Dem voter ID fear-mongering collides with reality in rural North Carolina

Last year when North Carolina adopted laws requiring voters to show an authorized form of photo ID, the usual suspects screamed that a great many people, particularly the poor and the elderly, would be disenfranchised.  While the law does not become effective until 2016, during last week's primary election judges were required to ask all voters if they possessed a proper photo ID.  If the answer was no, it was to be noted on the "Authorization to Vote" (ATV) form which each voter signs.  A voter without photo ID was to be given an information sheet on how to obtain the proper ID before 2016.  The county boards of election were assigned to follow up based upon the information on the ATV, so that by the time the 2016 election cycle arrives all voters will have proper ID.

At my precinct not one voter stated he or she did not possess a valid photo ID.  This is a remote, rural precinct with many poor elderly residents, precisely the types the critics claimed may not have a valid photo ID.  Indeed, some critics even opined that there were significant numbers of the state's poor, elderly, rural residents who may not even have a birth certificate on file so they can obtain an ID! 

 On Election Day I had the chance to talk with one of the employees at the county Board of Elections.  She stated that during early voting there had been only one person in the entire county who stated she did not currently posses a valid photo ID.  It was an elderly woman who did not drive.   

The ATV forms are not automated.  In each county they will have to be analyzed by hand to compile the list of active registered voters who lack proper photo ID.  This will take time.  My best guess is that if we hear nothing more in the media about this issue in the coming months, it will be because the number of actual voters who lack photo ID proved infinitesimal.

Last year when North Carolina adopted laws requiring voters to show an authorized form of photo ID, the usual suspects screamed that a great many people, particularly the poor and the elderly, would be disenfranchised.  While the law does not become effective until 2016, during last week's primary election judges were required to ask all voters if they possessed a proper photo ID.  If the answer was no, it was to be noted on the "Authorization to Vote" (ATV) form which each voter signs.  A voter without photo ID was to be given an information sheet on how to obtain the proper ID before 2016.  The county boards of election were assigned to follow up based upon the information on the ATV, so that by the time the 2016 election cycle arrives all voters will have proper ID.

At my precinct not one voter stated he or she did not possess a valid photo ID.  This is a remote, rural precinct with many poor elderly residents, precisely the types the critics claimed may not have a valid photo ID.  Indeed, some critics even opined that there were significant numbers of the state's poor, elderly, rural residents who may not even have a birth certificate on file so they can obtain an ID! 

 On Election Day I had the chance to talk with one of the employees at the county Board of Elections.  She stated that during early voting there had been only one person in the entire county who stated she did not currently posses a valid photo ID.  It was an elderly woman who did not drive.   

The ATV forms are not automated.  In each county they will have to be analyzed by hand to compile the list of active registered voters who lack proper photo ID.  This will take time.  My best guess is that if we hear nothing more in the media about this issue in the coming months, it will be because the number of actual voters who lack photo ID proved infinitesimal.

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