Sunday, March 10, 2013

NC GOP, Waiting To See What They Can Get Away With

Strong editorial in yesterday's News&Observer against the Republicans' plan to introduce voter photo ID in North Carolina. Excerpted below, that portion of the editorial that says the current GOP leadership's "go slow" approach really has to do with waiting for the Washington Supremes to throw out the Voting Rights Act that applies in North Carolina:

Bob Hall of the government watchdog Democracy North Carolina made the case when Republicans first got up to these shenanigans in the last General Assembly session, when their Voter ID law was vetoed by Gov. Beverly Perdue. Answering those who claimed a Voter ID was harmless because people had to show identification to get insurance or buy groceries with a check or get a credit card, etc., Hall noted that voting was a right, not a privilege, and thus something that deserved protection.
Republicans are not interested in that argument. They want a Voter ID law, and with Republican Pat McCrory now in the governor’s chair, they’re likely to get it. This time out, though, they say they’ll move it slowly through the General Assembly, affording opponents and others with different ideas to speak and be heard.
Of course, the lack of a rush is more likely due to their awaiting a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a case in which a county in Alabama is challenging a provision related to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, part of which required that any changes in election procedures in select states and in 40 counties in North Carolina be approved by the federal government in advance. A Voter ID law in North Carolina would constitute such a change.
But if Shelby County, Ala., succeeds in convincing the court to do away with that requirement for approval, on the grounds that the racial discrimination the provision was designed to prevent is nonexistent, then Republican leaders in this state will feel empowered to move ahead with their Voter ID bill.

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