More info required on Voter ID bill
The North Carolina General Assembly has begun hearings on a proposal to require voters to show photo identification at the polls.
House leadership has claimed that a bill has yet to be drafted and the hearings are meant to be the start of a clean slate.
One of the arguments of a voter ID bill is the claim of voter fraud. This is an argument that has been stated, not just in North Carolina but, in many states across the country whose legislature has pushed for such a bill.
However, the proponents of the voter ID legislation have yet to actually prove that voter fraud is widespread in the state and that the outcome of even one election has been skewed by fraudulent votes.
On the other hand, the argument against a voter ID bill state that creating such legislation will disenfranchise voters such as the elderly and minorities from voting.
These opponents have yet to prove the contention that a certain class of voters will be disenfranchised by a voter ID bill.
The debate on a voter ID bill is based more on "we think" not "we know" arguments.
We are not going to utilize this space to speak for or against a voter ID bill but rather to call for both sides of the argument to provide proof of their argument's validity.
Voting is a precious right guaranteed by the Constitution to all eligible citizens and any attempt to tinker with that right by imposing additional requirements must be based on a clearly documented and irrefutable need and not on supposition or political fancy.
This documentation and proof need to be provided to the voting public so that their thoughts can be heard on the matter.
To disregard the thoughts and opinions of the everyday voter on a matter such as augmentation of the ability to vote goes against the very principle of which allowing the vote was established.
All avenues need to be explored and there needs to be proof, not whimsy, to show the voters of North Carolina that this legislation is either needed or not.
As the General Assembly continues through its hearing process, we insist that those hearing be a genuine search for the truth and not a cover for advancing political objectives.
By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board
The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett, Dr. Shermaine Surratt and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark