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If Ohio Can, Why Can’t North Carolina?

Jan 10, 2024 — During the same week that NC election officials starts sending absentee ballots to voters and allowing them to vote without photo ID, a federal Judge in Ohio upheld one of the strictest voter ID laws in the nation, begging the question of when NC lawmakers will get around to fixing our state’s laughably weak voter ID laws.

Ohio State Rep. Thomas Hall sponsored HB 458

On Monday, an Ohio federal judge, upheld a strict voter ID law that does NOT include loopholes for people who claim “reasonable impediments” to obtaining valid ID, something codified in NC’s already weak voter ID law.

The lawsuit was filed last year by their teacher’s union and other lefties, after Ohio Governor DeWine signed HB 458, an omnibus bill that included badly needed election law reforms and does away with allowing people to vote with non-photo ID documents like bank statements and utility bills.

After this weeks victory in an Ohio federal court, the only forms of voter ID their state allows are an Ohio driver’s license; a State of Ohio ID card; an Interim ID form issued by the Ohio BMV; a US passport; a US passport card; a US military ID card; an Ohio National Guard ID card; or a US Department of Veterans Affairs ID card.

Unlike NC, an Ohio voter who is unable or unwilling to provide any of those documents must either not bother voting or return to the elections offices with a law-enforcement quality ID card. Nowhere in Ohio law will a vote count if the voter claims they can’t get a legal ID card.

Lawmakers in Ohio must already know that such people are lying.

Exceptions Galore in NC

If you’re normal, you probably didn’t realize that in NC, voters not wanting to provide a legal photo ID can still vote, simply by filling out a form and signing it. We’ve always contested the idea, but Speaker of the House, Tim Moore and Emperor of the Senate, Phil Berger ignored our concerns and in 2018, they codified a “Photo ID Exception Form” that turns our already laughable photo ID law into, literally, the weakest voter ID law in the nation.

In an artful dodge, the 2017-2018 Republican super-majority Legislature rushed their voter ID legislation after nearly 60% of the voters approved a voter ID amendment that included these troublesome words: “...which may include exceptions.

In Ohio and elsewhere, those exceptions generally refer to people who have religious objections to being photographed.  In NC our veto-proof “Republican” majority used that loophole to allow all kinds of ways to cheat.

Now, the NC State Board of Elections is perfectly within the law when their website says, “If the voter does not show an acceptable ID, the voter may . . . complete an ID Exception Form and then vote with a provisional ballot.”

In case you see the word, “provisional” as some sort of relief, the Moore-Berger Legislature thought of that. To make sure the bad guys can still cheat, they included language that prevents any common-sense county election board members from rejecting all provisional voters who use the form to evade our voter ID laws.

To that point, §163-166.16(f) says, “If the county board of elections determines that the registered voter voted a provisional ballot only due to the inability to provide proof of identification and the required affidavit required in subsection (d) of this section is submitted, the county board of elections shall find that the provisional ballot is valid unless the county board has grounds to believe the affidavit is false.”

But wait… there’s more!

Absentee voters can get in on the fraud too! As the SBE legally advises, “Voters who vote by mail must include a photocopy of an acceptable ID when returning their ballot, or they may complete an ID Exception Form. The voter places the photocopy of ID or ID Exception Form in a pocket on the outside of the ballot container envelope, which is then placed in an outer return envelope to protect the privacy of the voter.” (Emphasis added.)

What’s next? Will Beelzebub Marc Elias swoop into NC’s Middle District at the last minute and get a Judge to decree that the form negates the requirement for absentee ballot witnesses?

Those Pesky HAVA ID’s

Another reason we love the Ohio voter ID law is that it comes close to matching that of Indiana and Georgia, two states whose voter ID laws already survived a full SCOTUS vote by a 6-3 majority back in 2008, with reliable Democrat-appointment John Paul Stevens writing the opinion.

While NC lawmakers in 2018 could have crafted the law to match those other states’ already SCOTUS-approved laws, Berger and Moore had other ideas that undermined voter ID in North Carolina.

Among the loopholes included in NC law, were Democrat-designed provisions that have long defined “voter ID” as a piece of paper with their name on it.

Meanwhile, on Ohio’s Secretary of State’s website, here is the approved list of documents they do NOT allow as voter ID:

Source: Ohio SOS (click image for details).

The excuse we’ve repeatedly gotten from NC’s legislative leaders is that they hope to avoid getting tied up in a lawsuit. Then, as an act of contrition, they ignore our warnings and write a watery voter ID laws that still drew lawfare from the usual suspects. Then, if the Plaintiffs get lucky, they land a Leftist ideologue for a judge. This lifetime-appointed Judge then lowers the bar on election integrity. The result is weaker and weaker voter ID laws.

This week, Ohio proved that real voter ID laws can still survive a federal court challenge.

With the departure of Speaker Tyrant Timmy, we sincerely hope the new leadership will quit pretending to fix our election laws and actually get serious.

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