Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) issued the following joint statement today in response to the U.S. Justice Department’s lawsuit on North Carolina’s election reform law:
“The Obama Justice Department’s baseless claims about North Carolina’s election reform law are nothing more than an obvious attempt to quash the will of the voters and hinder a hugely popular voter ID requirement. The law was designed to improve consistency, clarity and uniformity at the polls and it brings North Carolina’s election system in line with a majority of other states. We are confident it protects the right of all voters, as required by the U.S. and North Carolina Constitutions.”
North Carolina’s election reform law guarantees anyone who wants to vote will have that opportunity. It establishes a list of valid government-issued photo IDs — including driver’s licenses, non-operator ID cards, tribal and military IDs and passports — that voters can present at their polling places. And it allows anyone without a valid photo ID to obtain one at no cost through the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Polls have consistently shown that over 70 percent of North Carolinians support requiring voters to show photo ID.
The law guarantees at least the same number of overall hours for early voting as in previous elections, in sharp contrast to several other states — including New York, Massachusetts and Michigan — that do not allow early voting at all.
It allows time to verify voter information by repealing same-day registration, ensuring accuracy and bringing North Carolina in line with 30 other states that do not have same-day registration.
It outlines a gradual implementation timeline, beginning with the 2014 elections, for informing voters and enacting the photo ID requirement, until the law is fully enforced in 2016.