog won't hunt.

Think about it. They can't get to THOSE places, but they can get to a voting booth?

A voter ID law can be passed giving people plenty of time, heck 2 years let's say, to get a state issued ID for FREE if it is to be used for voting.

Problem solved.

Pamela Grundy said...


Ducking the issue as usual. I wasn't just talking about transportation.

It's interesting to see that you're willing to invest a good number of your tax dollars in getting people free ids, even though voter fraud is minimal. Doesn't seem like you.

I'll put my dog up against yours any day.

kantstanzya said...

The GOP is asking for discussion and input,something they never got on issues like Obamacare,on Voter ID. But to Mr. St. Onge and the Observer anything less than dropping the idea completely will represent insufficient "discussion".

We have the same old nonsense that "voter fraud is a problem research shows doesn't exist...." Baloney. Voter fraud of all kinds is well known to exist. The new LBJ biography goes into great detail about how Lyndon Johnson stole his first election. So for the "Great Society" we have election fraud to thank.

The left uses "convictions" of the crime to illustrate the rarity of voter fraud occurrences. That would be like saying very few people drive over the speed limit on I-85 based on the number of speeding convictions each day.

And Mr. St. Onge says we should spend our time better on eliminating the long lines and other voting "restrictions". I am sure there are many problems with making voting both seemless and fraud free. I'm also sure we can multitask on more than one issue at a time.

But the GOP should insist on one thing. They should be willing to listen to real concerns and suggestions. But they should not give the left a forum to spew their nonsense that requiring voter IDs is for the purpose of preventing or restricting minority voting. The first time that is said they should just cut off debate and pass the law. There is no point wasting time on people whose only goal is to impune motives for political purposes.

The only "one sided discussion" I hear on this topic is from the left and the Observer...and it's like a broken record.

Carol Justus said...

Will anyone, especially those who want Photo ID, to show where any candidate was ever elected to office without a photo ID????


We should make it easier to vote instead of trying to keep the old and feeble, the first time voters and the very poor to vote in ALL ELECTIONS instead of trying to put up road blocks.

We have now in the poorest counties, less precincts, less machines at those precincts and they are not placed in the easiest places to get to.

There are thousands vote in every election that are already thrown out because some one voted for two people for the same office, the ballot was not properly marked, or was in some not DEFINITE WHO THEY WANTED TO VOTE FOR.

We demand other nations let all vote, we even send poll monitors to make sure there voting is fair.

We also have voting monitors at many of our own polling places to make sure the rules are followed and many times they will try to intimidate a voter---I KNOW THIS FOR A FACT FOR I WAS ONE OF THOSE A VOTING MONITOR TRIED TO INTIMIDATE, BUT I DO NOT INTIMIDATE AND HE FOUND OUT IN A HURRY HE WAS NOT GOING TO INTIMIDATE ME.

We have to register and all the names of those who have continually voted after registering and have not move their names are on the voter books and two people are there to mark you down that you voted, and you must give your name and address even though it right there in front them in the book.

If you register at the polls, you have to show some identification and you will get a card later to the address that you gave and some of the instructions on those cards are not very plain. If you send the card back, you will be considered not eligible to vote.

I also know that for I got one of those cards years after I had voted in every election, even if there were only one office on the ballot in my district that you could vote for. I called and asked about the card for the wording was so mixed or at least it was for me, and asked why I got it and what should I do with the card and a I got an honest clerk that explained the purpose of the card and if I should not send it back.



As I said at the top of this message, name on person that ever was elected to an office by people voting that was not eligible---do not try the dead voting for just gave you one example of that hog wash!!!

BiBr said...

Do I think Voter ID is a good idea? You bet! Of course the CO will whine about this becuase they aren't getting their way. I'm interested in hearing whether the CO will admit that they don't like the pink stripe on the new drivers licenses for illegals because they won't be able to flash it at the polls and vote.

Carol Justus said...

Illinois' redistricting plan is poised to turn half a dozen Republican seats Democratic and could help Democrats retake the House in 2012

Why did not you also give the redistricting plans for Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Arkansas, Virginia, and other states that got have republican legislatures which redistricted to benefit their party!!

Carol Justus said...

If voter is suppose to be the thing that makes sure all who vote are not out of precinct or district, or will make sure it is fair, THEN WHY NOT SET UP AT THE POLLS A BOTH TO TAKE A PICTURE OF THE PERSON VOTING AND YOU WILL HAVE THE PICTURE AND HIS PERSONAL INFORMATION RIGHT THERE.

If anyone who is honest about voter Photo ID will embrace this plan and it will assure no one has a look alike and using someone else's photo to vote for a republican to keep the democrats our of office!!!

CarolinaDrums said...

St. Onge: there are no data to support your assertion of "voter disenfranchisement" with a requirment for voter ID. NONE. Your arguments are spurious, fallacious and wholly without merit. It's incredibly difficult to understand how the CO EB would want anything but a rock-solid, fraudulent-proof voter ID and voting process.

Carol Justus said...

I want a republican who can give some INDEPENDENT facts about someone being elected to office by voters who were not elibible to vote or who were registered to vote or provided false information at the polls.

If they can provide me with some independent information and the office the person was elected to then I will join them in pushing for voter Photo ID, until then I will belive that the only reason they want Photo ID is to suppress the vote by making it almost impossible for some of the poores to be able to get a photo ID as did the 92 year old woman who had voted in every election since was old enough vote and went to get a photo ID and had her birth certificate, and all the other material they wanted, but they asked her for her marriage license which she did not have and they would not give her a photo ID---THAT IS THE REPUBLICAN WAY OR SUPPRESSING THE VOTE SO THEY CAN WIN!!