McCrory and Tillis raise the stakes on voter photo ID by wavering
January 10, 2013
Hang on to your seats folks, the GOP roller-coaster is pulling out. Already the Legislative leaders and the Governor are seeming to back down on their campaign promises to support voter photo ID. There is a strong media push from the Elite Media in Raleigh and the State Board of Education is doing its best to defeat the idea. The Winston Salem Journal reports:
Republicans grasped historic dominance at the statehouse Wednesday, starting the legislative session with a supermajority in the House and Senate, even while expressing interest in compromising on a political flashpoint.
GOP leaders are softening their stance on legislation to require voters to show a photo identification card at the polls
voters to show other forms of identification that don't include a photo, such as a registration card or other government documents. "I would still like a photo on it, but I would also be willing to accept other options," McCrory said. "I'll let the legislature work to develop those bills. I expect a voter ID bill to be passed in the very near future."
The governor's comments came as he visited the Legislative Building on the opening day of the two-year session. McCrory's two most recent Democratic predecessors rarely ventured to the legislature, but McCrory said he will become a frequent presence as he forges a closer relationship with lawmakers, who return Jan. 30 to consider legislation.
"I did it for two reasons," he told reporters. "One is to show respect for the legislature, and also to build a relationship with members of the legislature because this is going to have to be a team effort to fix some of the problems in the state."
The shift on a voter ID bill is a significant development on a major campaign promise Republicans made after Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue vetoed a photo ID requirement in 2011. Tillis vowed to make it one of the first bills approved this legislative session, and McCrory pledged to sign it.
Conservative activists overwhelming favor such a measure to guard against voter fraud, while Democrats warn that it would disenfranchise people, particularly minorities and the elderly, two points confirmed in the state's analysis.
Tillis said the numbers released by the State Board of Elections – showing that as many as 613,000 registered voters may not have valid driver's licenses or state-issued identification cards – changed the game.
"There are a number of people who do not appear to have IDs," Tillis said. "We need a treatment for that."
Click here to read the rest of the story and additional reports on the Legislature's opening day.