Alright members we are - the House Committee on Elections will come back to order. When we recessed we were going to take up Amendment H589ATC24. I believe that's the number set forth by the lady from Wake Representative Ross. Representative Ross you are recognized, ma'am, to explain your amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much Mr. Chairman. I'm going to call this the Tim Moore memorial amendment because [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm not planning on dying anytime soon! I may just sound like it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] This is an amendment that allows people to use their voter registration card or HAVA documents to present that when they go to vote in person and does not require a voter ID although if somebody prefers to use their drivers license they can but this would allow the HAVA documents or their voter registration card and I believe that this would be consistent with the both Federal law and with most of the photo ID states that allow other documents that prove your address when you go to vote and I move the adoption of the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Bill sponsors desire to comment on the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. Yes I would ask members to oppose the amendment. This, if the intention of this body is to require a photo in order to verify the individual vote this is not the way to go so I'd ask members to oppose it and I'd be glad to ask any questions about the amendment but I would ask members to oppose it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion further debate on the amendment? Seeing not submitting the favor of the adoption of the amendment set forth by the lady from Wake please signify by saying aye. All those opposed no. In the opinion of the chair the no's have it. The no's do have it and the amendment fails. And I believe we had one other amendment from Representative Ross. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes Mr. Chairman, I believe it's AST21 version 2. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Here we go. The lady's recognized to explain her amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much Mr. Chairman. In the bill in order to get a free ID if you don't have an ID it says that you have to already be registered to vote but there might be people who don't have a photo ID who are not yet registered to vote and we're making them go to the DMV anyway and it just seems like they should be able to register to vote at the DMV like people do for motor voter when they're getting their free ID and not deny them an opportunity to have the customer service of the DMV and be able to do that one-stop shopping. Of course the registration would have to happen 25 days before the election in order for them to vote in the next election but it seems to me kind of silly that they would have to already be registered to vote in order to get the ID if they don't already have a photo ID let them do both things in one place and I move the adoption of the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You wish to comment on bill or do you have a question of the amendment's sponsor? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Question of the Chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Please state your question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Would you tell us again the number - we're not sure we've got the right one. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Warren has my copy. It's 21. The one that Representative Warren has in his hand is it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The issue that I see with this legislation is if someone is in the DMV and registering to get a driver's license or a non operator card and they have the ability to pay, what we don't want to address is a situation where we're just trying to give people a free card even if they have the ability to pay and that's kind of an interesting situation. It seems to me that this might be a way for every driver's license in the state of North Carolina to become free and that seems to be not your intent but I think the practical effect of that is that anyone that goes to the DMV to get any card will
Free card and I think that’s, that’s a fiscal issue that I think, that the way I read this amendment, I think it’s going to be problematic. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr., Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] State your purpose please [SPEAKER CHANGES] To inquiry of staff [SPEAKER CHANGES] Please state your inquiry [SPEAKER CHANGES] I would just like to, I did not. I asked for this to apply to getting, for getting the ID if you don’t have the driver’s license or you’re going in to get your free ID because you can’t. You don’t have one, and you can’t pay for one. I don’t think this opens it up to having people get free driver’s licenses. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I believe the way it is drafted Representative Ross, it’s an applicant who appears at DMV that is asked to register to vote and they say “yes, I want to register to vote”. If they then do not have any type of the photo identification necessary for voting they could obtain the special identification card. If they signed that yes they were registering to vote, and that they do not have any other photo identification acceptable for voting. Then they could receive it for free. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The lady have an additional question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well I guess the question to staff is could they then try to get a free driver’s license doing it? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yeah you can. [SPEAKER CHANGES] None of this is about a driver’s license, it’s only about the special identification card. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman [SPEAKER CHANGES] You may state, an inquiry to make? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well yeah, so given that staff has clarified that, I’m hoping that that is acceptable and if there is any other inquiry about it I can always have them look at it and I could offer this tomorrow in finance. Since I’m going to have that golden opportunity yet again. To deal with the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the lady want to simply withdraw the amendment at this time and do it tomorrow? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Give it some time ??. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sure, I’ll withdraw it at this time and let them look at it and hopefully we’ll be able to get this taken care of in finance. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The amendment is withdrawn but I see Representative Michaux is ready to come out of his chair over there. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well not really, I’ve already seen too much already, maybe. But I’ve got a question about, I just heard something here again. Erica I think you’ve explained that you can go to DMV. Now I’m not talking about getting a driver’s license, and, and, and, right, and you can get a free photo ID without just go in and ask for it and then just go and vote afterwards. Is that what I’m hearing? [SPEAKER CHANGES] That’s what ?? amendment would do [SPEAKER CHANGES] Staff want to take that question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I, I don’t think so sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Think so, I didn’t think so. Go ahead. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Right now there is a special identification card that’s issued for someone who does not desire to have a driver’s license. That card is available to anyone that can meet the requirements to prove who you are with proof of identity and proof of age. And currently it is available for no charge to anyone who is blind, 70 years old, homeless, or has had their driver’s license canceled because of, as a result of physical or mental disability or disease. This amendment would be saying that if you likewise did not already have a special identification card you would not be charged a fee to obtain one if you were registering to vote at the DMV. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And, and had those? [SPEAKER CHANGES] And had what you needed to prove who you were. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Right. