Though statewide legislation voter ID legislation failed earlier this year, county commissioners in eastern North Carolina approved a measure yesterday requiring photo identification in order to vote.
In June, Gov. Beverly Perdue (D) vetoed a bill that would have required all North Carolinians to produce a photo ID before voting. Perdue’s decision prevented the Tar Heel State from joining over a half dozen other states, from Texas to Wisconsin to South Carolina, where Republican legislatures have enacted strict new voter ID requirements in an effort to disenfranchise student, minority and low-income voters who tend to vote for Democrats.
Commissioners in Craven County, a small county on the North Carolina coast, took matters into their own hands this week, approving a photo ID measure for their voters. Jon Erickson of WCTI has more:
The proposal, which passed 5-to-2, would “require voter identification in order to participate in future Craven County elections,” according to the county’s measure.
If enacted, the measure would prevent Elon Hill from voting unless he gets identification.
“The first time I voted… I didn’t have [photo identification],” said Hill, an Army veteran who lives in New Bern.
Commissioner Scott Darcy, who introduced the measure, told a reporter he was comfortable with the fact that the new requirement would “affect fewer than 1,000 people in the county.”
Craven County’s move will have to be approved by the Republican-controlled state legislature before it can go into effect. However, unlike in June, Perdue will not have say in the matter. The North Carolina constitution mandates that “local bills” – those that apply to fewer than 15 counties – are exempted from gubernatorial vetoes.