Committee to vote Wednesday on controversial 'Voter ID' bill - | WBTV Charlotte

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NC House committee to vote Wednesday on controversial 'Voter ID' bill

NC State Rep. Ric Killian (R) Mecklenburg NC State Rep. Ric Killian (R) Mecklenburg
NC State Sen. Malcolm Graham (D) Mecklenburg NC State Sen. Malcolm Graham (D) Mecklenburg

By Derrick Rose Bio | email | Twitter

RALEIGH, NC (WBTV) - An important House Elections Committee vote Wednesday afternoon could push the so called 'Voter ID' bill forward if it receives enough support. 

The bill got its nickname because of a provision within the Restore Confidence in Government Act that would require all North Carolina voters to show a government issued photo ID before they're allowed to enter a voting booth.

Read full text of 'Voter ID' bill (House Bill 351)

State Rep. Ric Killian, (R) Mecklenburg, helped sponsor bill and he's insulted anyone would oppose it.

"There have been some people who are trying to assert that this is intended to suppress votes, which is nonsense," Killian said via phone. "It's intended to ensure that people simply are who they are."

The opposition Killian is referring to includes lawmakers like North Carolina Senator Malcolm Graham, (D) Mecklenburg. Graham and fellow Democrats think the bill unfairly targets elderly and Democratic voters.

According to the State Board of Elections, there are more than 460,000 active voters with no photo ID issued by the state Division of Motor Vehicles.

An analysis of those numbers by the non-partisan group Democracy North Carolina found that a third of those people are 65 and older and two thirds are Democrats.

Read Democracy North Carolina's opinion and analysis of active voter ID numbers

"This bill, no doubt, will keep people from voting in North Carolina and needs more attention than being voted on at the first meetings," said Rep. Joe Hackney, (D) Orange.

Killian countered the bill never mentions Democrats or Republicans. 

"It doesn't identify any specific group; it simply states what the requirement should be for a person who chooses to vote," Killian said, "Yes it's a higher standard than it was before and it needs to be."

Killian also points to another provision in the bill that would allow the Boards of Elections in every county to issue a photo voter registration card to any registered voter at no charge.

"All those people who are going to vote will walk away from the poll with confidence that their vote that was cast will be credited toward their name; and no one else can represent them in the process," Killian said.

If the bill receives enough support, it would move out of committee for a full House vote.

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