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And, were willing to sign a declaration under a Class I penalty of, Class I felony penalty. That you were registering to vote and you did not have any other photo identification acceptable to vote under the provisions requiring photo identification for voting in person. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Go ahead you can state your [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yeah I’m, I’m still confused Erica because you set up some, some, some guidelines for getting an identification card if you were blind. If you were, free, without a charge, but is, is, is there still a charge for anybody who wants to go in there and get a photo ID and register. Is there a charge for them in there at all? Just, just a person who doesn’t fall under that paradigm that you mentioned. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr., Mr. Chair if I might, I believe the situation you are describing is the situation Representative Ross is attempting to address with this amendment. That that individual would not be charged a fee if that amendment passed. [SPEAKER CHANGES] May I ask a question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Certainly. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The way I understand it is, that if you go to get a non-voter ID, a non-operator card which is this kind of card
Currently and you don't find anything allocations UK for the caller is so we were in the USA NSA Yukon and say you're getting the car to the practice of adding a deadly when Wayne CN concern about the way they did, why didn't he finally just need to work thread is that RSA the average person dies and that's really not why they came to get a nine operator call are a lot of SMS will either registered by their wealth, SNMP register 99 in selling the airy Ukraine and everybody who comes to NT get one of those cards, reaching the registration and qualifying seven MIB year intact we just need were trying to make it said that everybody can get an operator Karin Frey and I think probably an average and Ross is recognized to well discourse Oregon 97 it's not like fly by the end of the bracket correct I've left on the amended to make sure that it does, (SPEAKER CHANGES) sank 1:00 AM saying is that if you're not registered to vote and you don't have any photo ID and you're gonna have a driver's license in any of these other things to make you have two goal register to vote before you can do it when everybody else gets motor voter when they go to DMV taken to do everything in one stop shop seems two P somewhat discriminate or EMI you apply things and just to make it easier sell few people would be doing this anyway it's so we've heard from why not make it so that they can do it one stop people deal with backing from S1 of Nis see if it will be ruled out of order and finance since we've agreed to give back a share from its markets to interview a rate that we're now we're on two of them in the 2589 PST on 17 this is our profit by Representative Floyd of Jim’s bill for tracking the students playing his amendment would be amending page two line 30 clients 47 at all but 244 years to the chairmanship Mrs. Two out of which come on down inside the compound skiing, and they concede that will put this is a very simple and unlimited, of the year low twenties, stain is the unexpired of aloha identification(SPEAKER CHANGES) a lot of it can be utilized as saying that mental and if we can say to spend some money on education purchase people buying gold at the callers represented walls to its own of Jews mission and it is an imposing school of government above the sea bed, somewhere you might want to do a perfect accompaniment 10 years but these can be utilized without course and if they are giving money to have people who cannot pay a competent and to do the best serve the correction provided for all of the bill's sponsors to Sacramento is as chairman of Lester’s to oppose the amendment, it does say this amendment would define photo identification and use them use on one item that does not take the so on its number nine on the back of the amendment to a voter registration card can be used without photographs even the United States that we're having fun and educational and so on, I think it's this is just not achieve the goal of legislation known as members opposing and fall of two German states can't let this guy was for better question is still spots using the latest unless I am of you know enough to stay I do with the UK and the unexpired will contract by some of those who have the full bill or nick certainly a number nine in your amendment voter registration card issued by the state board of elections does not contain photograph: but it's a consultant's this definition of photographic, photo identification includes a piece of a document that is a photo of two generations of them being with the strength in that section of the model to comply here on the trouble of education cars will weather is always started out as the cause of death of the expiration we all know ??....
The stars and close the sale of a vicious and it makes for a columnist said the mistake of fall practice HMO, and number four also addresses the scene identification cards and were come from the private sector universe is not just public universities and I have dated issues are dated expiration of 90 determine whether something is expired for the Spanish majority of our administration on sawmill Hollis, you would never enforced eight and several provisions in the recall is several of these, of course and identification documents (SPEAKER CHANGES) she was still have a sufficient or native nations of the based explorations of scholarship mistake from the Opec a class to send you to follow question it'll take them in may with being the U4. 10 years would that be in a one on in its hoping to change anything worth with headliner on the calls it. They are several of these things just when they finish with a fix for Asians to get some just technical problems with the with the amendment on an on-duty as a junior clamor that we have legislation is workable balance should at least a small bag and if applicable been met with being cool expected in the exploration of eight or 10 years unexpired within the circle I would like to see how perfect you can make this a man on a policy that would happen if you die, legally innovative the gas tax and the staff to locate profit above what we tried it would not try to do is to make some omitted the same tent cities and states some revenue and generated reducing the alleged in the local calls the five new colors in one of the unlike see what you come up with a second day of the there's really no difference if he's the star and 10 years back in some states on these things out, we're at and what we get legislation home and that's what we got the legislation right now belongs to the people of this amendment, if the staff to get some assistance recalls what the benefits of days ago and is trying to say just ate some money and providing for the levy and that's all there is to identify into plummeting of Altadena nothing against taking what you have against transferring to expire it is just as demolition withdrawal the amendment or out to arms speech in which they were common shares acquired him and wanted to become so much about the story is gentle and withdraw the vendors, which forbade from you know if I can allow to cool the amendment that the religious coalition to the old central installation while you walk among them ready to open the loan to represent wholesome in the 85898 TC 29-aways perfected the national leaders Sununu's back to four some CTC 29 GM of lake is recognized explains about Beijing’s chairman on a new offering this amendment to my already amended amendment on our respect for (SPEAKER CHANGES) Mr. Stone's concerns are all whether the board would be required on all assistance. In the members contract extension. What sense of human knowledge that if the court finds a list of others, on I understand is the fault of the mother died may go away altogether for and with the understanding all the cinema dozen hours says that if the Wilkes Barre that if the state board of five to have discovered a future that will include some competition on this new bill which everyone agrees the delivery on the substance of the one detail in these voters haven't had the opportunity to have been spent 3 hours we have on work on the responses will be in Beirut is on an amendment in the way too ??.....
