Supporters: Fraud Necessitates North Carolina Voter ID Laws

Monday, 13 Jan 2014 09:19 AM

By Courtney Coren

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Supporters of new voter ID laws in North Carolina are making a case for the need for new measures with examples of fraud that has been discovered across the state.

They say there were so many "irregularities" in the November municipal elections in the town of Pembroke near the South Carolina border, that it was decided that it was necessary to hold a new vote.

Complaints are now being investigated by the district attorney in Robeson County, the Raleigh-based News & Observer reports.

But Pembroke's problems are only part of the problem, supporters of the new measure say. A ruling is expected any day that could result in the ousting of the elections director in Forsyth County, while a contentious meeting of the board of elections in Watauga County has become a hit on YouTube, where it has been viewed by more than 38,000 people.

North Carolina has become a battleground for voter-ID since Republican Gov. Pat McCrory signed new laws in August requiring voters to show photo IDs, shortening the early voting period and removing a program that allowed 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote.

The new laws followed on the Supreme Court decision in June 2013 to strike down parts of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act that required nine states, primarily in the south, to get federal approval to change their voting laws.

The Obama Administration filed a lawsuit to strike down the new laws in September alleging that they discriminate against minorities and students, groups that often vote for Democrats.

While the new measures are not set to take effect until 2016, critics in the state argue that even if supporters of the new regulations are able to prove fraud, that the current laws are enough to combat such problems.

"If there's fraud, it needs to be stopped," Bob Hall of the Democracy North Carolina told the News & Observer. "We have laws to protect against the things that people are saying has happened. It's not like new laws are needed to stop the practices they say are happening."

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