Monday, January 31, 2011

Impact of Voter Photo ID Requirements

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New legislative leadership is moving forward with a campaign promise to require voters to show photo ID next time they show up at the polls to vote. Those for the bill intend that it will reduce voter fraud and according to one representative who sponsored a similar bill in 2009 is “necessary to ensure the integrity of the entire system.”

There are concerns among disability advocates that the current proposal could disproportionately affect the elderly and persons with disabilities if implemented. Persons with disabilities are less likely to have a license and are more likely to face physical and financial difficulty acquiring such, attributed to the fact that some do not drive and already struggle with limited income. In addition many residents of assisted living facilities or nursing homes simply do not have photo IDs.

Furthermore, there is little evidence of voter fraud in North Carolina as reported by the State Elections board (18 cases out of 4.3 million in 2008) which can likely be attributed to current safeguards imbedded in the election process and current North Carolina voting laws. Already on the books are laws that make it a felony in NC for anyone to lie when signing in to vote or vote illegally. North Carolina already requires a valid photo ID when registering to vote and partisan poll observers already have the authority to challenge voters at the polls if they suspect voter fraud.

NCActivisMS will keep you posted on legislative updates pertaining to the issue. For more information visit
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