6. Protecting Voter Integrity
Question as it will appear on the ballot:
Constitutional amendment to require voters to provide photo identification before voting in person.
[ ] For [ ] Against
This amendment would require persons who wish to vote to present photographic identification (a photo ID) before casting a ballot. If this amendment passes, the North Carolina General Assembly would have to craft and adopt legislation providing the specifics of the requirement.
In 2013, the state legislature passed detailed Voter ID legislation, which then Gov. Pat McCrory signed. The Voter ID requirements were used in the March and June primaries of 2016. However, Voter ID was highly contested at the time with protests and litigation by people largely from the political Left. Federal courts would later knock down the requirement along with a block of other election changes the General Assembly had made, ruling that the new rules targeted African-American voters with discriminatory intent.
Opponents of this amendment argue that the evidence for voter fraud is insufficient to warrant the need for Voter ID. The purpose for requiring Voter ID is to suppress the voting power of minority races, the aged, as well as the poor who would have difficulty meeting the mandate for photographic identification. Moreover, the amendment does not state clearly what form of photo ID would be required.
Proponents of this amendment contend that mandating the showing of a photo ID before voting is the surest way to reduce the probability of voter fraud for people on both sides of the political aisle. Voter fraud is real and has been documented nationally and in North Carolina. Polls consistently show that the vast majority of North Carolinians support requiring a photo ID before voting. Thirty-four states require some form of Voter ID. All of the southern states currently have a Voter ID law except the Tar Heel state. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that requiring a photo ID before voting was merely a slight burden on the electorate, which in no way outweighs legitimate state interests.
Christian Action League Position:
There is no right in a Representative Republic, like our own, more sacred than a citizen’s right to vote. Throughout its teachings, the Scriptures require integrity in all things, saying, that we should be committed to “taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man” (2 Cor. 8:21).
Voter fraud is real and hundreds of people have been convicted of this crime in the U.S. and cases of voter fraud have been cited and documented in North Carolina. But even if there wasn’t widespread proof of voter fraud, isn’t the very possibility of trickery – the alleging of voter deception – a matter to be vigorous in trying to prevent? For instance, if it were difficult to prove a claim that there was illegal street racing on a certain highway, wouldn’t that be reason enough to send the Highway Patrol to watch the area as a preventive measure – the saving of lives should be paramount. The same reasonable principle should also apply to minimizing the potential for voter fraud. Protecting and preserving the integrity of the vote should be paramount.
Putting this amendment in the state’s constitution will allow North Carolina citizens to decide the issue and insulate it from any reversal by state courts. Lawmakers can hash out the specifics after its approval in the legislature, making certain it sufficiently safeguards the rights of minority and less fortunate people who say it would be a hardship to secure a photo ID, as well as carefully shaping any Photo ID voting law to meet constitutional muster on the federal level.
The state currently has greater requirements of all its citizens for lesser duties. It is only a slight burden to require a photo ID of all the state’s citizens for the highest of duties – voting.
Therefore, the Christian Action League supports this amendment.