… has been formed that the sponsors are ok with this amendment. Is that correct Representative Warren? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion, further debate to the amendment? Representative Blust, you’re recognized to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I have a question. Will this change the fiscal note, or the total cost of this bill? Because I have a concern that what will happen is, if we raise the cost of the bill then the cost of the bill will later be used as an argument against the bill, so I’m reluctant to support something that may increase the cost of the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Blust, I don’t believe it will have any impact at all because of the perfecting changes that the Representative was generous enough to comply with. This simply allows the BOE to allocate the funds as they see fit, so it’s the same amount of money, it’s just where they decide to spend it. That’s all. Again, we have no problem with this. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The chair has reviewed this too Representative Blust. It does appear to be permissive. Further discussion, further debate on the amendment? Seeing none, all those in favor of the amendment please signify by saying Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All those opposed please signify by saying no. [SPEAKER CHANGES] No. [SPEAKER CHANGES] In the opinion of the chair the aye’s appear to have it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Division. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Division has been called by the gentleman from Durham. Those in favor of the amendment please raise your hand. Ok thank you. Those opposed please raise your hands. A vote of 20 in the affirmative, 8 in the negative, the amendment is adopted. We’re now going to take up, I only show two amendments still pending, and those are both from Representative Floyd. Is anybody aware of any other amendments that you sent forth and you’ve been waiting to be called? Alright. Representative Floyd, why don’t we go to your other amendment, which is AST 22, which starts amending the bill on page 2, lines 47 to 48. The gentleman from Cumberland is recognized to explain his amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chair, this is section 20 I believe of the bill. It allows a person that goes to the poll to take a photo ID, sign an affidavit, cast his vote or her vote without coming back and providing the necessary photo ID. It will also help when it comes to doing the provisional ballots. It will save the board of elections time in order to do that. Understanding this section 20 that we are talking about doing some form of digital voting, but if you will take into consideration what transpired yesterday or the day before yesterday, those individuals used a cell phone, and took pictures of that the federal government is using to help end their investigation. Just a camera on a laptop can provide a reasonable photo of an individual and can indicate that he is ready to vote but he does not have the necessary proper identification. And he or she will sign an affidavit to that fact. If not then they are guilty of a felony. I don’t think a reasonable minded person will come and sit and take a picture and sign an affidavit to indicate that he is not who he says he is. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Will the bill sponsors desire comment on the amendment? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes Mr. Chair thank you. Members I’m going to ask you to vote against this amendment. We have provisions in the bill that requires BOE to study going digital and creating a statewide digital database and this is going to necessitate having a systematic and orderly procedure to do that. It is problematic to say the least to expect during an election period, weather its early voting or its election day, to have poll workers taking photographs of voters and then…
Trying to coordinate all that information back to a central location be it the county BOE or to a state board, but, so I ask you to please vote this down. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion, further debate on the amendment. Seeing none, so many as favor the adoption of the amendment put forth by Representative Floyd, please signify by saying aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Those opposed signify by saying no. [SPEAKER CHANGES] No. [SPEAKER CHANGES] In the opinion of the chair, the nos have it. The nos do have it and the amendment fails and I believe, Representative Floyd, at first the amendment 17 was withdrawn but the gentleman has submitted a new amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes and staff has. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And copies are being made right now, so what we'll do is once the copies are here we'll pick back up on that note. So other than that last amendment, it looks like we're ready for debate on the bill and what we'll do is take the amendment after it comes back in for consideration. The chair assumes that at some point there is going to be a motion for a favorable report with the amendments so based upon that we'll now allow debate on the bill. Further discussion, further debate from members of the committee on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I want to ask a question when we have the opportunity. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That would be the time right now, and if you do have an inquiry to state, to whom the inquiry is directed whether it's the bill sponsors or staff. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Bill sponsor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All right, the lady may state her inquiry. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, for the tribes, the Indian tribes, is that going to be both state and federally recognized tribes? The way the bill's been amended, they're both out, and part of that was because of the question between the two and so we're doing some more research on it but at this point they will stay out unless we come to some resolution on that. If you have an opinion feel free to talk to me later because we're getting rapidly educated on the nuances. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, ma'am. Please state your inquiry or debate. [SPEAKER CHANGES] ?? in this right? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, yes. To debate the bill, but more importantly I'd like to be able to make a statement for the record. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The lady has the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very kindly, Mr. Chair. I would like to address this committee from a very personal perspective and I do respect the fact that this bill has been worked on very diligently and that the persons who have presented it have done a stellar job, but I simply want to say that probably some 50 years ago I accompanied my mother and her father to a voting place that we were basically not allowed or were not considered to be allowed to go to. My, and as I recall as a young child my mother, we had discussions at home on Saturday mornings about public affairs and I realized then that politics had a great deal to do with many of the things that affected our lives and the debates were so heated from time to time because my mother was of one party affiliation and my grandfather who was her dad was of another party affiliation. He was born in 1889 of course and had never been able to vote, so what had happened, she had been tutoring him on sections of the United States Constitution because he was not literate. He did not have an opportunity to go to school but he did in fact educate his children so my mother drilled ?? and she had remembered, she had committed to memory the Constitution, but to make a very long story short, we went any number of times back to that same place in Forsyth County where we were not allowed to go and each time dressed in the finest clothes and tried to register so that we could vote because as I said, my granddad was an Abraham Lincoln republican and he never changed that, but my mother was what they called a yellow dog democrat and so that picture
