Voter ID Law Passes in North Carolina

Beginning earlier this year, the North Carolina General Assembly introduced several bills targeting the right to vote. The harshest bills:

  • introduce strict voter photo identification at the polls;
  • eliminate same-day registration;
  • cut early voting hours;
  • and eliminate automatic restoration of rights for returning citizens.

In previous years, North Carolina hailed progressive legislation—legislation that facilitated voting for so many North Carolinians. In 2012, up to 250,000 North Carolina voters utilized same-day registration provisions at the polls— updating their registration information and casting regular ballots.

They are now moving in the opposite direction and if the bills pass, many voters could be affected.

On April 24th, the North Carolina House passed the strict voter ID bill 81-36. The bill requires state issue identification at the poll, allows student IDs from state institutions, but does not allow student IDs from private institutions. North Carolina had no reported cases of impersonation voter fraud. The state does have cases of absentee ballot fraud but the bill does nothing to address it.

African Americans are 22% of all active voters, but they are 31% of the registered voters who do not have a government-issued photo ID. Seniors are 18% of active voters, but 26% of those without a photo ID. Women are 54% of active voters, but 66% of those without a photo ID. Despite this, the bill is expected to pass in the Senate.

After the vote, Jotaka Eaddy, Senior Director of the NAACP Voting Rights Initiative, stated, “One vote not counted on Election Day any place in America is a loss for democracy.”

She continued, “State legislatures throughout the country should be working to expand the opportunity for eligible citizens to vote.”

If you live in North Carolina—contact your local NAACP unit to find out what you can do to fight this egregious legislation that chips at the very fabric of our democracy.