Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed Republican lawmakers’ voter ID bill Friday.
Senate Bill 824 was passed after North Carolinians voted to pass a constitutional amendment requiring voters to have a photo ID to cast a ballot. Democrats tried to pause the process to let the State Board of Elections and Ethics investigation into absentee ballot fraud in the 9th congressional district play out, but Republicans plowed ahead.
Cooper said in a statement announcing his veto that requiring photo IDs for in-person voting is a solution in search of a problem.
“Instead, the real election problem is votes harvested illegally through absentee ballots, which this proposal fails to fix,” he said. “In addition, the proposed law puts up barriers to voting that will trap honest voters in confusion and discourage them with new rules, some of which haven’t even been written yet. Finally, the fundamental flaw in the bill is its sinister and cynical origins: It was designed to suppress the rights of minority, poor and elderly voters. The cost of disenfranchising those voters or any citizens is too high, and the risk of taking away the fundamental right to vote is too great, for this law to take effect.”
Cooper signed into law two other measures — a technical corrections bill and an inmate pharmacy purchasing bill.
He has until Dec. 22 to veto another bill that restructures the State Board and halts implementation of voter ID until September.