is so vivid in my mind because I don't remember exactly how many trips we made. This was in the early 1950's, I believe. Um--until he was able to recite and--and--say everything that was in that preamble as well as several of the articles of the United States Constitution. My mother was a very brilliant woman, so she probably knew it all. But the reality of that memory still resonates with me. And, as I see the work that's--and actually I--at age 18 I had to register to vote, and I think I voted almost every time since then--even when I think one time I was out of the country and I did so. So, the--the time that we're spending and what we're doing here for something that I consider to be so much a very--a privilege and a right that really does seem to say to everybody that--you know--we're going to really, wring your wrists and do everything we can to really really make you want to do this thing called voting--it just bogs my mind. And it makes it very difficult for me to understand even why we are doing this, even though I recognize that many of you say that there is so much fraud. We're saying to the American people that we don't trust what's been happening--and of course to the people of North Carolina--we don't trust what's happening and we're going to fix this thing and make you stand in lines and do all these things that are so unnecessary. And every time I think about that, I think about the pride that my folks had simply when they were able to, after about twenty trials, go to a place and finally be able to cast a vote. And even then, my granddad had to make an X when he did it because, of course, he was not literate. And, I simply--I simply have the picture of those times in my mind. And therefore, there is just nothing, even in spite of all the work and all of the due diligence that can happen that will make me support something that lends itself to making it so difficult for an American citizen to go and cast a vote, simply because they are that--a citizen of the state of North Carolina. Thank you very much. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Members, before we continue debate on the bill--I know there are several who want to speak--we have the amendment before us from Representative Floyd which is our final amendment to consider. It's H-589 ATC30, the gentleman from Cumberland is recognized to explain the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chair. May I get the staff to give some assistance in explaining ??. [SPEAKER CHANGES] If you would like. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You would --?? The Committee will be at ease just a moment. Have copies of the amendment been distributed? You're asking if staff would like to offer an explanation of the amendment? ?? if you'd like to do that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] As redrafted the amendment would add one new category on page 3, after the four categories that are currently listed in the bill, and that category would be for voter identification cards issued by the State Board of Elections or by county board of elections, notwithstanding that they did not contain photographs. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman desire further comment on his amendment or ready to-- [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ready-- [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay. The bill's sponsors desire comment on the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, Mr. Chairman, thank you. Members, I'm going to encourage you to vote no on this amendment. It clearly is working around the photo ID and it's clearly not what I was expecting to get back, but I encourage ya'll [sic] to vote no. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All right. Further discussion; further debate on the amendment? Seeing none, as many as favor the adoption from the--for the amendment offered by the gentleman from Cumberland please signify by saying aye. Those opposed, no. In the opinion of the Chair the no's have it. The no's do have it, and the amendment fails. We're now back in debate on the bill. I believe Representative Speciale--did the gentleman wish to debate the bill? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman is recognized.
I think there is a necessity for this bill, and it's not designed to keep American citizens from voting. But it is designed to make sure that you are an American citizen, and that you are eligible to vote, and that you are who you say you are. I've sat through these meetings. I've sat through the hearings. I've sat through the hours and hours and hours of this stuff, and I've listened to, to all the comments that indicate that somehow we are trying to oppress people. We are trying to suppress their votes. Somehow that this has something to do with race or minorities, and I'm here to tell you that this has absolutely nothing to do with any of that. And here to remind you that it was my party, it was my party that gave, that initially in the 1800s passed the amendments giving the right to vote, passed all the equal rights stuff, I'm, I am so tired of hearing this, and I feel it's necessary to say this. The Republican Party has been the party of freedom. And we have sat here in these hearings and these meetings and listen to this over and over and over again, this rhetoric. We are not trying to suppress anybody. We are not trying to oppress anybody. It has nothing to do with race. It has to do with who you say you are, and when I walk somewhere and I say my name is Mike Speciale, I can prove I am who I am. It's very simple. It, we're not, it's got nothing to do with the elderly. It's got nothing to do with race. Let's be adult about this people, and let's discuss this in an adult manner and stop trying to debase the issue. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion, further debate? Representative Harrison is recognized to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you mister Chair. I very much appreciate the sponsors of the bill. Scaling back on some of the more burdensome aspects of the original voter ID bill but [??] I feel like this is unnecessary, and it's a solution in search of a problem. We know that the voter fraud cases in North Carolina are quite limited. I think I've read, and it's been in the Observer, there's been one case prosecuted out of 20 million votes. And we have, while the Department of Motor Vehicles has scaled back the anticipated number of affected voters from something like 600,000 to 300,000, I still submit to you that that's 300,000 too many. I think we're imposing a cost on our taxpayers that is not necessary, creating this new bureaucracy in the cost of implementing this program, which was not insignificant. I also have been very concerned in listening to the testimony of those who came up and spoke at the public hearings about the impact on those who are low income, homeless, severely poor. I think those will be the most negatively impacted, and I think it's unfortunate that we are imposing these burdens on voters, and I'm going to be voting against the bill, and I urge you to as well, thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Fisher is recognized to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you mister chairman. I will piggyback onto what my colleague Representative Harrison had to say by saying that I do appreciate the work of the sponsors. This is a big piece of legislation, one that is very, I think, very complicated for the average voter to look at and try to fathom. But I, I can't support it, and the reason I can't support it is any number of reasons, but one that you just heard so, so very well spoken by the other Representative telling the story of her mother and her grandfather, Representative Terry, and it's a shame that we all did not live in those times and could come back and speak to that experience because it's obvious to me that people don't remember what happened. I don't remember because I wasn't there, but I've read my history books and I know what happened, and we're getting ready to do that again. We're going backwards. We're getting ready to repeat that ugly time in our history, and we should not want to go back there. I think if you look at anything at all. Look at the long lines that this is going to cause at voting places. We're going to have so many more restrictions to what people have been able to do. It's going to cause lots of burden
