Wednesday, November 07, 2012

North Carolina: Redder Than a Boiled Lobster

So now what? We've got, for the first time since the cooling of the earth's crust, a Republican governor in North Carolina, with a Republican General Assembly just itching to pass that voter photo ID law. Oh yes, they'll take those steps to make it harder for minorities to vote, and college students, which is going to make those segments of the population just that much angrier and more motivated to defy them. Fun times!

The Republican lock on North Carolina is the by-product of gerrymandering and a rural backlash against President Obama, and luckily for them, they'll have the president to concentrate their spite on for another four years.

Meanwhile, the Republican surge yesterday did nothing for a couple of Republican candidates for the Watauga BOC, so there were some surprises. The local School Board election was another bright spot, with the most experienced educators winning (and one seat still pending: Jay Fenwick is just 100 votes behind Ron Henries, with over 300 provisional votes still to be determined).

We'll need popcorn (and a good deal of Bourbon) to watch how Pat McCrory behaves with his Tea Party General Assembly, whether he'll revert to the big-city moderate he used to be or go along with the anti-government serum coursing through Republican veins right now. The tear-it-all-down and privatize-everything impulse has a short shelf life, and McCrory is probably going to want to be reelected in 2016.

Job one for Democrats will be rebuilding the state party. May have to move from Bourbon to Vodka for that one!


Opoib said...

I can see how voter id might make it harder for the poorest minorities. But how does it make it harder for students? I am pretty sure almost every college student has some form of id if nothing more than just the university issued one.

Anonymous said...

How would a voter ID make it harder for anyone when you have to have identification to even buy medicine or get a library book. It wouldn't be any harder than getting help from an entitlement office. You go to the board of elections office with proof of who you are and residency, they take your picture, give you a card, and you leave. You pay for the cards by cutting spending on useless government programs that over regulate businesses and stifle the economy. Everybody wins except the voter fraud crowd.It can't hurt the poor any more than having the make a special trip into town to vote early like the rural poor do now.

Anonymous said...

In some states that have implemented voter ID laws, student IDs were excluded as valid forms of identification, even if they contained a photo. Let's hope they don't go that route here; it's clearly designed to suppress the voting rights of a certain group.

I agree that the biggest impact will be on the poor, perhaps on the elderly as well.

Frank said...

If N.C. Republicans were truly interested in voter fraud, they wouldn't have eliminated $600,000 from the 2012 budget that would have automatically released $4 million in federal money for updating the state’s election system. They would have also done away with absentee voting since that carries the most potential for fraud, but, of course, most absentees are voted by Republicans.

Every single study that has been presented shows that voter fraud is almost non-existent, and even if it occurred, Voter ID would not have stopped any of it. The only fraud out there in voting is by the Republicans, who hired a firm that threw away forms and refused to register anyone who wasn't a Republican.

The NC State Constitution establishes that voting must be free. Therefore the IDs must be free as well. Taxpayers must pay for them, and they must pay for all the underlying documents required for the ID as well. I submit they must also pay for the travel time and costs associated with having to go and get the ID. I bet a court will agree.

Some argue you have to show an ID to buy beer or ride an airplane, but these are very different. Buying beer and/or riding an airplane are not guaranteed rights in our Constitution.

The poor, minorities, the elderly, and students will be the most affected by a voter ID requirement because many don't drive, have no way to get to the place that issues the ID, have to work during the hours that the IDs are issued (8-5), don't have a birth certificate, or are at a university where their address changes every year (from dorm to dorm for example).

If the Republicans really wanted to insist that a government issued ID was essential to keep the poor and elderly from impersonating someone else when they come in to vote on election day, they should provide the government picture ID once the person registers, not when s/he goes in to cast a vote on election day.

Frank said...

PS: Even if the Republicans allowed student IDs, the bill that was originally filed stated the bill had to be issued by certain governmental entities. While IDs from state universities and colleges MIGHT have been allowed, those from our state's private universities and colleges would not have been allowed.