from Tuesday, March 12, 2013. The following is VoterRadio.com's coverage of a public hearing on Voter ID, presented by North Carolina House Elections Committee. Due to technical difficulties, we begin with a recording already in progress. [SPEAKER CHANGES]. Thank you, sir. Speaker 14, Mr. Bradford. Welcome to the Committee, sir. You have the floor for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES]. Good afternoon, thank you for the opportunity to speak. My name is Spencer Bradford. I am Pastor of Durham Mennonite Church in Durham, North Carolina, and Director of Durham Congregations in Action, an association of 60 faith communities in the Durham area working together to address problems of poverty, racism, and violence for the last 40 years. I'm coming to speak today because of fundamental principles. Two of the fundamental principles of our western civilization, when it comes to good governance, have traditionally been prudence and justice. I came today to say that this legislation for voter ID requirements strikes me as both imprudent and unjust in its affects. It violates the fundamental principle of prudence in a time when we are looking at budget cuts that will impact the sick, the poor, children in schools in our state, that we would consider increasing budgetary burden for a small problem, as we've heard reported, increasing budgetary burden, whether it is passed on to the counties to implement, or implemented at the state level. In order to make it just, the budgetary burden would be disproportionate to the potential violations of problems being addressed. And as we've also heard, there are more effective ways through existing offices and law enforcement to address the problem of voter fraud. It is a violation of the fundamental principle of justice in its affect. Prior to directing Durham Congregations in Action, I spent 15 years working in homeless shelters and soup kitchens in North Carolina communities, where each year I would help dozens of people who were homeless, who were disabled to get the ID that they needed in order to pursue employment and benefits. I know how difficult it is to get valid ID, and I know the burdens that would be disproportionately imposed on the poorest, on the elderly, on the disabled, on those without independent transportation in our communities. The apostle, Paul, wrote that it is the weaker members among us that are indispensable. It is the less honorable among us that deserve the greater honor. When we pursue justice in our legislation, the question isn't what is just for those of us who are strongest, have a greatest means, who are self-sufficient. The problem is, what is justice for the least of us? Those on the margins. Fundamental principles. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES]. Thank you, sir. Speaker number 15, Mr. Roe. [SPEAKER CHANGES]. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee. I'm Bill Roe with the North Carolina Justice Center, and I appreciate this opportunity to speak to the committee about this idea of having a photo ID in order to vote. The Justice Center is a statewide antipoverty advocacy group, and I've represented and worked with low-income individuals in communities in North Carolina for over 25 years. I know I'm going to state some of the obvious here, and that maybe my legal training is to do that, and also say a lot of what's already been said, but since the vast majority of North Carolinians have a government issued ID it may be hard to understand why some people do not have one. That ID typically means you have a driver's license, but many seniors, low-income people, many of my clients over the years, and people with disabilities don't drive. And many young adults, especially those in college, don't yet have licenses. A photo ID law will disproportionately impact voters with low incomes. A 2006 survey by the Brennan Center for Justice concluded that voting-aged citizens earning less than $35,000 a year
Were more than twice as likely the lack of government issued ID as those earning more than $35,000 a year. Additionally, people of color are disproportionately affected by voter ID laws. With state, other state, and national studies finding that African Americans are more than three times as likely as whites to not have a government issued ID. The fundamental right to vote should be available to all eligible voters and not restricted due to circumstances that prevent an ID. Thousands of North Carolinians are struggling to make ends meet. Many are unemployed and underemployed, are ill housed and sick with no health insurance, and see little if no attention being given by their elected representatives to improving their lives. The time and expense of requiring a government issued ID will not address the serious problems facing those at the bottom of our economic ladder. In fact, it appears it will not address any problem at all. A voter photo ID will not make elections more secure, but will certainly limit access to thousands of North Carolinians. The general assembly should turn its attention to more pressing issues facing the state. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you sir. Speaker number 16, Mr. Mullanero? You have the floor, sir, for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Dave Mullanero, district, mighty district 106. Representative Samuelson, you may want to block your ears during this one. First I'd like to thank Representatives Lewis, Blust, and Ross for responding to my earlier email message entitled “Grandma Loves to Vote.” My message today takes a different turn. Recently colleagues and I have researched the archives here in North Carolina of past and recent elections. This research, coupled with some fascinating anecdotes, raises questions about the legitimacy of your election to the House and your right to serve and vote on this committee. So it is that we must ask for the following documentation in hopes that you can assure each of us that you are legitimately elected and therefore can