Lots of long lines. Lots of disenfranchisement, I'm afraid, and I cannot vote for this bill, and Mister Chairman, I would like to call for the eyes and nose please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Is the call sustained? The call is not sustained. Representative Avila is recognized to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you mister chairman. While I am very moved by Representative Terry's picture that she painted, there are a number of pictures that have been painted in the years since that time, and because of the circumstances surrounding the picture that she painted for us, we have moved forward. And we have moved forward by giant strides. Unfortunately, continuing to hold onto those photographs as if it was yesterday and nothing has changed is making it extremely difficult for us to really move forward and make progress in a lot of areas. The changes in our country, I used to go to my polling place and everybody knew me. And probably, a lot of you in this room that's been the case. Now however, with early voting and the polling place halfway across the county, I could walk into a half a dozen of them and nobody would know who I am. And I honestly can't guarantee you that I could walk into my polling place today and that everybody at that table would know who I am. We have people in this country who are not citizens, so to say that we have no fraud when we're saying we want photos that we can look at, and we don't look at those photos, my question has always been how do we know? Unless we do a survey, and say okay, we're gonna do a survey here, and everyone who comes to vote at this election we're gonna look at their photograph and see how many of them are committing fraud. We don't know. The kind of fraud we find is the kind where people try to vote more than once. And there have been instances where people have walked into the polling place and somebody knew they'd moved away, but that's very rare. The privilege we have to vote is so precious. We have identity fraud that is rampant in this country. Your finances can be screwed up for years to come because somebody's got your name and your social security number. So what makes you think because they've got your name and your address that they can't rob you of one of the most precious things you have in this country, and that's your right to choose the people who govern you. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Floyd is recognized to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you mister chair. As I look and sit through a number of election meeting, and I look at my service to this great state, some of my colleagues gave some, some gave all so we can sit here and enjoy this freedom that we are debating today. When I sit and look at some of our prestigious universities and those students won't be able to use their ID to vote, when I look at Duke, and I look at Eon, Meridith, Shaw, ??, Bennet, I look at all these ?? that will not participate in the process, but yet still they provide a strong economic ?? to this state. And when we present a bill and always see this great nation, when we begin to debate, we will always say, how can we negotiate with our persons across the pond or the sea or the ocean whichever. How can we debate, how can we come to a workable mean? When I look at the 9.9 million North Carolinians, and the 4.6 million North Carolinians that cast a ballot, the 300,000 that may not have some form of photo idea. When I look at what's trans, if we had said we want to improve the voting, the way we vote in North Carolina, but when we say voter fraud, when I look at institutions that allow individuals to ?? their access, they allow them a margin left and right because they know that they are human and they are not going to be 100% in their ability to count money all the time. They allow a margin of differences. Sometime, if we, and which this will do, they increase, and the polls
Was still a little bit later. Our lines will increase, and voter will be frustrated because of the lines. Sometime, when voters vote, sometime they vote out their frustration. They vote out their frustration, and when we look at what we consist of here in North Carolina, 1.9 million Republican, 2.5 million Democrats and 1.4 Independents, we have to look at what are we doing to these individuals? Are we going to frustrate these voters as they go to the poll because we sit here and then not take all of this into consideration. The time for us to look at this and to voter out some reasonable means is gone. And many person in North Carolina, not so much about the photo ID and a picture, it's the way in which this process was carried out. But yet still, we have an opportunity to correct this. And I just hope and trust that some kind of way that hardline politics is not the way that we are to do business. And I just say that as I look at this bill, and I appreciate the sponsors doing some corrections in the bill, but when I look at the number of amendments, and I look at the, and look at the statement that was given as it relates to the amendments, and I begin to wonder. Was it necessary for us to sit through three and a half hours, or two and a half hours of debate? But mister chair, I want to thank you for the way in which you conducted the process, but it's a little frustrating when I see sponsors of a bill that so imbedded, they don't want to accept any change. We are here to represent our constituents and share information about bills that we think that will soften the blows to our constituents. But when we sit through this and amendments are not going to be heard, or not going to be accepted, or not going to be received, but thank God for the process, and I thank you so much. I looked at the bill. I saw the changes and I was very pleased and I was looking and looking and see how could I support this? And I was looking at a way that I could, but after I saw what took place today, it has saddened me to no end. And thank you mister chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative ?? is recognized to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you mister chair, and I'll try to be brief. I know it's, it's getting late. But I've talked more today then I've talked the entire session, I believe. Been very involved with this for years at the polls, so there's a couple of things I'd like to get on the record as we're all getting on the record today. We've been sitting here in ?? like this since at least 2011 that I'm aware of, working on this bill, and it's been, it's been worked over and over and colleagues have been through all the court cases and all the other documentation they can dredge up, tons of it, and put together a bill, frankly is not as strong a bill I think as we had last session which would already be law were it not for one individual. And I'd just like to say a couple things about, about our existing situation. It has nothing to do with 1950. I do have a story that when I went to register to vote, I became aware of what was going on in the 50s and 60s a little bit as a young person. I went to register to vote in the early 60s, I couldn't vote when I was 21 years old. So I missed three years and at least one presidential election not being able to vote when I was 21. And I walked in and wanted to register Republican, and once they got over the shock, they let me know very quickly that if I didn't vote for five years my name would be removed from the roll. I think that's a good provision. I even thought about putting a bill in like that this year but I knew this bill was coming, that would make some improvements to our 1,200 pages of general statue 163. Most of our folks don't seem to know a lot of what's in it, even the ones that have to carry it out. Various folks out there working hard, but it's very hard to understand. And I, we've listened for three years now, to facts, or statements without facts, about long lines and all the dire things that are gonna happen when we pass a bill like this. To me, compared to last session, this bill is watered down. But it does address some issues that needed to be addressed, particularly absentee ballots, and I'm gonna support the bill again and hope it passes
