Bob Hall’s Democracy North Carolina, and other liberal groups who oppose North Carolina’s voting reforms, have little regard for the voters they claim to represent and insult the dedicated poll workers who volunteer their time to serve their fellow citizens.
They ignore the realities of everyday life when they claim presenting a photo ID at the polls is onerous. They mislead when they say safeguards that allow voters without photo ID to cast their ballot are confusing. These hyperbolic concerns are nothing more than thinly veiled political attacks, particularly against Gov. Pat McCrory, and they demean every N.C. voter and dedicated election worker.
Photo ID protects against fraud. To argue that photo ID shouldn’t be required because voter fraud isn’t rampant is akin to advising people who have not been robbed not to lock their doors at night. Photo ID at the polls – and locking the door at night – are both common-sense prevention techniques. It’s ironic that liberals have no problem requiring photo ID when buying Sudafed, but balk at photo ID at the ballot box.
North Carolina’s voting reforms are proven. A photo ID is required in 30 states and has been approved by the U.S. Supreme Court. However, to ensure no voter is denied a voice, North Carolina went the extra mile by adopting a “reasonable impediment” rule to allow a voter without photo ID to cast a ballot after signing a simple form.
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The critics couldn’t be more wrong when they complain that voters aren’t educated enough and poll workers aren’t smart enough to explain the new procedures. Recently, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Schroeder denied the NAACP’s motion to enjoin the use of the photo ID. He found that North Carolina has engaged in substantial and extensive efforts to educate voters about the requirement. No other state has done what North Carolina has to educate voters about the photo ID or to help voters get one.
Since 2014, North Carolina has distributed hundreds of thousands of brochures to voters and has distributed educational materials at food banks, churches, schools and college campuses. Billboards have been put up and television ads run throughout the state. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of N.C. voters received notification of the new requirements through the mail.
The State Board of Elections has thorough explanations of the new requirements on its website and has held numerous training sessions for election officials across the state.
If somehow a voter has missed all this and comes to the polls without a photo ID, he can still vote by signing the reasonable impediment form.
Predictions of chaos and confusion by liberal groups are nothing more than scare tactics that impugn the dignity of voters and poll workers. More importantly, the misinformation they are spreading to the voting public subverts and undermines democracy.
Stephens is Gov. Pat McCrory’s general counsel.