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Richard Vinroot: Voter ID law designed to make it harder for Democrats to vote

Republican Richard Vinroot says North Carolina’s voter ID bill is designed to curtail Democratic voting. “There’s no secret about that,” he said.
Republican Richard Vinroot says North Carolina’s voter ID bill is designed to curtail Democratic voting. “There’s no secret about that,” he said. 2013 Observer file photo

Sometimes the truth can be heard only if spoken by the right person. Let’s hope that’s the case with Richard Vinroot and voter ID.

Vinroot, a respected Republican who served as Charlotte’s mayor from 1991 to 1995 and lost repeated bids for governor, was asked at a Charlotte business lunch today about the prevalence of voter fraud and whether he supports North Carolina’s controversial voter ID bill. That law was passed along party lines, with Republicans saying it was needed to prevent voter fraud and Democrats saying it seeks to solve a non-existent problem and infringes on the voting rights of those who lack ID.

Vinroot said there have been instances of voter fraud over the years, and he cited Lyndon Johnson’s election to the U.S. Senate and John F. Kennedy’s election to president in 1960. But…

“It does go on; I suspect it’s at the margins,” Vinroot told the Hood Hargett Breakfast Club. “I don’t think it’s probably enough to justify, on the face of it, voter ID.”

He said almost everyone has ID or could easily get one.

“But it’s clearly about Republicans trying to curtail that voter, there’s no secret about that.

“There’s no doubt there’s some gaming going on on both sides. There’s no doubt the folks who don’t want voter ID are more interested in Democratic voters voting without regard to whether they can identify themselves or not. But you’d be hard-pressed probably today to say all these things (voting restrictions) are justified.”

Kudos to Vinroot for speaking the truth, even if it steps on the toes of most in his own party.

A federal appeals court has put most of the law on ice, with the Supreme Court rejecting Gov. Pat McCrory’s request that it stay the lower court’s ruling.

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