By a large margin and I know that it will pass about the same breakdown as we had last session. It became very partisan and that's just the way it is and folks that wanted to offer amendments were allowed to offer amendments and if you look, technically and amendment, I didn't think, could be an exact opposite of a bill and be ruled in order, but our chairman just let those be ruled in order, so everyone's bent over backwards to try to do a bill that will be fair to everybody without totally wiping out the concept that you are who you say you are when you go vote. So that's my statement for the record. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Stone is recognized to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'm taking a second opportunity and I know that folks think they have bent over backwards to debate this bill, but let me simply state that this exercise today has been great. I've enjoyed it immensely simply because I'm one of those who believes in the Constitution, not only of North Carolina, but the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the United States guarantees me equal protection under the law, and what we have done today has run rampant over that particular section, Article 14, Amendment 14, the last sentence in there about equal protection is where it's found, that the laws have to be applied equally, and what you've done today. Let me tell you what you've done. You've set up three classes of voters. You've set up voters with ID, you've set up voters who don't have ID but may be able to get ID, and then you have a class of voters that can get ID under certain circumstances. There is no equality in the administration of this law that you're putting out here now. I mean, it's just obvious. If I go down there and they say that I don't have the voter ID that's necessary, I can vote a provisional ballot and then when I vote that provisional ballot and then two days or three days later I can come back and show that photo ID then I'm allowed to vote, but if I go down there and I fill out that provisional ballot and I don't come back then my vote doesn't count even though there may be some attestation in there which you've put in there. I mean there are at least 4 or 5 different ways that equal protection under the law has been violated in my book and it's going to be expensive to this state to try to prove that. But let me look at something else. Representative Speciale, I agree. I agree with you. The republicans in the 1800's did a good job, but somewhere along the line you fell down. When you thought that we had gone too far you just walked off and left us on the ground to pick ourselves up by our own bootstraps. That's what you did. And what happened was we got into a problem with the democratic party who put the Jim Crow laws back in, but then you never helped us straighten out those Jim Crow laws that we were put back. No, sir, you didn't. It took democrats who got a change of heart to come back and do it, so, hey, both parties are to blame for whatever happens, but I just want and like I tried to tell you this morning, there are folks who stood out there, what problems have we had? What problems have we had with voting in this country? A country that is based on liberty and freedom. None. We haven't had any problems in North Carolina, but yet what you're doing is you put road blocks in the way of people who want to exercise that right, that right that is guaranteed by both the North Carolina Constitution and the United States Constitution. Not the privilege, it is not a privilege, it is a right to vote, and under our US Constitution you cannot abridge that right to vote. So here again, yes, as I said before, I was a part of that group that fought hard, long, got spat on, got cussed at, got done everything that could be done, got shot at, everything to get the right to vote for a group of people who did not have the privilege to do it, and so, yes, I'm going to always fight anything that in my estimation or in anybody else's estimation says that we are going to put a stop to your coming to the polls in the numbers that you're coming to the polls in. We're going to put a stop to allowing you to vote without showing who you are or what you are.
I, too, sing America. I'm the darker brother. They send me to eat in the kitchen when company comes. I go, I eat, and I go strong. And the next time company comes I will be at that table and you will see how beautiful my argument is. I, too, sing America. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Jones is recognized to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman and I'll be brief. I'd like to agree with something that Representative Iler brought before us and that is that we have had some healthy and vigorous debate here and we've had it over the period now of 3 years. This general assembly passed the voter ID bill in the last session that was vetoed by the governor and, at that time, we didn't have the votes to override that veto. During the current session, we have been here for many, many hours debating this issue. The rhetoric has been fascinating, once again. But in the midst of the rhetoric there has been facts and I appreciate the opportunity that we had to hear from Secretary of State's Office of Georgia and Indiana that I think the facts that they had to present really spoke to much of the rhetoric and the concerns that we have heard. We continue to hear that there's hundreds of thousands of votes in North Carolina that are going to need an ID at the cost of millions of dollars to the state and I have a difficult time seeing how that lines up with the actual facts of what happened in Georgia. Wherever, the past 7 years, they've only issued between 29 and 30 thousand IDs and I believe the Secretary of State told us that the entire cost of the state, including novelty education, was somewhere approximately $1.6 million. You know, sometimes the facts tend to get lost in the rhetoric, some people say if they say the same thing over and over enough times that, I guess, people will begin to believe it. You know, the statewide polls seem to be pretty obvious that the people of North Carolina are favoring this by at least 3 to 1 and in an environment where 55% in today's political environment is often called a landslide, the bottom line is, Mr. Chairman, I came here to represent the people that elected me and sent me here. I think that's why they call us representatives, we're here to represent the people and I understand there are people here that feel like they're representing their constituencies in opposing this bill but I can assure you that the people that I represent are for this bill and I believe statewide, as I said, that people are probably for it at least 3 to 1. I know the opponents will say: "well the majority's not always right", and that's true. But I do put a lot of faith in our citizens and I believe that these other states that have passed voter ID legislation had it right. Ladies and gentlemen, I want to live in a society and a nation and a state that respects the dignity and the importance of voting and I believe that's what this legislation intends to do and so, Mr. Chairman, at the appropriate time, I will be pleased to make a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We have two speakers left. I believe Representative Floyd (??) has debated a second time. Representative Ford has not. Representative Ford, do you recognize to debate the bill? [SPEAKER CHANGES] My question is similar to what Representative Jones mentioned. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I was going to let Representative Ford debate. Did you gentleman have an inquiry to state? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I had an inquiry. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We'll take the inquiry. To whom is the inquiry directed? [SPEAKER CHANGES] At the appropriate time, Mr. Chairman, could a question be called? [SPEAKER CHANGES] The chair is going to simply allow... we've got two members who wish to speak, Representative Ford and Blust, and of course if others want to, I'm going to let everybody have their say before we take a vote, whether that's 10 minutes or 5 hours. I hope it's 10 minutes as opposed to the 5 hours for the record. Did the gentleman have a question to submit to staff on the bill? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman, I was calling in to raise an inquiry of the chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. So, I'm ready to go too but I want to give everybody a chance. Representative Ford is recognized to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I've never spoke in this committee and I'm sure some of you are very happy of that. Many comments, but it is short. How is having your picture made taking away anyone's rights?
