About NC’s fake voter ID law

Nov 8, 2023 – People who voted in this year’s election cycle may be under the impression that they had to show a  valid photo ID in order to vote and a recent media blitz by credits Speaker of the NC House and soon-to-be-coronated Congressman, Timmy Moore for the voter ID law, but it’s really a fake ID law.

NC Speaker of the House, Timmy Moore

In short, the overall problem was that Moore and his lead minion, the now-disgraced David Lewis, sold us the law (SL 2018-144) to create a false sense of security that “we finally got voter ID,” while carefully doing nothing to prevent impersonation fraud.

If you’re finding this hard to believe, you can always visit the NC State Board of Elections website, where you’ll find these reassuring words: All voters will be allowed to vote with or without a photo ID.

Design Features 

Some would call these “design flaws” or system bugs, to the seasoned politician knows they’re really features that give them credit for doing something when they’ve actually done nothing at all. Here’s how they did it:
  • It allows anybody to vote without providing a photo ID.  This is because the law allows a joke called a “Reasonable Impediment” affidavit to be signed by the voter instead of showing an ID. This provision alone makes the law worthless, but I’ll add two other objections further down the page. To those who didn’t fight against  Moore’s bill in 2018, let me unpack that affidavit just a bit. Anybody can walk into a voting location and cite any reason imaginable for not having an ID card and they can vote without ever having to provide an ID card. Some will argue that such voters must return to the election office with a photo ID, but they are mistaken. As a result of the Reasonable Impediment form, anybody can walk into a precinct or Early Voting site in the state and use a name and address of any voter in that county, swear to be that person on the form, claim they don’t have an ID with them, and vote without being required to return with my ID card. The voter becomes “provisional,” but the law prevents election boards from rejecting the form unless it’s filled out improperly and election officials were unable to get it corrected before the canvass.
  • In 2018, NC lawmakers laughed at these fake ID cards, but it would work for voting.

    It allows so many forms of ID that there is no way to protect against fake ID cards. Instead of following the Georgia/Indiana SCOTUS-approved limitations on which forms of ID are acceptable, under Moore’s direction, the law currently allows over 99 different forms of ID to be used but that number is growing. Remember: bartenders do well to authenticate a patron’s state-issued driver’s license in a crowded bar. With nearly a hundred different types of “voter ID” being allowed, there is no way poll workers will be able to authenticate the pieces of plastic during a busy day at the polls.

  • It allows people to vote with just a piece of paper. The requirement for counties to issue free “voter ID cards” has zero security requirements beyond a bank or government letter addressed to the voter at their claimed address. This creates the illusion of security when such voters present their county-issued ID card, but it is no improvement over the prior law. Before our voter ID law, that same piece of paper was valid as proof of “voter ID.” It still is considered “proof” today, because that’s all it takes in order to obtain a free county-issued voter ID card that’s bogus. Lawmakers knew it was bogus by actually writing into the law that “the voter photo identification card shall be used for voting purposes only” (§ 163A-869.1.(a))
  • How we got such a weak voter ID law…

    • We fought Moore and Lewis after they surrendered on the Reasonable Impediment exception the first time in 2015, but the fix was already in and we lost. They thought they could outsmart the courts and get the overall bill (HB 589) approved. Richmond’s 4th District Court of Appeals killed it anyway. The timing was after the 2016 primary but before the November general elections, so cheating was back in play.
    • Then, despite Moore and Berger’s veto-proof 2017-2017 supermajority both chambers sat on the issue for more than a year. During 2018’s “short session,” they finally rolled out an amendment to the NC Constitution.
    • By waiting so long to act on the measure after its 2016 defeat in court, the Legislature used the amendment fight as a cynical way to entice their party’s angry base to give them one more chance at the ballot box. And it worked, sorta.
    • The amendment passed, but both legislative chambers lost their veto-proof majorities. They certainly had my support in passing an implementation law during their lame duck session, but in rushing it, the leadership got exactly the fraud-friendly law they wanted while shutting down any debate within the Republican caucus.
    • See if you can spot the problem in  Article VI, Sec 3, Subsection 2 of the NC Constitution,

    Voters offering to vote in person shall present photographic identification before voting. The General Assembly shall enact general laws governing the requirements of such photographic identification, which may include exceptions.” [Emphasis added.]

    Here are the takeaways:
    • By rushing the bill and limiting debate, Tim Moore and Phil Berger both got exactly what they wanted: A do-nothing law that will fool their more gullible voters into believing they actually care about voter ID. Moore even claimed credit for the bill in a recent press release touting his plan to run for Congress.
    • In truth, somebody congratulated me yesterday for my 12-year fight to get voter ID and I graciously thanked him. . .  and spared him the contents of this post. But seeing press accounts openly promoting Moore For Congress over this incredible ruse has gotten my goat.
    • With so many varieties that are easily counterfeited and the impediment excuse form, NC has the weakest voter ID law in America and it functions exactly like most “gun control” laws in that it only gives honest people a greater sense of security, while criminal enterprises will still have no problem voting as many times as they want.

    Hopefully, Moore’s replacement Speaker of the House will have the integrity and courage to fix this disaster.

    ~ JD