Areport released last week by the state Board of Elections about the potential effects of voter ID legislation should prompt Gov. Pat McCrory to pump the brakes on Republicans’ head-long rush to implement that requirement. With evidence that more than 9 percent of eligible voters in North Carolina lack qualifying identification, the level of disenfranchisement likely to result is far too great.
As has been said previously, instances of voter fraud are incredibly rare in this state, which makes the legislation look more like a solution in search of a problem than a necessary step to protect the integrity of elections. The new governor cannot responsibly pursue a measure with a strict requirement about identification at the polls in light of this recent report.
The high points during the last two years of Gov. Beverly Perdue’s administration were few and far between, but her successful veto of voter ID legislation stands out as one such action. Republicans used their first legislative majority in a century to push the measure, and touted it as necessary to instill confidence in the outcome of elections. The governor vetoed the bill, and a narrow majority sustained that decision.
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