North Carolina has passed its voter ID law. Predictably, the left took that law to court immediately, dubbing it a “voter suppression” law despite the fact that studies have shown that voter participation rates actually increase where voter ID laws have been enacted. That’s true for minority voters as well as white voters, and is among the reasons that voter ID laws tend to be so popular across all demographics.
The Nation, predictably, is banging its spoon over the law.
In addition, the Southern Coalition for Social Justice will file another lawsuit tomorrow [UPDATE: complaint filed on August 13] challenging the voter ID provision in state court, alleging that under Article 6, Section 1 of the North Carolina Constitution, the legislature doesn’t have the power to set new voter qualifications. The plaintiffs will include college students who will not be able to vote in North Carolina because they have out-of-state driver’s licenses and their student IDs will not be accepted, and elderly residents of the state who were not born in North Carolina and will have to pay to get a birth certificate to validate their identity, otherwise known as a poll tax, or they cannot get a birth certificate at all.
There are always provisions available for the latter, who probably represent a tiny percentage of the overall voting population anyway. As for the former, why would students who have out-of-state drivers licenses expect to be allowed to vote in North Carolina elections? They’re obviously not from North Carolina, or they wouldn’t have out-of-state licenses. They’re temporary residents attending school, and presumably have no real connection to the towns outside their universities. They should vote where they’re from, or they should get in-state licenses and vote in North Carolina. By allowing student IDs to supplant non-NC licenses, as the left wants, the state would run the risk of allowing widespread double voting — home states plus North Carolina.
That’s probably what The Nation and its ilk want. But North Carolina shouldn’t be forced to agree.