I don't understand that. And if there's no voter fraud then why would anyone have a problem with a photo ID? And the key word from earlier was prosecuted. I know of many voter frauds in my own home county, but prosecuted? Yeah, the number is very small. That's part of the problem. A couple of years back I have a business and have a P.O. box in Kannapolis. I had it for 25 years. The U.S. Postal Service shut down the satellite post office, told us we all had to go to the main post office. I spent four weeks proving who I was in a town I grew up in and that I had a legitimate business, of a business that had been there since before I was born. It was amazing to me what I had to go through, a photo ID and everything, to get a P.O. Box in a town I grew up in. In this building I have to use this photo ID to get in and out of the parking deck. I have to use a photo ID to check into the hotel I come to every week. I served on the County DSS Board in ?? County for over 7 years. I saw a lot of people that needed help and I was glad that they got that help, those that are in need. But they had to use a photo ID to get that help. I definitely support this. I agree with Representative Iler, I think it has been watered down a little bit from before but I still support this and I hope it passes. Thank you sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative ?? is recognized to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Speaker. Did I understand you to say that I have to keep my remarks under 5 hours? [SPEAKER CHANGES] If you can. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well thank you Mr. Speaker and Members. I've sat here and I've listened to speakers that came here and the many public hearings and the long hours and I've heard the Committee members debate and we heard this two years ago. We've been trying to do this for many years. I heard one of the speakers say we were just doing this because of the last Presidential election and I can remember trying to move this in the Senate back in the 90's so it isn't something that's just come to fruition lately but I am disappointed some in the rhetoric and sometimes I'll sit here and it'll kind of make me angry. Sometimes I'll sit here and it'll kind of make me sad and some of the commentators I felt the same way because I'm starting to think that facts no longer matter at all. I mean I still hear it said that this is a problem or a solution in search of a problem. I heard several people at this microphone talk about things they had seen in elections and talk about their frustration as citizens that when they brought it to the attention of election officials things were shrugged off. And I have since these public hearings reevaluated, I thought it was more a potential problem than it is with all the false registrations that are on the books. It's proven that someone could vote those names knowing not so much I don't believe so much they're going to vote for me. I think some people know of a lot of names that are on the voter rolls that there isn't such a person there that they can vote and I think that that is happening now that I've talked to a lot of the people who came and spoke here and I wonder about the vehemence, the rhetoric, oh you're throwing up roadblocks and hurdles and most of the stories of opponents of this bill the bill doesn't affect their situation. The bill just does not keep students at private universities from voting. It says your private university ID isn't the photo ID you can use. But it doesn't keep them from voting and I'm disappointed when people in this committee try to make such kind of arguments. Because some people out there are going to hear that and they're going to believe the worst and I worry about how much is trying to be stoked up and resentment that's there beneath the surface anyways being stoked up by this. This bill does not make it difficult to vote. I was telling somebody, I wonder how foolish I would look if I tried to argue that Chairman Moore tried to suppress or throw up roadblocks in my participation in this Committee because I had to walk clear over to this building from the other building. I mean there's some things you've got to do as a Member, steps you've got to take to be able to exercise your rights and prerogatives as a Member. Because of modern society and all the
The things that can go wrong, people try to cheat in our society. People try to rip other people off financially. They try to steal IDs. And we’re supposed to think, well they’d never try to steal an election. And this is just a common sense step that’s easy, very easy, no matter what you say in the terms of rhetoric, it is very under this bill to exercise your right to vote. Not one person is being deprived of their right to vote. Not one. In fact, one of our speakers said that in court battles in other states, because they’re always taken to court, that in deposition during discovery, not one person has ever been identified as having had their vote suppressed because of photo ID to vote. Not one person, when asked that, to prove that there is not one shred of evidence, and to keep on using this rhetoric when not only do we have thought processes, we have on the ground real world situations in which the predictions of dire results from this kind of law have not taken place. That’s what disappoints me. Even when you can prove in the real world by empirical evidence that your predictions don’t come true, you stick with me. That scare me a little bit for debate on all kinds of issues going forward. Georgia heard these same type arguments, with the same type law and it did not happen. Participation by minorities went up, so it does not suppress votes and I’m not going to wear your tags and I’m not going to cower in my seat and sink a little bit lower as the rhetoric gets thrown around in here and the accusations get thrown. I am proud to support this bill. It is a very common sense approach to what can be, and I believe is, a huge problem. It will restore some confidence in our elections. The public supports it. The public shows, because of their experience, that showing a photo ID for all kinds of things is not some gigantic hurdle. There is no real reason, I don’t believe, no valid reason, that’s justifiable under reality to not support this common sense solution to a real problem that’s out there that we had witnesses come and tell us about. So I hope you will support it and I hope that the tone and the rhetoric will diminish a little bit as this moves forward and we go to the floor. And if not, I’m sure not going to back down because someone calls me a name or ascribes to me false motives. I hope others won’t either and I hope you’ll support this bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative McNeill is recognized to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I don’t think we can measure any person’s room, and person in this room’s patriotism by whether they’re for this bill or against it. I think every person in this room is a very patriotic person and I think they deserve respect for being here and trying to look after the people that they represent. We’re a legislative body. That’s what we do every day. We pass laws. We debate bills. I don’t agree with every law that we’ve had to deal with so far. Some, I thinks good legislation, some I don’t and I’m sure each and every person in this room feels the same way. It’s what we do. We debate those laws. Whether we agree that there’s voter fraud occurred in the past, whether it will happen in the next election is important, but what this bill does is doesn’t deal with the past. It deals with what happens going forward, and that’s what we should deal with. What happens going forward. This bill is a simple attempt to prevent fraud. We pass laws everyday to prevent something. Whether we agreed that fraud ever existed or not, it doesn’t matter as far as I’m concerned. This is a good bill, it simply deals with trying to prevent fraud, because if any one person goes to the ballot box and cast a fraudulent vote, it disenfranchises me. It cancels my vote and that’s not fair. This is a good bill...
