Another “you can’t make this stuff up” story came to light this weekend in the saga of North Carolina’s monster voter suppression law.
As Lynn Bonner of Raleigh’s News & Observer reported:
“U.S. Sen. Richard Burr cast a ballot during the the early voting period for the North Carolina primary after going to a polling place without an acceptable form of identification.
Burr, a Republican from Winston-Salem running for re-election, cast a provisional ballot and filled out a ‘reasonable impediment’ form, state elections records show.
‘Sen. Burr discovered he lost his ID when he arrived at the polling location, but he went out and got a new drivers license,’ his spokeswoman said in an email.”
There are several obvious takeaways from this story.
Number One is that had Republicans not made their last minute move to add the “reasonable impediments” language to their voter ID law last summer in response to court challenges, Burr would have been out of luck.
Number Two is that the whole incident points out the absurdity of the voter ID law. There is no actual widespread fraud that the law will attack. Instead, thousands of people who lack ID like Burr — many of whom have been voting religiously since the senator was in short pants — will be discouraged from voting.
Number Three is: How does a United States Senator lose his driver’s license and forget about it before heading out to vote for himself? Let’s hope Burr has a few choice words for his Senate colleague, the former Speaker of the North Carolina House and architect of the suppression law — Thom Tillis — the next time the two are sipping lattes in the Senate cloakroom.
Finally, Number Four is this: Let’s hope all the judges who will ultimately rule on the constitutionality of the law become aware of the Burr situation and take it into their calculus in rendering the ultimate decisions in the matter.