We had this piece earlier today about the N.C. Attorney General’s office finding that an apparent political strategy to try to push voter identification rules through local bills in the legislature unconstituional.
Now, Gov. Bev Perdue has weighed in, and she too finds it unconstitutional. Perdue, the Democratic governor, vetoed the bill in June that the GOP-led legislature passed and would have required that voters show picture ID at the polls.
Here’s a written statement, released this afternoon by Perdue’s press office:
We must continue to be vigilant in protecting the integrity of our elections, but we must not disenfranchise legitimate voters. A law requiring every voter to present a government-issued photo ID will exclude many North Carolinians – including citizens who are poor, elderly, disabled, or members of minority groups – who don’t have those documents, but who are nonetheless eligible and legitimate voters. That is why I supported a compromise measure, which the Republican leaders in the General Assembly refused to even consider.
Passing voter ID laws through local bills is particularly troubling because it threatens to create a patchwork of different voting laws across the state. We cannot go down a path where different counties have different sets of voting rules – a North Carolinian’s ability to participate in the democratic process cannot depend on where they live. That is wrong, and it would violate the Constitution.