Today’s Rasmussen Reports survey shows that 64% of likely American voters think that voter fraud is at least a somewhat serious problem.
That fits with the Elon University Poll results released earlier this month in which 74% of North Carolina residents — not necessarily likely voters — said they support the idea of a photo ID requirement before voting.
Is election fraud a serious problem in North Carolina? Not that anyone has shown. But my sense is that people don’t think there is any significant harm — or obstacle — in showing a photo ID, just in case.
— John Robinson
Last year, the General Assembly passed a bill requiring voters show a photo ID before casting a ballot. Gov. Bev Perdue vetoed the legislation, saying it would unfairly disenfranchise voters.
What do North Carolinians think? It’s not even close. Seventy-four percent support the idea of a photo ID requirement before voting, according to the Elon University Poll.
There’s a good chance it will come up again next month when the state legislature convenes for its short session. Some Republicans say they have the votes to overturn the governor’s veto.
Requiring a photo ID to vote is a major GOP initiative that has gathered steam across the country. So far this year, nine states have passed voter photo ID laws. Republicans assert that it ensures against voter fraud. Critics say it could hurt voter turnout, particularly among students, African-Americans and elderly people.
The Justice Department has challenged the laws in Texas and South Carolina using its powers under the 1965 Voting Rights Act to review changes to voting laws in states with a history of racial discrimination. Both states are suing the department.
From the Charlotte Observer: In North Carolina, more than 800,000 people statewide don’t have photo identification from the Department of Motor Vehicles, according to a State Board of Elections and DMV analysis. More than a half-million North Carolinians – 556,513 – have no identification at all.
— John Robinson