Commentary

Editorial: What Rep. David Lewis ought to be saying about Voter ID and next week’s legislative session

Rep. David Lewis

Be sure to check out the lead editorial on WRAL.com this morning (“Legislative leadership needs to heed ‘new sheriff’ in town”), which explains why GOP leaders at the General Assembly ought to be paying attention to recent election results. In particular, the editorial offers this very specific recommendation to the Republican House majority’s lead voter suppression champion, Rep. David Lewis:

Among the topics likely to come up during the session is implementation of the recently approved state Constitutional Amendment to require photo identification when citizens vote. Lewis, a Harnett County Republican, told a reporter what he expects his new law will include. He indicated it will be much like a failed 2013 voter ID law.

North Carolina citizens voted in favor of a picture voter ID. They DID NOT vote for a half-baked, quickly passed law that will do more to generate court challenges and legal fees than assure fair elections.

If Lewis wasn’t so tone-deaf to voters’ wishes, he should have said this:

“This is an important change. We’re not going to rush into it. We can use this short session to work WITH Gov. Roy Cooper, Democrats in the legislature and the citizens of North Carolina.

“We need an orderly process. We should hear from election law experts, local election officials who will implement the new requirements and North Carolina’s voters.

“We can go around the state, hold hearings and gather information on the challenges and best ways to implement this. During the long session we’ll have more information and time to be better able to put together a law that, I hope, works to make sure our elections are fair and NO ONE is denied their right to vote.”

That’s what Lewis and his fellow legislative leaders should do. It is what North Carolina voters just 14 days ago said they want them to do.

Will it be more of the same from Berger and Moore? We will know next week.

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