Voter ID bill moves to House Appropriations Committee
RALEIGH (WTVD) -- A lot of statistics are being presented and there's still a lot of confusion about how necessary the voter ID bill is and whether it would make voting difficult for some.
But that hasn't stopped Republicans from pushing the bill through. Wednesday afternoon the back and forth between right and left continued in committee.
"Basically this bill is going to put out a bunch of little old ladies over a false claim of fraud," said Representative Deborah Ross, Democrat Wake County.
"We are trying to increase the requirements to ensure people are who they say they are when they vote," Republican Representative Ric Killian of Mecklenburg County said.
There was talk of compromise on the bill. Two weeks ago one of the bill's sponsors told ABC11 Eyewitness News student IDs and utility bills would be considered valid forms of identification at the polls.
However, Wednesday ABC11 learned from another sponsor that they've gone back to the original bill.
"There was talk of a compromise bill that photo ID and some other documents involved and negotiations broke down on that somewhat," said Representative Tim Moore, Republican Cleveland County. "So the plan at this point is to proceed with this bill that has, based on other states, that has been upheld by the courts and which is permissible by law."
Critics are furious. They claim more fraud happens during absentee voting, which the bill makes easier.
"This bill makes it easier to send in a mail-in absentee ballot which does not require the additional forms of ID," Ross said. "We're actually putting the additional forms in for people who actually show up."
Statistics from the Board of Elections show very few incidents of confirmed voter fraud in 2010. Just 21 cases out of more than 2.5 million voters. And as the debate over the bill continues, many wonder why it's needed at all.
"They're just so driven by trying to pass this bill for some reason, hard to know," said Bob Hall, Democracy NC. "But there's some other thing, other than protecting the integrity of the elections."
Now, the bill goes to the House Appropriations Committee.
nc house, local/state, jon camp
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