N&O: Colin Powell blasts N.C. Voter ID law (McCrory in audience)

Powell was in Raleigh today as the keynote speaker for the North Carolina CEO Forum.

From the News & Observer’s Under the Dome:

With Gov. Pat McCrory in the audience, former Secretary of State Colin Powell took aim at North Carolina’s new voting law Thursday, saying it hurts the Republican Party, punishes minority voters and makes it more difficult for everyone to vote.

“I want to see policies that encourage every American to vote, not make it more difficult to vote,” said Powell, a Republican, at the CEO Forum in Raleigh.

“It immediately turns off a voting block the Republican Party needs,” Powell continued. “These kinds of actions do not build on the base. It just turns people away.”

The retired general served as the keynote speaker at the event and made his remarks moments after McCrory left the stage. His comments represent the most high-profile criticism of the Republican-crafted law that requires voters to show photo identification at the polls, cuts early voting days and makes it harder for students to vote.

Read more here.



  1. Jim Wiseman

    August 22, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    The law doesn’t make it harder for legitimate voters to vote. It makes it harder to commit voter fraud.

  2. gregflynn

    August 22, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    The law makes it harder for 300,000 legitimate voters without photo ID to vote. There is nothing in the law that makes it easier to vote.

  3. Kate

    August 22, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    What about the elderly who don’t have driver’s licenses and don’t have transportation to get a photo I.D.? The very idea that there is any type of measurable voter fraud has been thoroughly debunked already. Why the need to cut back on voting hours? Because blacks voted in greater numbers in early voting. Many Republicans have already been quite outspoken about changing the voting laws in order to suppress Democratic voters, especially minority voters. They have no shame and would rather take away someone’s rights than try to win their votes in the manner suggested by our Constitution. Of course, we all know the GOP only uses the Constitution when it suits the points they are trying to make, otherwise, they ignore it.

  4. George Peterson

    August 22, 2013 at 12:31 pm


    Just requiring an ID does, in fact, make it harder for legitimate voters to vote. Getting an ID is easy for most, but for the most poor and needy among us, the homeless, etc, getting an ID is very difficult.

    The law also cut early voting from 17 days down to 10. What exactly does that have to do with voter fraud?

    And it doesn’t change absentee voting, which is the most likely to be fraudulent. If you can mail in your ballot, you could steal someone else’s, vote for who you want them to vote for, and mail it in. No ID required there. Any ideas as to who votes with absentee the most? Republicans.

    But who votes early the most? Democrats. Primarily the poor, who might work multiple jobs and have a hard time getting out of work to vote, and minorities.


    The law also ends the ability for young people to pre-register before they turn 18, so that they are already registered when their first chance to vote occurs. Why? Young people vote heavily democratic. Could that be related?

  5. Alan

    August 22, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    And voter fraud is such a HUGE problem in NC, isn’t it Jim? You know as well as everyone else, the real reasons behind the voter ID law. It simply has nothing to do with addressing the massive voter fraud that doesn’t exist.

  6. Rev. Carl Johnson

    August 22, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Voter Fraud is a dog whistle to deny voting rights of those who do not traditionally vote GOP. How sad is it that the GOP message is apparently so abhorrent than due to their platform, they are unable to attract voters, so they must try to prevent those voters from voting. Voter fraud is practically non existent in this state. Yet, when the majority vote Democratic and due to gerrymandered districts olny hold a select few districts, then voter fraud has occurred – by the GOP!

  7. Rachel Bowman

    August 22, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    I agree–voter fraud is not a problem. There is plenty of evidence to support this–so why do people resist? I don’t think it’s necessarily a case of rank-and-file Republicans consciously saying they don’t want poor people, people of color, and young people to vote, since they tend to vote Democrat. But I think that the motivation for political gain is behind a lot of the “one person one vote” and “protect our democracy” rhetoric. I don’t want to go on too long here, but I’ll post a link to my recent analysis of the motivations and perceptions behind voter identification laws:


  8. Alan

    August 22, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Well siad Rev.

  9. david esmay

    August 22, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    George, here’s another interesting discrepancy, they close down the polling place at App St., yet open one at conservative Campbell in the Pope center. Partisanship at it’s finest, or worst, but it is very telling who these moves are directed at.

  10. Kathy

    August 22, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    If you have nothing to hide, why not show your ID. There are other reasons we have to show ID. Just one wa
    y to cut down on fraud which has been in elections and you know it. Just work the polls and you will see for yourself .

  11. Gene Hoglan

    August 22, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Jimbo: We could also spread Vaseline on all our houses to keep unicorns from landing on our roofs, but we don’t. Why not? Because like in person voting fraud, unicorns don’t exist.

    Actually scratch that. The only documented cases of in-person voter fraud so far have been committed by local yokel Republican officials, so I guess the solution is to require all Republican officials to present voter ID since they seem to be the locus of the problem.

  12. Doug Gibson

    August 23, 2013 at 9:15 am


    Here’s one reason: I can walk to my polling place. I’ve definitely arrived there without my wallet. I have nothing to hide, but why, but I could find myself, after waiting an hour or so in line (love those new reduced one-stop times and locations!), without my driver’s license. So maybe I go back home. Maybe I need to get dinner ready. Maybe my kid needs help with his homework. Next thing you know, it’s 7:30, and—hey, presto! I haven’t voted.

    You’ll say that’s hypothetical, but so are 99.999999% of cases of “voter fraud” that get bandied about in the media. So here’s the question: given how little evidence there is of voter fraud, is the risk of any real harm so great that we should impose another requirement in order for citizens to be able to participate in choosing their government? In other words, does the basically zero risk of any actual election, anywhere, being decided by voter fraud, justify making it more likely that any citizen, anywhere, will not get to vote at all?

    Finally, I see you’ve brought us back to voter fraud. Tell me, how are reduced early voting hours related to fraud? Does Sunday voting lead to more people casting ballots for dead relatives? Were people really assuming the identities of nonexistent 16- and 17-year-olds in order to be able to submit fraudulent registrations—and were those same masters of disguise then voting? Same-day registration and voting is actually one time under the previous law when a voter was required to present an ID. But I guess all those same-day voters were presenting faked driver’s licenses. Do I have that right?

  13. wncgirl

    August 23, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    To clueless Kathey: I have worked the polls… many, many times and the only voter fraud ever experienced in my county is absentee…. Republican absentee ballots at that… go figure eh?

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