Got lots of letters today on Gov. Bev Perdue's veto of the voter ID bill. Here's a sampling. Some of these will appear in the paper over the next few days.
It seems that Gov. Bev Perdue is not addressing the 75% majority of North Carolina voters who support the photo ID requirement as she vetoes the photo ID bill. We are required to show our photo ID when we fly on an airplane, when we offer a check or credit card at many stores and when we buy beer. Presenting a photo ID is apart of our normal everyday life. The wonderful precinct volunteers have no way to verify if a voter is the person they claim to be without a photo ID. She states that "We must be vigilant in protecting the integrity of our election." I must agree with Senate President pro tempore Phil Berger that this bill is a no-brainer.
Let's hope six Democrats in the NC House will assist in the veto override vote.
John G. Wilson
Being military, my husband and I have lived in many states. Most of them require a picture ID or voter ID card to prevent fraud.
I have read many of the pros and cons in the N&O. Whether by human error or fraud, I know of at least two instances in whicn someone went to cast a vote only to be told they had already voted. An ID card would help alleviate some of the errors encountered.
If people are disenfranchised from voting because of having to prove who they are, it makes me wonder why? I have to show ID to drive, buy my licensce plates, write a check, etc. Why not show I am who I say I am when voting for our elected officials?
Hospitals require a photo identification when you are being admitted for diagnostic testing or any other procedure; retail stores require a photo ID when presented with a personal check and/or credit card; the State of South Carolina requires its residents to carry a photo ID on their person at all times. So why is it so difficult for the governor of North Carolina to sign a bill requiring that a photo ID be presented at the polling place in order to vote?
People can get a photo ID from the NCDMV free. If you have the wherewithal to get to a polling place, you certainly can make an effort to get to your nearest DMV and obtain a photo identification card.
North Carolinians have a governor who is obstructive rather than constructive and never more so than when she has had to deal with a state legislature that is controlled by her nemesis - the Republican Party. Voting is a privilege that is abused but the abuse usually favors the Democratic Party. It is time to end the shenanigans and demand that your right to vote means a demand to see photo identification.
Dianne M. Franco
Gov. Perdue's large red VETO stamp might not stop the well-greased national Republican power-grabbing strategy, but it may at least slow one of its grinding gears here in North Carolina: the coordinated national attempts to disable opposition voting strength.
In addition to legislation that dismantles opposition funding and solidifies Big Money support, the Republican national strategy includes hobbling voter registration to suppress the voting rights of traditionally Democratic voters: minorities, the poor, rural residents, seniors and students. Their tool is innocently termed voter ID legislation.
The Republican strategy is clearly national in scope. Republicans in 36 states have launched a variety of voter ID, i.e. suppression, measures. Wisconsin's recently passed law may by the most cynical -- a cavalry charge in advance of this summer's elections to recall six Republican senators. That states nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimates it will disenfranchise 20 percent of the state's historically Democratic voters.
South Carolina's new law eliminates 178,000 predominantly minority voters and forbids student IDs as valid voter identification. Florida's legislation drastically overhauls procedures for changing registration at polling places, adds requirements for third-party voter registration groups and shortens early voting periods. Those exact measures were signed into law in Kansas. And now it's our turn.
The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University estimates that 11 percent of U.S. voters do not have official IDs that would meet the new and proposed state-level requirements. It is a solution searching for a problem. According to the League of Women Voters this is a fear-based approach instead of a fact-based solution. Actual incidents of voter fraud are minuscule. Examples of Brennan Center research from four states found overall fraud rates ranging from 0.000009 perecent to a breathtaking high of 0.0006 percent.
So, why the coordinated rush to voter ID legislation? The clear answer is the disciplined strategy to consolidate power by disrupting, even disenfranchising, opposition voting strength among low-income, minority and transient, i.e. student, voters.
This is not about the sanctity of the voting process. It is about raw, naked power and who will wield it. In the words of Craig Gilbert (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel), "The issues are secondary ... the goal is not so much to advance one party's agenda, but to actively undermine the infrastructure that allows the opposing part[ies] to exist at all."
The larger aim, beyond the NC legislature, is continued Republican control of the U.S. House of Representatives and the ability to recapture the Senate. North Carolina is a bellwether (literally, the sheep that leads the flock). The strategy is especially crucial here and in electoral battlegrounds like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Florida.
Grover Norquist, the Republican uber-strategist, described the intent: [Democrats] will only become acceptable once they are comfortable in their minority status. Any farmer will tell you that certain animals run around and are unpleasant, but when they've been fixed, then they are happy and sedate.
Here's hoping Gov. Perdue keeps her VETO stamp handy. There's more fixing to come.
I am outraged by the willingness of Gov. Bev Perdue to deny the majority of our state. This majority wants you to present a valid government ID to be allowed to vote. In almost every aspect of our life, you need to prove who you are to gain services and accomplish something. Does she support corruption? 75 percent of North Carolinians probably think she does now.
As far as race baiting is concerned, I am appalled at the comments of State Sen. Dan Blue. He knows he cannot win the argument if the only thing he can do is call Republicans racists. I know Blue from my time when I ran against him in the majority-minority district we live in. I respect the man but find his behavior juvenile.
