Thursday, March 17, 2011

Republicans Introduce Voter ID Legislation

In an effort to protect against possible voter fraud, North Carolina Republicans are pushing legislation that would require citizens to present valid photo identification before voting.

The legislation, which was recently filed in the North Carolina House by three Republicans, would require voters to present one of eight valid photo ID cards. Valid forms of identification would include a driver's license, U.S. passport, and a new voter ID card that would be issued for free by county election boards.

Supporters of the legislation contend that voter fraud is a serious concern and requiring voters to show photo ID would protect the democratic process. Opponents argue that fraud is not a serious problem and the requirement will discourage people from voting who may not have a photo ID.

As far as public opinion is concerned, a recent Elon University Poll found that 76 percent of North Carolina citizens support photo ID requirements for voting.

In 2010, Republicans campaigned on promises to implement photo ID requirements for voting, and that is exactly what they are trying to do. There will be plenty of debate on the subject, but the legislation is likely to pass the House and go to the Senate for consideration.