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Perdue on local voter ID bills

We had this piece [1] 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.

[2]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.