Isn't it time we all grow up and do the right thing? As long as we allow fraud to permeate in our system, we are no better than a Third World country.
Paul Terrell III
The right of the U.S. citizen, registered with a County Board of Elections and meeting the residency requirements, to vote in local and state elections is fundamental to our country’s democracy. Decisions made in the voting booth affect all of us and our sovereignty as a nation. The results of elections express the will of the majority of the electorate for our self-governance that should not be compromised by any type of voter fraud.
The requirement of a government-issued photo ID is not a hardship and is the only prudent public policy in this day and age. Without precinct workers being able to verify that the person standing before them is who he claims to be, the potential for voter fraud exists.
You are required to show a government-issued photo ID or official ID to fly, to carry out financial transactions, to have your signature notarized, etc. A driver’s license, military ID card or a state-issued photo ID for people who do not drive could meet the requirements of this law.
The General Assembly should override the governor’s veto of this important legislation.
V. Rosan Hutter
With an average voter turnout of approximately 50 percent since 1960, why are we intent on making it more difficult for people to vote? We should be doing all we can to encourage Americans to perform the most important function of citizenship, but instead we continually create obstacles.
While we will toss into jail anyone who does not respond to jury duty or does not pay taxes, we allow people not to vote, the most important function of all.
Voting is mandatory is some countries, and their voter turnout is as follows: Australia, 95 percent; Chile, 93 percent; Belgium, 91 percent; and Greece, 86 percent, to name a few.
With this turnout, the people of these countries truly have spoken, and the elected government is not guessing as to the people’s opinion. If someone chooses not to vote, a penalty is imposed ($20 to $50).
We are laughed at when we declare our desire to spread democracy while demonstrating our disdain by our abysmal participation of the process.
Register everyone over 18, and let them know voting is required, then let us see what America really thinks.
The voting right is a cornerstone of American democracy. But Republican legislators in North Carolina want to restrict it by slashing the number of early voting days by one week. It would save money, they claim; the state election chief says it would not.
If it would not save money, then why do it? Well, because Republicans calculate that fewer early voting days will mean fewer Democratic votes in 2012. In 2008, early voting was popular among young and minority voters who helped elect Barack Obama.
To prevent this from happening again in 2012, the GOP is pushing vote suppression efforts in state legislatures across the country. Florida is cutting its early voting days from 14 to six. Texas, Kansas, and South Carolina are joining a dozen or so states where people must show photo IDs to vote. Legislatures in all of these states, as in North Carolina, are Republican-controlled.
This is dirty politics, plain and simple.
A photo ID should be mandatory to vote in North Carolina. I wish to thank all those who called and emailed our elected officials and urged them to pass this bill.
People with family members can assist those who cannot drive to a driver’s license office or other appointed places. Those without family members should be eligible for pick up by a community volunteer group. There are many clubs that could make this one of their yearly goals.
The governor should direct the Driver’s License Office or other appointed offices to have a reduced rate for those who require a photo ID only. The charge could be just enough to cover the ID cost. The cost would probably be the same as a fast food meal.
If certain groups are so concerned about those who they deem not able to afford an ID photo, let them establish a fund to support this group. Think positive instead of negative and work toward making our voting system fraud free.
The constant stream of whining in The People’s Forum regarding voter fraud and the proposed voter ID requirement demands a response.
Currently, a person is required to be a U.S. citizen to vote in North Carolina The voting registration system here is so poor that there is insufficient information on the voter registration form to establish voter eligibility. Beyond that, poll workers don’t know with any certainty to whom they are handing ballots.
Voter fraud involves people who vote but are ineligible to vote (not citizens, dead, etc.). Because the State Board of Elections can identify cases only involving people who voted but didn’t register, this is what they call voter fraud. The board does not have the means to identify true voter fraud. The voter registration system appears to be designed to encourage voter fraud by letting anyone, citizen or not, register and then actually vote.
Rasmussen surveys indicate that 75 percent of likely voters think that a photo ID should be required at the polls. The photo ID requirement does not completely solve the fraud issue but is a good first step.
I would like to have seen the requirement for proof of citizenship during registration added to the legislation.
The new voter ID bill, dubiously titled Restore Confidence in Government, runs roughshod over my mother, keeping her from voting.
My mom is in her 90s and doesn’t get around too well, but she remains a keen observer of current events. She has voted in every election going back 70 years, seeing it as her patriotic franchise. Mom hasn’t driven a car in years. Her nondriving photo ID expired in 2009, and because of her limited mobility, she will be sorely inconvenienced to get a new photo ID so she can vote.
The bill’s sponsors introduced it to thwart voter fraud, and my mom gets swept away in the backwash. Did I somehow miss the reports of rampant voter fraud in past elections? It reminds me of the old campaign for a constitutional amendment to ban flag burning – to outlaw about two instances of it a year – self-righteous paranoia over almost nothing.
The way this new law restores my mom’s confidence in government is that she will be more motivated than ever to vote the current crowd out.