NC Senate rolls out voter ID proposal - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

NC Senate rolls out voter ID proposal, compare to House plan

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RALEIGH, NC (APWECT) - The North Carolina Senate has unveiled its proposal for requiring citizens to show photo identification before they can vote in person.
The bill released Thursday sets out seven qualifying forms of photo ID to vote. But the forms do not include university-issued IDs, like the House allowed for University of North Carolina system and community college students when it passed a bill three months ago.
Rules Committee Chairman Tom Apodaca says the Senate's version also seeks to accommodate people with disabilities and nursing home residents who want to vote. Apodaca doesn't know when the bill will be debated or voted on but he says voter ID legislation will be passed this year.
Democrats and allied groups say the bill is unnecessary and would needlessly harm the right to vote.

Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger's office sent a document to WECT this afternoon, comparing the House and Senate versions of Voter ID:

According to the Senator's staff, the Senate Bill:

1)      Deletes the House provision creating the Voter Identification Verification Act Board.

2)      Consolidates the various "educational" provisions contained in the House version and deletes other "educational" provisions. [Part V]

3)      Changes the list of acceptable ID documents in proposed GS 163-166.13(e) to:  i) require unexpired identifications except in some instances and ii) delete several categories such as UNC system or community college student ID, employer ID, and some other kinds of government IDs issued by local governments. Allows out-of-state drivers licenses to be used only for 90 days after the voter registers. [page 3]

4)      Clarifies the disaster provision in GS 163-166.1(a)(3) on how to get a disaster declaration form.  [pages 2-3]

5)      Amends G.S. 163‑226.3(a)(4) to require county boards of elections to promptly dispatch multipartisan teams to assist nursing home resident vote. Calls on the State Board of Elections to issue temporary rules by 10/1/2013 on this subject. Currently there is limited assistance to such persons – only a near relative, legal guardian or multipartisan county board team can assist voter. [Section 4.6, pages 11-12]

6)      Amends G.S. 163‑226.3(a)(4) to provide that if county fails to dispatch a multipartisan team within 15 days those voters can get assistance from anyone but: (i)an owner, manager, director, employee of the hospital, clinic, nursing home, or rest home in which the voter is a patient or resident; (ii) an individual who holds any elective office under the United States, this State, or any political subdivision of this State; (iii) an individual who is a candidate for nomination or election to such office; or (iv) an individual who holds any office in a State, congressional district, county, or precinct political party or organization, or who is a campaign manager or treasurer for any candidate or political party; provided that a delegate to a convention shall not be considered a party office. [Section 4.6, pages 11-12]

7)      Amends G.S. 163‑229(b) to add to House provision that the envelope for an absentee ballot contain information about criminal penalties the following language "except if there is not room on the envelope, the State Board of Elections may provide for that disclosure to be made on a separate piece of paper to be included along with the container‑return envelope." [Section 4.1, page 8]

8)      Clarifies effective dates to more closely effectuate intent of bill to phase-in the voter identification requirement.

"This bill restores clarity, transparency and confidence in the voting process," Sen. Berger said in an email news release. "It curtails questions of voter fraud by folks on both sides of the aisle and helps ensure every candidate wins or loses on his or her own merits."

Click here to see the Senate substitute introduced in Committee on Thursday.

Copyright 2013 WECT. Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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