NC public receives chance to speak out on possible Voter ID legislation
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RALEIGH—Citizens from across the state got a chance to speak out on whether or not they think North Carolina needs Voter ID
Legislative leaders held a public hearing Tuesday, allowing advocates and opponents to express their support and concerns about the idea of having to present photo identification before people cast their ballot.
Hundreds of concerned citizens, on both sides of the issue streamed in the only planned, public hearing on the Voter ID issue, filling up the committee room and spilling over into an overflow viewing room.
For lawmakers hosting the hearing, the idea was to get a sense of where North Carolinians stand on the issue of whether or not people should be required to show photo identification before you cast a ballot.
The opinions were wide ranging.
I have my drivers license, photo on it. I have my credit card, photo on it. I have my bank card, photo on it Did it cost $20, $30 $40 to get my picture on these cards, no,” said NCGOP Congressional District 2 Chairperson Joyce cotton.
“How many people do you know that are actually going to show up and vote, using somebody else's name. Come on, impersonating someone else, that just doesn't exist,” said Linda Sutton with Democracy Winston-Salem.
This was not an issue that was restricted to one group of people as there were young people who came to express support.
“I currently have three ID's in my pocket with my photo on it. When I go to the library at night I am required to show my ID, to prove that I am a student there, that I can be there,” said UNC Greensboro Student Eddie Souther.
There were older citizens who say they have already fought the issue of voter disenfranchisement once in their lifetime.
“He asked me to stand up, stand up straight, and look at them and repeat the Constitution of the United States of America,” said concerned voter Rosenell Eaton.
Similar testimony like this continued for about four hours with over a 100 people expressing their views as lawmakers listened.
This was just the first part of this process. Republicans are now bringing in some experts now to testify before the Elections Committee and they say it will be several weeks before the public will even see a bill on voter identification at the Legislative office building.