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Editorial: Voter ID, a Popular Solution, Needed in N.C.

Rasmussen Reports found that 67% of likely voters support valid photo identification as a prerequisite for casting a ballot, while only 28% are opposed.

While voter fraud is rare in the United States, it is not nonexistent: The Heritage Foundation found 1,145 proven instances of voter fraud, declaring that "[p]reventing, deterring, and prosecuting election fraud is essential to protecting the integrity of our voting process."

34 states have voter ID laws

Voter identification, of course, would be a basic line of defense in the effort to deter voter fraud, as requirements represent a common-sense solution for alleviating any lingering questions regarding the sanctity of the American ballot box.


As is the case with the nation overall, voter identification requirements are a popular concept in the state of North Carolina. Per The Fayetteville Observer, "A survey that High Point University conducted in September 2016 said 66 percent of North Carolina’s likely voters favored it, while 30 percent opposed it."

North Carolinians, like the American population at large, have good reason to support voter identification requirements. The state has no method for validating the identity of those attempting to cast ballots, as poll workers simply compare the potential voter's stated name and address to a list created with Excel.

The lax policy, which is ridden with holes, comes with grave consequences (an assertion supported by examination of empirical evidence).

In an editorial that criticized voter-ID requirements, The Charlotte Observer betrayed that "41 non-citizens, from 28 countries, voted. All were here legally, but were not eligible to vote. The audit also found 24 cases of double-voting and two cases of voter impersonation (one by mail and one in person)" (emphasis mine).

Even though they reported this concrete evidence of illegal voting, the Observer editorialized that "the state’s elections are sound and virtually fraud-free."

These claims, which run alongside evidence to the contrary, ring hollow on their face. In the ultimate demonstration of the problem's severity, the U.S. Justice Department saw merit in prosecuting those who perpetuated the fraud against the state's election system. They charged 19 illegal North Carolinian voters, some of whom were formally indicted in August by a grand jury in Wilmington.

Days after the indictment of the illegal voters, federal immigration officials subpoenaed the North Carolina State Board of Elections, requesting 20 million documents. According to Fox News, the feds seek "more than 15 million documents in North Carolina’s voter registration database as well as more than 5.6 million individual ballots from 44 counties."

The federal involvement in North Carolina's election infrastructure, replete with wide-ranging subpoenas and indictments, would seem to indicate a need for solutions.

However, despite the widespread support for voter ID requirements in the state, and its issues with voter fraud, "North Carolina is presently one of 16 states, along with the District of Columbia, that does not require any verification or documentation to cast a ballot," per WUNC 91.5.

However, the disparity between the state's election law and the wants of the people of North Carolina is certain to be eradicated this November.

The North Carolina General Assembly advanced a constitutional amendment that would enable voter identification requirements, and it will be on the November 6th ballot as a public referendum. The proposed amendment reads,

Voters offering to vote in person shall present photographic identification before voting. The General Assembly shall enact general laws governing the requirements of such photographic identification, which may include exceptions.

The proposed text would effectively "amend Section 2 and Section 3 of Article VI of the North Carolina Constitution," according to Ballotpedia.

Although the law that would follow the passage of the amendment has yet to be revealed by the General Assembly, 63% of North Carolinians support the proposal, per a poll by Elon University.

Elon University's poll also found that 67% of North Carolinians disbelieve the assertion that voter ID requirements aid Republican candidates, saying that their presence has no impact on the results of elections.

Gov. Martin

While voters reject claims that ID requirements boost the GOP, former North Carolina Governor James "Jim" Martin, a Republican, stated that in order to ensure equitable access to the ballots, state agencies "should be empowered to issue a photo ID as a basic civil right."


FDL Review, located in southwestern North Carolina, dually supports the sentiments of the North Carolina General Assembly and Governor Martin.

We encourage voters in the state of North Carolina to vote in favor of the constitutional amendment requiring voter ID, and in turn, we ask that the General Assembly craft legislation that makes voter identification more accessible to all communities, demographic groups, and political blocs in the state.

While erecting firewalls to prevent foreign cyberattacks is a credible objective for our national intelligence forces, it is also important that we tackle the problems facing our voting infrastructure stateside. This can occur without the disenfranchisement of particular groups from the political process, contrary to the statements of Governor Roy Cooper, a Democrat, and members of his party.