Election bill headed for Senate vote

Jul. 06, 2013 @ 04:55 PM

The North Carolina Senate plans to vote on an election omnibus bill next week. 

The bill would require photo ID and limit early voting days among other things. It was introduced in April but resurfaced soon after the Supreme Court’s Ruling on the Voting Rights Act. 

“I don’t see anything particularly wrong with it, it’s a photo ID bill, period,” State Senator Tommy Tucker said. 

He said eliminating early-voting days also eliminated expenses for county boards of election who have to operate machines and staff the polling places. 

“I would say that would be a fair observation,” he said, when asked if the reintroduction is because of the Supreme Court Ruling. “When we pass legislation, we don’t want it to conflict with Supreme Court rulings, so we waited until that ruling came out to be able to move the bill forward.” 

Tucker is a sponsor on the Senate version of the bill. 

He said he did not believe the bill would disenfranchise voters. 

He cited a story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution where they found about 26,000 voters without an ID and the state paid for their ID. 

“If I look at the situation in Georgia, I think both sides, pro and con, on voting rights and voting ID are overstated,” Tucker said. 

He said that enrollment and participation in Georgia increased for both African-American and Latino voting populations. 

Forms of identification listed in the bill are a valid North Carolina drivers license, a North Carolina nonoperators identification, a valid U.S. passport, a valid identification card issued by any government agency or branch, a valid military identification card, a valid tribal identification card or a valid North Carolina voter identification card. 

Tucker said the identification add more integrity to the voting process. 

“I don’t know but of three in Raleigh,” Tucker said when asked about instances of voter fraud in the last election. “Then we didn’t have voter ID to be able to determine if there were other violations.” 

The Senate should vote on the bill this week.