NC Photo ID Bill won’t stop voter fraud, may be unconstitutional, will make mail ballot fraud easier

North Carolina photo ID bill, H351/S352 is everything we hate about Big Government.

1. It is costly.
2. It is complicated.
3. It doesn’t solve the problem it is set up to solve.
4. It creates new problems.
5. It is likely unconstitutional, says NC Ctr for Constitutional Law
6. It is not adequately funded and doesn’t protect vulnerable voters enough so it will be face numerous court challenges 

1. The fiscal note for this bill says it will cost $3.3 million in first year. 
H351/S352 will also cost the DMV income in future years as anyone of voting age who wants a FREE photo ID will be able to ask for and get one, whether they are indigent or not. $3.3 M is lowballing it but this was done by non partisan leg staff. True costs will be higher after courts knock down the law until it is really funded.

2. The bill is very complicated. See for yourself.

3. Photo ID doesnt solve problems it is purported to solve.
a) Requiring Photo ID does not prevent voter impersonation – officials have no way to verify the ID, there is no computer system or database in place that can be accessed to check that the ID is legit. Hence, you can go to E-bay, get a photo ID card kit for around $14.99 with hologram option available – and make several really good fake ID cards.
b) NC drivers licences do not indicate citizenship status, nor whether the person is a convicted felon who hasn’t had their rights restored.
c) the bill won’t stop “dead” people from voting. If a person is still on the voter rolls, then if someone has a good fake ID, then they can impersonate this dead voter. (Reported cases of “dead” voters in fact are people who cast a ballot early or by mail and passed on. Others are cases of reports of dead people on the voter rolls but who haven’t voted. )

4. The photo ID bill makes absentee by mail fraud much easier. This bill, H351/S352 will make it possible for organizations to commit mass wholesale absentee ballot fraud, something that was rare in North Carolina. How? By allowing outside groups to create or fill out forms for absentee ballot voters.
There is always risk of absentee ballot fraud, and there have been instances of investigations and convictions, but it has been rare. Now it will be too temptingly easy for fraudsters to resist, and once the election is over, too late to undo the harm.

H351/352 Photo ID Requirements will be challenged in court because 1) it may not be constitutional and 2)  it doesn’t go far enough to educate voters and provide free accessible ID to voters nor to fund the bill:

5. H351/S352  is likely unconstitutional, says NC Ctr for Constitutional Law
MAR 15, 2011: Justice Orr on the Voter ID requirement of HB351: An Act to Restore Confidence in Government.
…The General Assembly does not have the authority to add “qualifications” for voting, absent a constitutional amendment.  Does the requirement for presentation of a Photo ID constitute a “qualification” for voting?  If it does then I would predict a court would strike the requirement down.

6) H351/S352 Is not adequately funded and doesn’t protect vulnerable voters enough so it will be face numerous court challenges. H351/S352 doesn’t make IDs sufficiently accessible and affordable, and does not provide enough notice or education to current and new voters. 

The Brennan Center for Justice cites three basic principles that must be satisfied to avoid a constitutional challenge of any photo ID law:

“First, photo IDs sufficient for voting must be available free of charge for all those who do not have them.” States cannot limit free IDs to those who swear they are indigent…

“Second, photo IDs must be readily accessible to all voters, without undue burden.”..

“Third, states must undertake substantial voter outreach and public education efforts to ensure that voters are apprised of the law’s requirements and the procedures for obtaining the IDs they will need to vote…”

Photo ID sounds like a good idea, until you think it through and find out that it won’t stop voter fraud but will stop honest or vulnerable folks from voting. Maybe it will “only” be tens of thousands, but the result will be disenfranchising legitimate voters because of their vulnerable circumstances. Worse, this bill, if passed, will facilitate massive mail ballot fraud.

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