by John Grooms
Hooray, congratulations, kudos, thank you and thumbs-up to Gov. Bev Perdue for vetoing the egregious, unneeded, invasive and anti-democratic Voter ID bill passed by the New Bosses in the state legislature. The law would have required all N.C. voters to produce a photo ID before being allowed to vote. The main problem with the Voter ID law is that it is designed to solve a problem widespread voter fraud that, considering available documented facts (as opposed to Tea Party conjecture), is nearly nonexistent. (As we wrote months ago.)
Here is how common and widespread voter fraud has become in Charlotte-Mecklenburg: In the 2008 election, more than 400,000 votes were cast in Mecklenburg County the most in its history; County Board of Elections Public Information Manager Kristin Mavromatis said that out of those 400,000-plus votes, a whopping eight instances of possible voter fraud were reported and investigated. "Of those eight instances, all but one were mistakes due to poll worker error, not fraud on the voters' part," explained Mavromatis. "And the one that could have been construed as voter fraud was a 95-year-old lady who, it seems, was taken to early voting by a relative, and then taken to vote again on Election Day by someone else. And those eight were a lot; we normally have one or two instances per election."
Statewide, the numbers are much the same. Investigations by the N.C. Board of Elections found that from 2004 and 2010, a mere five votes per million cast involved fraud that would have been preventable by a voter ID. Voter ID supporters say they don't believe those figures, preferring to trust in cold, hard hearsay. The law, in reality, has little to do with fraud, and everything to do with suppressing vote totals among some traditionally Democratic constituencies who are more likely than others to need to get a new ID: the poor, students, the elderly, people of color, and the disabled. The GOP was distraught when Obama won the state in 2008, and they are bound and determined to keep it from happening again, even if it means putting roadblocks in the path of certain voters. Voter suppression is one of several new GOP tactics being used nationwide, along with gutting social programs, attacking womens reproductive health programs, and wrecking public schools in favor of private ones. Thanks to Perdue, N.C. may at least avoid the politically inspired debasement of its elections by the GOPs strong-arm tactics. A veto override is still possible, but less likely than the override of Perdues veto of the GOP-passed budget.