Governor Pat McCrory signed a bill today that requires voters to present a photo ID at the polls, despite opposition from Attorney General Roy Cooper. In addition to requiring a form of photo ID for voters, the bill also shortens early voting by one week. Hours after he signed the bill, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of North Carolina and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice filed a lawsuit challenging the bill.
“I frankly think our right to vote deserves similar protection that we’re giving to Sudafed,” McCrory told WUNC. “I think photo ID, which you use to board an airplane, which you use to cash a check, which you use to get Sudafed, which you use to get almost any government service, including food stamps –you have to use a picture ID to get that. “
McCrory said that photo IDs are available at DMV offices separate from drivers licenses. Gov. McCrory also explained his decision to sign the bill today in a short video:
Last week, Attorney General Roy Cooper said the legislation could cause confusion and expensive litigation. He wrote a public letter to McCrory and started an online petition in opposition of the bill.
The bill passed along party lines in both the House and Senate earlier this year and will be implemented in 2016.
McCrory spoke to WUNC about other bills he has signed this year, including one that places new restrictions on abortion providers.
“What we’re doing is putting a health and safety policy into certain clinics, the nine clinics that we have in North Carolina,” McCrory said. “We haven’t even written any new rules. My head of Health and Human Services, Aldona Wos, will be the ones writing standards, and they’re health standards. And we’ve advocated not to close any of these clinics. That’s why I threatened to veto one of the bills which I think would have done just that.”
McCrory also spoke about the new budget he signed, which eliminates teacher tenure and does not give teachers pay raises.
“I’m very disappointed we did not get teacher raises implemented, because I asked for that in my budget,” he told WUNC. “But the fact of the matter is we have a tough financial system. The Medicaid costs in this state are busting our budget.”
McCrory said that there are over 35 bills passed by the General Assembly he has left to review.
You can listen to WUNC's entire interview with Gov. McCrory above.