Voter ID victory! At least, in North Carolina. Governor Beverly Purdue vetoed the Republican legislature's effort to suppress voting in North Carolina.
Gov. Beverly Perdue on Thursday vetoed a controversial proposal to require voters to present photo identification before casting their ballots.
"The right to choose our leaders is among the most precious freedoms we have – both as Americans and North Carolinians," Perdue said in a statement. "North Carolinians who are eligible to vote have a constitutionally guaranteed right to cast their ballots, and no one should put up obstacles to citizens exercising that right."
House Bill 351 would require a person arriving at a voting precinct to show one of eight forms of photo ID, including a new voter card available for free from county election boards. Without the ID, people could still cast provisional ballots but would have to prove their identity later.
Ironic, isn't it? The Tea Party Republicans are so sanctimonious about the Constitution and Bill of Rights, but when it comes to actually abiding by it when they don't like it, not so much. It took a Democrat to speak for the basic freedoms we all enjoy. Which, of course, has the TeaPublicans in a frenzy.
“We shouldn’t be surprised by how far the governor will go to score political points with the liberal wing of her party," Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said in a statement. "A measure that ensures voters are who they say they are is a no-brainer, and most North Carolinians agree. It’s a shame Gov. Perdue is playing politics with the integrity of elections.”
Yeah, because it's only the liberals who care about voting rights?
Despite the North Carolina victory, other states are busily implementing new voter ID laws, including Florida, Ohio, Kansas, Wisconsin and Alabama. The Kansas version is the most draconian of the bunch on the voter suppression end of things. Kris Kobach, author of Arizona's AB1070 train wreck, is the man in charge of implementing a law that requires new voter registrants to show a birth certificate or passport at the time of registration.
I'm sure this won't go away until the Republicans are firmly in the minority again. Let's hope that happens in 2012.