serve and vote on this committee. By noon tomorrow, the following documents please. Your birth certificate, we want to make sure you're of age. Proof of residency, we certainly wouldn't want you living in South Carolina. Proof of your election's validity, your campaign budget, and finally your high school yearbook photo. I know you're thinking, we're legitimate. What do you want? Please understand the intent of this is not to impede your right to serve on this committee or vote on this committee. We just simply want to make sure that there's no funny stuff going on. Once you supply the required documentation and we are satisfied that you are indeed legitimate and that you are who you say you are, you may resume your membership on this committee with its sacred mission. Finally, your meeting rules will be somewhat different. Your meetings will take place at 3am on Saturday mornings. The total meeting time for each meeting will be seventeen and a half minutes. You will meet only two times per legislative session, and your meeting location may change from time to time. Again, the intent of this is not to impede the sacred work of this committee, nor your most precious right to vote as one of its members. Hope to see you at noon tomorrow. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you sir. Speaker number
17. Mrs Fry. Welcome Ma'am. You have the floor for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chair. Thank you members of the committee and to all the legislatures who are here today. I want to especially appreciate you Representative Lewis for the open and respectful way that you've carried yourself throughout what can be a very intense debate on this issue. I'm speaking today, I'm a resident of Durham, but I'm also...I work for the organization Democracy for North Carolina. I think that there's one thing that those of us in the room on opposite sides of the issue can agree on and that's that our election system is very important, that integrity is very important and that voter fraud is wrong. We want to stop voter fraud. We want to prevent voter fraud and we want prosecute voter fraud when it happens. What we seem to disagree on is how much voter fraud there is and the nature of voter fraud and the ways that we ought to address it. We're at a critical point in this debate that that really matters. Where we have to separate the facts about fraud from the myths. And I say this for two reasons. First, if you don't truly understand the problem it's really difficult to craft a viable policy solution. You could end up passing a policy such as Voter I.D. that doesn't in fact make elections more secure at all. And cost taxpayers potentially millions of dollars. Second, more than the average public who may have anecdotes about fraud and opinions about fraud or opinions about fraud, legislatures have an obligation to protect the voting rights of all eligible voters in North Carolina, even as you seek to remedy problems with the voting process. To my first point the vast majority of alleged instances of election fraud actually proved to be unintentional mistakes either made by the voters or election administrators. Sometimes their wrong conclusions drawn based on bad research or misreading of data that looks like fraud when it isn't. For instance, if it looks like illegal voting, or people who are not citizens voting, it could actually be that those people became citizens and voted before the documents were changed to prove that they were citizens. Voter I.D. is costly and ineffective. It's a distraction from the real solutions. I agree that we need to be focusing on maintaining more accurate voter rolls, better using technology to administer elections and better training our poll workers. To my second point, impact matters here. Much more than intention. Whether it's your intention or not the data about voters who currently lack I.D. show that voter I.D. disproportionately impacts voters based on race, gender and political party affiliation. That is why it looks like, to some, a partisan trick. Where politicians are trying to hand pick voters. And that is why in other states laws like this have been challenged and have been widely challenged. Voter I.D. is a law that could potentially disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of active voters in the name of preventing something that no-one has been able to demonstrate is an actual problem. This information should disturb anyone who is truly concerned about all eligible voters being able to participate in the process. I'm an optimistic person so I'd like for us to come together and focus on the real problems with our elections. Democracy North Carolina is willing to do that. We'll work with any legislature or group who is also willing to do so. Thank You. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Ma'am. Speaker #18 Mr. Cal Thacker?? Welcome Sir. You have the floor for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chair. Members of the committee. Thank you for scheduling this gathering today. As an election judge I am the front line of this battle. I would show you my scars, but in fact I have none. Whatever you decide, whatever you decide here gets implemented at my front door on the precinct. For that very reason I think it's extremely important you have a full appreciation for who the current voters are. I'd also like to note that I'm a Chatham County Judge. Chatham County had the highest percentage of votes in the state. Go Chatham County. My precinct though is very similar to many throughout North Carolina; three to five thousand voters. And I sit there for thirteen hours and meet many of my neighbors and friends. And what strikes me is the high percentage of elderly voters. Many who come there on their own. But more and more are coming with caregivers. More and more are coming with caregivers. I brought this hat today because I had it made for my late father, a much decorated Army Air-core pilot in WW II. And a true member of the greatest generation.
