Thursday, April 4, 2013

N.C. House leaders introduce voter ID legislation that Speaker Tillis praises.

 Verne Strickland / Blogmaster / April 4, 2013
April 4, 2013   Rhonda Amoroso


Raleigh – Legislative leaders in the North Carolina House of Representatives announced today the filing of a bill to implement a photo identification system for voting, highlighting a month-long process that included public hearings, stakeholder input, and expert testimony. House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) was joined at a press conference today by Rep. David Lewis (R-Harnett), Rep. Harry Warren (R-Rowan), Rep. Tim Moore (R-Cleveland), Rep. Ruth Samuelson (R-Mecklenburg) and Rep. Tom Murry (R-Wake) to unveil the bill that has been a top priority for the Republican-led General Assembly since winning a majority in 2010.

“We are here to announce that after a deliberate and transparent process, we will be filing a voter ID bill today that protects the integrity of the ballot box and respects the sanctity of the right to vote,” Tillis said.

The bill is a sweeping effort to improve North Carolina’s voting process by requiring citizens to show photo identification when voting, and would be fully implemented by 2016. The measure utilizes the 2014 elections as a bridge to identify which voters may be without an accepted form of photo ID – and establishes a program to help citizens acquire a free photo identification card through the Department of Motor Vehicles.

“We have arrived at a bill that we believe will stand up in a court of law, address legitimate concerns about voting access, and move North Carolina to a photo identification voting system,” Tillis said.

Beyond the photo identification requirement, the bill takes steps to ensure the integrity of provisional and absentee ballots. It also directs the State Board of Elections to study the use of modern technology in voting, paving the way for further efficiency through digital efforts in the future.

The bill will be filed in the House today and referred to the House Elections Committee, where it will be discussed at a public hearing and a committee meeting next week.