Gov. Pat McCrory announced Monday that he’s signed a controversial voter ID bill into law.
The Republican-supported measure includes sweeping changes in how and when people can cast their ballots in North Carolina.
Just last month, McCrory called voter ID (House Bill 589) a common sense bill, listing a slew of events and locations, including the Governor’s Mansion, where an ID was needed to gain access.
In a news release, the governor said the law will help ensure the integrity of the North Carolina ballot box and provide greater equality in access to voting to North Carolinians.
“North Carolinians overwhelmingly support a common sense law that requires voters to present photo identification in order to cast a ballot. I am proud to sign this legislation into law. Common practices like boarding an airplane and purchasing Sudafed require photo ID and we should expect nothing less for the protection of our right to vote,” said Governor McCrory.
In lieu of a formal ceremony, McCrory’s press office also posted a 95-second message on YouTube giving his reasons.
Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper had written to McCrory urging him to veto the measure.
Republicans argue the legislation will prevent voter fraud, which they claim is both rampant and undetected. But opponents of the bill, including non-partisan voting rights groups, Democrats and libertarians, say the true goal is to suppress voter turnout, especially among blacks, the young, the elderly and the poor.
Polls on the subject indicate that about 75-percent of North Carolinians are in favor of the photo ID requirement, which will go into effect for the 2016 elections.
The American Civil Liberties Union said late Monday that it and two other groups had filed a lawsuit challenging the legislation.