Thursday, December 08, 2011

"Unnecessary, Bureaucratic and Costly": Rowan Co. Citizens Push Back on Voter Photo ID

Rowan County Republican commissioners approved a resolution on Nov. 21, asking the state legislature to pass a "local bill" to require that all voters in the county present government-issued photo ID before they vote.

A Salisbury resident asked the State Board of Elections how many voters in Rowan do not currently have government-issued photo IDs, including NC driver's licenses. Almost 6,000 was the answer ... almost 6,000 active, registered voters. Mainly elderly, mainly female, and -- natch! -- mainly African-American. An African-American voter in Rowan County is twice as likely as a white voter to not have voter ID.

Which is, of course, the point of the law, the target of the law, the ulterior motive of Republicans everywhere who are pushing this diminution of democracy.

People in Rowan County came out to their County Commission meeting Tuesday night to complain about the colossal waste of commissioner time on this resolution and the naked racial politics behind it. “When you look at it on a local level, is this something we can justify — that we can say that we need?” one Salisbury resident asked. “This just seems like it’s following the leader of the national agenda, and the national agenda seems like it doesn’t want people to vote.”

The Board of Aldermen of the Rowan County town of East Spencer also passed a resolution Tuesday night opposing all such suppression of voting rights: “[The] Voter ID Act provides an unnecessary, bureaucratic and costly resolution to address a problem that may only occur in one out of each one million or more votes cast,” the resolution states. “[The] Voter ID bill would cause more problems with widespread voter disenfranchisement than it could possibly solve.”

The East Spencer resolution also points out that "the law would disproportionately affect the elderly, people of color, students, low income residents and people with disabilities."

A similar resolution was effectively killed by tabling in Lenoir County (Kinston) Tuesday night, where momentary sanity broke out among the county commissioners.

Hattip: DemocracyNC

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