North Carolina Dem Governor Vetoes GOP Voter-ID Bill

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North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue (D) has vetoed a Voter-ID bill passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature. The proposed law was part of a wave of similar bills that have been pushed by Republican-led legislatures in the wake of the 2010 elections. Like those, it would have required voters to show certain approved forms of photo identification at their polling places, or else cast provisional ballots and then have to prove their eligibility later.

“This bill, as written, will unnecessarily and unfairly disenfranchise many eligible and legitimate voters,” Perdue wrote in her veto announcement.

She also added an allusion to North Carolina’s past as a segregated, Jim Crow state before the Civil Rights movement: “There was a time in North Carolina history when the right to vote was enjoyed only by some citizens rather than by all. That time is past, and we should not revisit it.”

Perdue’s veto is likely to succeed, rather than be overridden. The CBS affiliate in Raleigh points out that while the bill had passed the state Senate by a veto-proof margin, it had in fact only passed the state House by a margin of 62-51, short of the 72 votes that would be needed to override the veto in that chamber.Perdue’s full veto message:

Governor Perdue Vetoes House Bill 351
Calls on Legislature to Pass Bill that Protects Votes Instead of Taking Them Away

Gov. Bev Perdue today vetoed House Bill 351 and issued the following statement:

“The right to choose our leaders is among the most precious freedoms we have – both as Americans and North Carolinians. North Carolinians who are eligible to vote have a constitutionally guaranteed right to cast their ballots, and no one should put up obstacles to citizens exercising that right.

“We must always be vigilant in protecting the integrity of our elections. But requiring every voter to present a government-issued photo ID is not the way to do it. This bill, as written, will unnecessarily and unfairly disenfranchise many eligible and legitimate voters. The legislature should pass a less extreme bill that allows for other forms of identification, such as those permitted under federal law.

“There was a time in North Carolina history when the right to vote was enjoyed only by some citizens rather than by all. That time is past, and we should not revisit it.

“Therefore, I veto this bill.”

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