Leaders: Voter ID would suppress the vote
RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Some lawmakers and groups gathered Wednesday in response to the proposed voter identification bill that, they say, would suppress the vote.
The bill, which would require voters to show ID at the polls, has been approved in the state House and is awaiting approval in the Senate.
Wednesday morning, members of the Legislative Black Caucus and members of the North Carolina National Association for the Advancement of Colored People voiced their opinion against House Bill 589 at the General Assembly.
Members of the Legislative Black Caucus held a news conference first, blasting Republicans and the bill -- saying they fought in the 1960s to get people registered to vote and the new bill would take them back to that era.
"Voting is being emasculated in this state today," Durham Rep. Mickey Michaux said.
An updated version of the bill would not only require ID at the polls, but would cut same day voter registration and early voting time.
"What in the world does eliminating same day voter registration have to do with voter ID ... cutting early voting by a full week, what does that have to do with voter ID," Hoke County Rep. Garland Pierce said.
"In Mecklenburg County, 62 percent of the voters vote early," Sen. Malcolm Graham said. "More voters vote early than they do on Election Day, so now we're going to shorten the period for early voting?"
Members of the state NAACP and other groups held a second news conference Wednesday, continuing to dispute Republican claims that a voter ID law would restore confidence in the voting process and prevent fraud.
"Since the year 2000, there have been exactly two incidents of voter impersonation in North Carolina ... out of millions of voters," one speaker said. "Voter fraud is not what shakes our confidence in government. This is what shakes our confidence in government."
In the meantime, members of the Legislative Black Caucus said they are looking into possible voting rights violations if the bill passes, along with possible legal action.
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