I support it. Representative Graham has recognized to debate the bill. [Speaker changes] Thank you very much Mr. Chair. I was thinking, have been thinking, as we work through this process, and thought about the fact that I've just come as a Freshman to this body and coming from County Government we count the numbers. Basically throughout the state of North Carolina you find most of your boards somewhere between 5, 7 and 9 numbers, and basically when we're going to take some action to make something happen, you just count. And you know if you're 4-3 or 5-2 or what-have-you, that's the way it's going to be, and action is taken. The gentleman who spoke before me, Mr. McNeill, Representative McNeill stated that we are a legislative body, and we are. And as a body, we can make decisions. Individually we can't. And we know what the count is, you know what the numbers are and I think it was Representative Starnes, who said a couple of weeks ago how the election has taken place and where the power was and where the leadership is in this particular organization. So we know how the vote is going to come down. Why don't we go on, take the vote, and let's start the healing process.[Speaker changes] Representative Mobley is recognized to debate the bill. [Speaker Changes] Thank you Mr. Speaker. I just have a question of the Bill's sponsor, if I may? [Speaker Changes] You may state your inquiry, and one of the bill's sponsors, Representatives Warren, Murry, any of the three, Representative Mobley has a question for Pam, you may state your inquiry.[Speaker Changes] Thank you sir. I've listened to us debate the student ID registration and voting and picture ID. One thing that I don't know was answered, that I have an interest in is finding out if the voter ID could possibly be a voter registration card. That's a state issue ID. However, they may not have the picture state issue ID. Collectively, if they had the school identification, this is a private institutions, in addition to a voter registration card that they received from the board of election, would they be acceptable, the two together? [Speaker Changes] No, Representative, they would not be under the provisions of the bill. This would be a photo ID, in and of itself, not a combination to try to make one. [Speaker Changes] Thank you. [Speaker Changes] Further discussion, further debate, Representative Floyd, did you wish to debate a second time on the bills? [Speaker Changes] I would like to speak a second time. [Speaker Changes] The gentleman is recognized. [Speaker Changes] Mr. Chair, during my young years, I spent a number of years in Civil Rights, and one thing that we always look at when we do an investigation is determine what is and what is not. And the question we ask is what, if it's sexual harassment, we use the question "What a reasonable minded person would assume is?" and that is what this bill right here is, What a reasonable minded person would assume. Does it have an adverse effect on a particular group or particular organization. Some would say that it is and some would say that it is not, so in closing, I leave you with the word what a reasonable minded person would assume. [Speaker Changes] Further discussion, further debate, Representative Cunningham is recognized to debate the bill. [Speaker Changes] Thank you. A couple items that I would like to address. Representatives Samuelson and Warren, according to the testimony that was given by the Board of Elections, we have lots of issues that are already going on with the Board of Election, roles that are not accurate, just additional things that promptly need to be cleaned up. One question that I brought up is I would like to have a vote of verification of my vote. Since we are moving forward with voter ID and technology is advancing day by day because if you get a computer, in six months it is old. So with the technology advancing forward, have we determined that the investment is going to be made to clean up the Board of Election prior to us instituting voter ID and are we considering a vote of verification. He told us that the vote was private and confidential...
Nice is taken if I wanted to verify my boat probably have to go to the political action impossibly tight to verify about so my thing is you wanted to teach in pastime and forget about that thinking and there that They have to not just related to the bank with technology video so is the advancement quantity made to clean up and find out and get the resources to the brother makes me to the topic of indolent Institute tautology or the question I keep taking the pill does call for a case study to be done by the DOE and report back to us on the advancements that they can make in the system by going digital at that time you would you incorporate that type of the systems a great opportunity again to clear the roles but in addition to that where the first part to take care of take effect this part one the organization and in a system where you we have representatives working with individual of party leaders from register parties with an accounting they are working with in the early offices there in conjunction with and to educate and reach out to love – more more voters in his next opera team that can be incorporated into one of the responsibilities to work with be a reasonable queries to clean the rosters up to help because that's one of the prime The local level of which is County fighting is is is is not the man-hours and the time to do that with either being a volunteer-based operation and people being passionate about the protecting the integrity of a I believe that Stephanie could be incorporated arthritic point thank the discussion further debate on the bill not represent Jones recognize promotion thank you Mr. Chairman I live for a favorable report for committee substitute House Bill 589 as amended with referral to finance and efforts to represented fishers request our coffee has announced that just one thing of time owned motion motions that the amendments in Grierson Road into a proposed committee substitute and that the staff also be allowed to make technical changes may be necessary Zechariah you heard the motion there's also been a request for the eyes and notice how again at is the call sustained by the collar sustain this time the Courtney Caldwell those members who wish to write affirmative waxer I those who wish to write no answer night in Colorado I will will will will admit I think that I backlog backlog is a sharp patient will will will why following our board and I told him grantors though i will know i have all artists understand why i sent what i i will mcmanis why i met neil i know michelle and i shall i know i probably worry i re: richardson and richardson writenow i now why i him stars and
Barnes Harry. and more I 23 having voted in the 11 negative the motion is adopted and the and the bill is going to favor report the bill that concludes are business today as you may have heard n the session today bill is going to be reported out of the elections committee and is going to be in financed tomorrow we have no further business we stay adjourn