Voters Support Identification

Special Report - October 4, 2012

With the 2012 General Election only weeks away, the majority of registered voters in a recent statewide poll say that North Carolina law should require voters to show identification before they are allowed to vote. The October 2012 poll, which was conducted by SurveyUSA for WRAL, asked 641 registered voters in North Carolina the following question: “Should North law require voters to show a photo ID when they vote? Show a non-photo ID? Or show no ID at all?” (see specifically question 9 in the poll). According to the results, 69 percent of those polled answered photo ID, 10 percent said a non-photo ID, while 16 percent said “no ID at all,” and five percent were unsure.

The WRAL poll found support for some form of voter ID (either photo ID or non-photo ID) among North Carolinians of all age groups, racial groups, genders, and political ideologies. For example, voter ID was supported by the majority of conservatives, liberals, and moderates in the poll.

A 2011 Civitas Institute poll found similar strong support for a voter ID law among North Carolinians. The September 2011 poll of likely voters found that 77 percent agreed that, “a person who wishes to vote should be required to show photo identification before being allowed to cast a ballot.”

In 2011, Governor Perdue vetoed HB 351—Restore Confidence in Government, a bill that would have required voters to provide photo identification in order to vote. Under the measure, voters without a photo ID would have been able to cast a provisional ballot, which would have been counted once the voter provided proof of identity at the county board of elections. In July 2011, the General Assembly attempted to override the governor’s veto of HB 351, but the 68 to 51 vote in favor of the bill still fell short of the needed three-fifths supermajority necessary. The legislation was still eligible for consideration in the 2012 “Short” Session, but the General Assembly did not take it up because there were not enough votes to override the governor’s veto.

According to the Civitas Institute, more than 30 states currently have laws that require some form of voter ID, and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld photo ID requirements for voters as constitutional in 2008.

Because voting is one of the most important privileges and duties of citizens of the United States, the North Carolina Family Policy Council has produced a 2012 General Election Voter Guide. The 24-page Voter Guide is an impartial and nonpartisan look at where candidates running for state and federal office in North Carolina stand on a number of issues important to families, including a question for candidates for N.C. Council of State, House and Senate on the issue of voter ID. Visit the Voter Resources page to download an online version of the voter guide or for information on ordering.

Related resources:
Governor Acts On Bills - June 24, 2012
2011 Legislative Review - June 22, 2011

Copyright © 2012. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.

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