Republicans to discuss Voter ID

Published 9:35 am Tuesday, May 10, 2011

WINDSOR – The Republican Party of Bertie and Hertford County will hold a public meeting to discuss a Voter ID bill and voter fraud at their upcoming monthly meeting.

The meeting will be held at the Heritage House restaurant in Windsor beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 12. The public is invited to attend.

Susan Myrick, elections specialist at the John W. Pope Civitas Institute in Raleigh, will be guest speaker.

“The new Republican majorities in the State House and Senate placed passage of a voter photo ID legislation in their top ten list of legislation to pass in the first 100 days of the 2011 session,” stated Bertie County GOP Chairman Garry Terry. “House Bill 351, a bill that includes a photo identification requirement in order to cast a ballot in North Carolina, cleared the House Election Committee and has now moved to the Appropriations Committee.”

Terry said that bill, titled ‘Restore Confidence in Government,’ would require voters who cast their vote in person to present one of eight forms of acceptable photo identification. Those forms of ID are:

A North Carolina driver’s license, including a learner’s permit or a provisional license;

A special identification card for non-operators;

An identification card issued by a branch, department, agency, or entity of this State, any other state, or the United States;

A United States passport;

An employee identification card issued by any branch, department, agency, or entity of the United States government, this State, or any county, municipality, board, authority, or other entity of this State;

A United States military identification card;

A tribal identification card; and

A North Carolina voter identification card  (no cost to voters without valid identification)”

“The House Elections Committee toyed with the idea of compromise in order to avoid a gubernatorial veto, but soon discovered a substitute bill that would allow voters to present their voter cards, utility bills or bank statements as identification was not supported by either side,” noted Dan Phillips, Hertford County GOP Chairman

The Committee returned to the photo ID requirement and, in a party-line vote, passed the bill.

“Democrats in the legislature claim that the legislation would disenfranchise voters who do not have valid identification,” Phillips said. “Republicans assert that the measure would be the initial step in restoring integrity into North Carolina’s election process and discourage voter fraud.  The legislation would exempt persons with disabilities”.

Terry and Phillips both agree that whether you’re a Democrat, Unaffiliated or Republican, everyone wants an honest and fair election. Both leaders state that locally they believe the elections board does an outstanding job of maintaining the integrity of the election process.

“Sadly,” said Terry, “not all areas of the State share the down home atmosphere that we are blessed with locally……some people cheat, and this bill is about stopping fraud”.

“We hope that this will not be a partisan, party line vote and that some Democrats will support this bill,” stated Phillips.

Prior to the discussion about Voter ID, the May 10 meeting will feature Gospel and Bluegrass band Nancy Joyner and Early Station. They will perform from 6:30 – 6:50 p.m. while attendees treat themselves to the Heritage House buffet, or order off the menu.

At 7 p.m. sharp, a collection will be taken to help tornado victims.

“Every cent of the money will go to one of the charities,” Terry concluded as he is asking people who have never been to a political meeting to attend this one, especially younger voters.