Jason Thigpen of Wilmington, the underdog Republican seeking to unseat incumbent Republican Rep. Walter Jones in North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District, bucked his party and issued a scathing broadside today against the state’s new Voter ID law.
“You can paint a turd and sell it as art, but it’s still a turd,” Thigpen said in article on his campaign’s Facebook page. “This is 2013 and any legislator that puts forth such a discriminatory bill should be laughed out of office. This is America, not Russia.”
Republicans have tried for years to pass a voter ID law, but were stopped until they pushed the Democrats out of the Governor’s mansion and took majority control of the legislature.
The new law mandates that voters present a government-issued identification card or document in order to vote.Thigpen is unhappy that it excludes college IDs. Note that before he got into the Congressional election, Thigpen, as a college student and military veteran, led an organization that fights to ensure that military veterans in North Carolina can attend state colleges and universities at in-state tuition prices instead of the much-higher non-resident prices.
The elections law does many things that have nothing to do with voter ID. For example, the legislation:
- Moves the presidential primary earlier in the year (probably to February, our date will depend on South Carolina’s election schedule). Primary elections for other offices will remain in May.
- Bans people age 16 and 17 from registering to vote. But it remains legal for 17-year-olds who will be 18 by the date of the general election to register to vote and to vote in the primary.
- Bans straight-ticket voting.
- Reduces the early voting period to 10 days. It had been 17 days.
- Bans same-day voter registration during the early voting period.