Perdue vetoes voter photo ID bill

Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue on Thursday vetoed House Bill 351, which would have required North Carolina voters to present a state-issued photo ID when casting a ballot in person.

“This bill, as written, will unnecessarily and unfairly disenfranchise many eligible and legitimate voters,” Perdue said in a statement released after issuing her veto. “The legislature should pass a less extreme bill that allows for other forms of identification, such as those permitted under federal law.”

N.C. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Guilford, Rockingham) criticized Perdue’s veto in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

“A measure that ensures voters are who they say they are is a no-brainer, and most North Carolinians agree,” Berger said.  “It’s a shame Gov. Perdue is playing politics with the integrity of elections.”

The photo ID requirement was a top priority of the new Republican legislative majority this year and an override attempt could be made when lawmakers return for a special redistricting session beginning July 13.

However, an override could be difficult, given that the GOP would need to convince four Democrats to break party ranks to support the bill after it passed earlier this month on a party-line vote.

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