Politics & Government

Voter ID to go on NC ballots over Democrats' protests

This 2016 photo shows North Carolina voter ID rules at a voting precinct. A federal court struck down voter ID laws in the state.
This 2016 photo shows North Carolina voter ID rules at a voting precinct. A federal court struck down voter ID laws in the state. AP

Voters will be asked this fall if a photo identification requirement for in-person voting should be enshrined in the state constitution.

The state Senate gave final approval Friday to putting the question to voters.

A change to the North Carolina Constitution would bring back photo ID requirements that were part of a wide-ranging elections law from 2013 that a panel of federal judges struck down in 2016. The judges ruled that the law had targeted African-American voters with "almost surgical precision."

Photo ID will be one of six constitutional amendments going to voters this fall. The amendments don't need approval from the governor.

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Just two other states have voter ID requirements in their constitutions.

The ID requirements were the focus of heated debates in the last two weeks. Democrats said it would prevent elderly people and African-Americans from voting. Republicans said it would curb voter impersonation that is hard to catch.

A high-level state GOP committee is meeting in August to formally endorse all the amendments so the party can actively advocate for their passage.

The state ACLU, Democracy NC and other groups condemned approval of the proposed amendment.

The state NAACP has threatened to sue over the requirement.

The NC NAACP urges Apple and Amazon to stay away from North Carolina because of a law allowing four mostly white towns in Mecklenburg County to create their own charter schools and a proposed constitutional amendment requiring voter ID at polls.

Bonner: 919-829-4821: @Lynn_Bonner
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