Yesterday the NC House Elections committee took up House Bill 351 , that among many things, would require a photo ID to be shown at the time of voting. It is past time for NC to adopt this common sense safeguard to prevent voter fraud. I was allowed two minutes to offer comments as to what I thought about the bill.
March 15, 2011 Remarks to NC House Elections Committee
“Good afternoon Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Elections committee. Thank you for allowing me to say a few words on the bill, specifically the voter photo ID section.
North Carolina’s election system was designed when we were a rural state. Looking back over the last 20 years our population has grown from 6.6 million in 1990 to over 9.5 million today. 400 – 500 people have been added to our state every day for the past 20 years. We are no longer a rural state of small towns; we are a large urban state, one of the 10 largest in the US.
Our voting system has relied on local election officials in their home precincts to recognize voters as the last step in insuring the integrity of our electoral process. If we were still registering to vote 30 days before elections and voting in our home precincts this growth while difficult, might be manageable, but in 2010 over 900,000 people voted at one stop sites and many more will vote in 2012. No one person can possibly recognize everyone who shows up at one-stop sites and add in same day registration and even more complexity is added to the system. Photo ID is a common sense extension of the way NC has run its elections and insured electoral integrity and the people of NC agree.
Civitas Polling from December 2010 of 600 voters (+/- 4% Margin of error)
When asked would you favor or oppose a law that requires voters to show government-issued photo identification before being allowed cast a vote in an election?
84% STRONGLY OR SOMEWHAT FAVOR, 16% STRONGLY OR SOMEWHAT OPPOSE
Democrats: Republicans: Unaffiliated: Af/Am: White:
73% 96% 86% 68% 89%
27% 4% 13% 30% 11%
This is not a partisan issue, at least not to voters.
We also asked these people If a government issued voter ID is required to vote, do you believe it would more likely to – stop voter fraud or prevent eligible voters from casting a vote:
77% Stop voter fraud, 17% Prevent eligible voters from casting a vote
Thank you for your time and for your service to NC.”
While two minutes is not much time, many other speakers told stories that drove home the need for this simple reform. The other side kept talking about “disenfranchisement” and insinuated that proponents had racist motives. But as Susan Myrick pointed out in her article Voter ID: Setting the Record Straight, the liberal left trots out the same arguments from the same liberal sources every time this needed reform is attempted.
One other interesting attack by the liberal left was that this reform would cost too much. I always get a laugh when liberals, who never met a program they couldn’t spend money on, suddenly become fiscal conservatives when someone proposes spending on a proposal that makes our voting system more secure.