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We support the county commissioners’ resolution asking the General Assembly to overturn the governor’s veto of the voter identification bill. If that doesn’t happen, legislators should move forward with allowing county governments the authority to mandate voter IDs.
The Brunswick County Board of Commissioners, in a majority vote of 4-1, supports a measure that calls for members of the North Carolina General Assembly to override Gov. Bev Perdue’s veto of the voter identification bill.
The bill, which was approved by both the North Carolina House and Senate last year, would require all voters to show a valid proof of identification to vote in an election.
Perdue vetoed the measure, a move that has been supported by state civil rights groups that claim the requirement would disenfranchise minorities, women, seniors and the poor. Among them, there are an estimated 1 million people who do not have driver’s licenses in North Carolina.
However, if it becomes law, the measure would broaden the scope of acceptable identification beyond just driver’s licenses. It would additionally allow anyone without a photo identification opportunities to acquire one at local boards of elections.
The Brunswick County Board of Commissioners, along with other county governments throughout the state, want their legislators to overturn the veto. Or if the veto is not overturned, they want the General Assembly to approve a bill that would allow individual counties the authority to require photo identification at polling locations.
We supported the statewide measure when it was before the General Assembly last year. We continue to support it and hope legislators will overturn the veto.
Making this a state-mandated requirement is the right thing to do. It will help decrease chances of voter fraud throughout the state. And since identification is required for most things in modern society, it makes no sense to oppose it for something as important as voting.
If the veto does not get overturned, the next best thing would be legislation that would allow county governments to establish a mandate on the matter. We would fully support the implementation here in Brunswick County.
When it comes to choosing who will sit in elected government seats, we think people should have to prove who they are—and best yet—prove they are legal, documented citizens who have the right to vote here.
The answer is not opposing voter identification; it is making it easier for those who do not have identification to obtain it legally, affordably and quickly.