(Carolina Journal) Is adopting a law requiring photo identification for North Carolinians to vote a common sense solution to voter fraud that has become – unnecessarily – highly politicized?
Or is it an effort that would put an undue burden on North Carolinians’ right to vote, a burden that would disproportionately affect the poor and minorities?
Both views were put forth Wednesday during a panel discussion on voter ID sponsored by the Raleigh Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society.
Two proponents of voter ID laws – John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky – took the position that such laws protect the integrity of the ballot and do not pose an undue burden on a citizen’s right to vote.
Two opponents of such laws – Bob Hall and Allison Riggs – disagreed, questioning the need for such a law and arguing that it, along with other changes to voting laws, would make voting less accessible.
Hall is executive director of Democracy North Carolina. Riggs is a voting rights staff attorney for the Southern Coalition for Social Justice.
Fund is a national affairs columnist for National Review. Von Spakovsky is senior legal fellow for the Civil Justice Reform Initiative at the Heritage Foundation.
The Republican majority in the General Assembly is expected to push through a voter ID bill this year. Two years ago, a voter ID bill was vetoed by then Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue. Now, Republican Pat McCrory sits in the governor’s office.
“I think this issue of voter identification … sadly has become far more politicized and far more partisan than it needs to be,” Fund said. Fund noted that in some states, voter ID bills have been sponsored and championed by Democrats and by African-American legislators.
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