he taught me that voting was both a privilege and a duty. I guess I took the lesson to heart. Ever since I was of age, I have voted, and in the last ten years, I have been an election judge. Now I can tell you, I can tell you from the data available, a little bit about my voters. For example, here we'll call her "Mrs. M". She has come for the last thirteen times. Thirteen times. I don't think this woman has a driver's license, she's been brought by friends for thirteen times. Here is "Mr. G.", he's 94. He's 94 and he's come thirteen times. "Mr. P", he comes and he is curbside voting. And "Mrs. P" is 94, and she hasn't left the county, and she comes all the time, as well. I sincerely hope this committee will seek a solution that doesn't discourage citizens from voting. Perhaps one method may be to cross data from the DMV and the Board of Elections, which is very accurate data. And I thank you very much. In closing, just as my dear parents, whose words live with me in spirit, so shall the words of the welcomes I have ever received from my many friends and neighbors who have made being an election judge such a special time for me. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Sir. Speaker No. 19, Miss Price? Welcome to the committee, Ma'am. You have the forum for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good afternoon, everybody, I'm Frankie Price, and I have been a precinct chief judge in Orange County for sixteen years. In 2005, I co-authored the Orange County Precinct Manual that is still used in every precinct. I probably know more than most about the rules and the reality of election day operations. By the way, previous voters did not tell you that an online voter or a mail-in voter, their ID is checked before they vote, so we do have voter ID for those kind of voters in North Carolina. I run a tight but very supportive voter precinct. Dedicated precinct workers arrive at 6 a.m. to open the polls at 6:30. They stay in that room, except for bathroom breaks, all the way through until 7:30 when the polls close. Counting write-ins, breaking down the room and reporting the results, means they stay there until 8:30. This is a long, 14-hour, non-stop day, and chief judges like me have to drive the votes to the board of elections, and that makes the day even longer. But this day is rewarding to all of us because of the teamwork and the positive relationship we have with all of our voters. My experience tells me that requiring voter ID's from all voters every time they vote-think about that-every time they vote for all voters, is a Draconian measure that will change the relationships between the voter and the election workers. These checking voter ID's will create a hostile environment when these dedicated people are trying to match voters with fuzzy picture on ID's, some of which are over five years old. This will also create great stress and more complexity for these people and we will have fewer and fewer of them working for us. At this point I do believe that this legislature will now probably be known, if it passes this law, as wanting fewer votes, and wanting less democracy. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Ma'am. Speaker No. 20, and the Chair will apologize if I mispronounce your last name, please correct it for the record. But Speaker No. 20, Mr. Hennessy? You have the floor, Sir, for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All right, first of all, I'd like to thank the Chair, ?? for this opportunity to speak against voter ID. My name is Aiden Hennessey, I am 18, and I particularly speak out against those who are young between ages 18 and 25 in the state of North Carolina. Statistics say 16 percent of voters in this age range do not
Have a driver's license or any other kind of photo ID to six also indicate this percentage is the second highest compared to other age groups , topped by seniors as the legislation also need college students will no longer be able to use their student ID cards as valid identification forms that proved and Nicole Simpson’s in America, Constance need to be able to make a choice between Boarding and their college area or their home area voter ID sadly does not give them back option also we have to acknowledge that many of the people that are not people to file poor a report and for the poor that his license isn't any photo ID is likely to be too expensive and even if the restrain some people might say it would be many of the young poor will still lack transportation and not now , where to get a photo ID rematch and some of the poor argument homeless and uneven, Pedro home address and home addresses of course required on a driver's license and without a phone you are much less palatable to obtain a photo ID and simple, and if we pass caller ID lost and simply we're disenfranchising a homeless people as well as back to us saying the college students because the plan college students and school levies rather than studies are they there poor are less likely at people ages 26 to 40 or 40 to 65 and with the means to 19 they're likely to be disenfranchised and yet, with suppressing voters between ages 18 to 25 is that these people are just entering until light award and they are next generation are crucial to the future of North Carolina if we cannot allow everyone the right to vote in this age group as well as copies of course we're telling them that they do not count in making the decisions by determining the future of our society thank you . (SPEAKER CHANGES) Thank you Sir for the support, welcome them you have to four for, 63 minutes and finished its ladies and gentlemen of the committee that said you were sitting in the ISI know that it's very close back there here is lively up here (SPEAKER CHANGES) I’m senior citizen and any attack at the bowling for over 50 years even F belts for a long time and living in for not winning answer but the gist of voter ID a driver's license and sprouted us it was my unattainable are enacted out there that's leading batting the state of North Carolina I am the chair of more a and a North Carolina I know that represent the number of other Tea party people including many from mark NE and many others who were here representing grassroots and republican and democrat two main I remember when I was and that means we can share in for mike and I am trying to sell when I first got began here I want smartly up to the person who was going to 10:00 PM and produced my father by their ID with a big smile and that's the one learning and instead undergraduate at and 7 million pounds and she said what she may not sell their but she said you have to shun the setback to me to send us me where I went running tally by uniting frustrated disappointed and concerned about are those people who were by banks me waiting to come to rally we can help those people who do not have voter identification wore ?? citizens ……
