Commentary

Editorial: Time for NC to get voter ID right

Be sure to check out this morning’s lead editorial on WRAL.com — “Judge offers N.C. a chance to get voter ID right.”

As the on-the-mark essay notes, a recent federal court ruling putting a hold on the state’s latest voter ID law ought to provide an inspiration to lawmakers to — at long last — tackle the complex issue in a fair and constitutional manner.

Requiring photo identification when someone votes is about making sure our elections are fair. Just as important as making sure only qualified voters cast ballots (that hasn’t been a problem in the state while abuse of absentee ballots forced an unprecedented do-over congressional election this year) is making sure NO ONE is inappropriately denied an opportunity to vote.

When it comes to voting rights North Carolina’s legacy – including several recent issues – demands rigorous caution.

In other words, in a state with a long history of denying certain people — most notably African Americans — the right to vote, the law needs to be crafted with extreme care so as not to perpetuate that noxious tradition. Here’s the conclusion to the editorial:

No one should have a problem with appropriately requiring, through use of photo identification, a person who shows up to vote is the same person that met the strict test to register. Requiring that person to do any more, such as making the types of photo identification so limited as to render it difficult to impossible for significant blocks of voters, isn’t about assuring a fair vote but imposing discrimination.

All those who favor fair elections and support a reasonable requirement for photo identification at the polling place, should welcome Judge Biggs’ injunction.

They should commit to work with the court to make sure North Carolina acts to assure fair elections and not concoct a scheme to deny blocks of voters of their most basic right in a representative government.

Click here to read the entire editorial.

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