Republicans called it restoring confidence in government. Democrats called it voter suppression. And late Thursday Governor Bev Perdue called House Bill 351 her 8th veto of the session.
The Governor said in a statement that the legislation, as written, would unfairly disenfranchise thousands of legitimate North Carolina voters, particularly those who are low-income, senior citizens, and people of color. Here’s Perdue’s full statement:
“The right to choose our leaders is among the most precious freedoms we have – both as Americans and North Carolinians. North Carolinians who are eligible to vote have a constitutionally guaranteed right to cast their ballots, and no one should put up obstacles to citizens exercising that right.
“We must always be vigilant in protecting the integrity of our elections. But requiring every voter to present a government-issued photo ID is not the way to do it. This bill, as written, will unnecessarily and unfairly disenfranchise many eligible and legitimate voters. The legislature should pass a less extreme bill that allows for other forms of identification, such as those permitted under federal law.
“There was a time in North Carolina history when the right to vote was enjoyed only by some citizens rather than by all. That time is past, and we should not revisit it.
“Therefore, I veto this bill.”
Also on Thursday, Perdue signed into law 18 other bills. Among the most widely debated of those this past session was House Bill 36 (Government Contractors Must Use E-Verify) and House Bill 650 (Omnibus Gun Bill).
For a complete list of what the governor signed, click here.