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The State of Things
Fri November 8, 2013
Voter Identification Faces Uphill Battle
The election this week was the last in North Carolina before some provisions of a voter ID law go into effect.
The U.S. Department of Justice is suing the state over its new law, asserting that it may have a chilling effect. Proponents of the law say it is necessary for an even playing field.
Bob Hall, executive director of Democracy North Carolina, said the problem with the law isn't just the provision requiring an ID to vote,
"It started in the house as just an ID bill," he said. Later he added, "The Senate loaded it up with all sorts of other provisions."
Cutting back on early voting, eliminating out-of-precinct and straight-ticket voting are just some of those provisions.
"It was 40 other provisions they added in," Hall said.
Becki Gray, vice president for outreach at the John Locke Foundation, disputed the significance of these extra provisions.
"None of those things are constitutional rights either. These are sort of process things," she said.
In fact, she said that North Carolina is still one of the most liberal states in the country when it comes to voting rights.
"Just about every one of those things that Bob mentioned actually bring North Carolina more in line with other states," she said.
She pointed out that only 14 states allow straight-ticket voting, and same-day registration, which will be eliminated under the new law, is only available in North Carolina and Ohio.
Audio for this segment will be up by 3 p.m.