The most confounding and misleading part of the new voter ID requirement is the “common sense” defense.
Republican state Senate leader Phil Berger said in a TV ad that requiring a photo ID to vote “prevents fraud and protects the integrity of our elections – it’s common sense.” Republican Gov. Pat McCrory signed the requirement into law saying it was part of “common sense reforms.” At a federal trial in Winston-Salem where the requirement is being challenged, it’s being defended as a commonly used and sensible protection.
Proponents of the requirement, which takes effect with the March 15 primary, say a photo ID is needed to cash a check, board an airplane or even to purchase some cold medications, so certainly it should be required for something as important as voting.
But casting a vote is not a transaction. It does not allow the voter to collect cash. You can’t board the right to vote (though some would hijack it). You cannot cook the right to vote to make methamphetamine.
Your right to vote is not something you obtain after showing proper ID or something you lose if you can’t. Your right to vote is something you already have. It is given to you by the United States Constitution.
More from Ned Barnett @ The News & Observer