Allison five we will help people who do not have voter ID people drive into the place where they will be able to have a five having academic the polling places like to do well I jiggle surely become fixed is and a ceremony in the back of the rim we may not agree but I still smiling you enabled offensive depth your ninth to vote legally thank You . (SPEAKER CHANGES ) Thank You mam banking taking them on higher mix pickers pick a number 22 Mr. Baum home parents are welcome to the too many of the four for, 2 to 3 minutes of the year as Chairman Michael Boldin on the current chairman of the Republican Party in Guilford County and I would like to say the thing that voter ID or North Carolina is not a republican issue is not a democratic issue this is a common sense issue to ensure the integrity pitcher Bert fields in North Carolina in the process is one that is accurate , I'd like to just four major things I've heard of eight billboards, fraud, when the reasons that we don't have more documented cases of voter fraud in or for one reason we have absolutely nothing employees to catch people are committing fraud , I get requiring of the IP will not ensure that fraud of any means does not occur Cal limited much more difficult to commit central a number two is this and 5000 other yen as I heard about the previous speaker say a partially make a commitment that were willing to help people who don't have the photo ID to obtain IP our apartments of what party war but also I am an American citizen that firmly believes can act like to find when you agree with we're not unusual make sure that each one person gets 15 NFL Accounting and a set up again, I find it difficult to believe that any one industry could agree that Y is here in the United States and in North Carolina today without the body must be a very difficult whites are a party should photo ID to do so many talks to apply for some resources that are available by going out in helping these individuals to get there likely will not only help them to be able to legally, we'll be and have access to many services that Michael Darby and not because they don't have that I'd be this level often open a whole lot of the worst allow people to services they make desperately need if report don't have the Saudis currently and Leslie I would like to just make a comment that I am so glad to hear that so many of the previous speakers are very conscious of the fiscal responsibility, we faced very difficult budget decisions coming out this year how to get all of these individuals will be just as fiscally responsible programming is this the budget very soon thank you . feature and speaker number 2321 (SPEAKER CHANGES) just in the answer please correct me .I’m Mr.Prasad one code on all please, please correct your record-holder on Monday is crucial: Colton and political science to ensure students for democratic society and the university of economics PTA on tiff mile to the general assembly bill one spring creek and some going to use of what friends are sitting across leading to something as a student north won a residence was smiling and posing dredges critical my future course of state, win or lose more knowledgeable than you spoke about how great views of the legal effort to disenfranchise economic and racial minorities as a social science to myself that it seems to speak for itself were disenfranchisement is used in itself a fight for all but he backs my own perspective: one bread presence to emphasize local united against overwriting off to one student population happens to be 90% of its lease costs for months. Without state issued identification based in spite of the rightful have taken away in February that it's in government reacted to this problem as walls covered school in early pregnancy and the registration by linking medicine to condemn any proposed regulator solution and to start developing an assistant and response program and these things are as also brought the students were crossing steps is holding perspectives for ad which receives just another installment superficially neutral legislation introduced by this legislature will triple aces costs implications on the ground up once again by saying that its eastern border so vital stake in this issue until thick lawmakers can afford to fight in some schools so totally against a new generation of voters and future lawmakers are increasing ……………
had connected world, country, and state. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, sir, and speaker number 24, Mr. [??]. You have the floor, sir, welcome to the committee for time not exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'd like to thank all you for being here, all the representatives. I'm a University of North Carolina Greensboro student. I am 20 years old and I currently have three ID's with my photo on it in my pocket. When I go to the library at night I am required to show you my photo ID to prove that I am a student there, that I can be there. There is no sense in saying that minorities and everybody else cannot get a photo ID. When I was in high school, every year that I was there, I had a brand-new photo ID and I do not think that it is disenfranchisement, at all, and I think that it's bogus that we're out here arguing this issue, saying that you cannot get a photo ID. Anytime you go to the DMV, that's a government program. The DMV can get you an ID. We're not talking about making you pay for this. All these people over here saying, "Oh well, you're just out here to suppress the adults, the older adults," I'm not going to call you old, you're not old. But the point is, when you go to get your social security check, your Medicare check, you go to the bank, you go anywhere that's public that's funded by the federal government, you have to provide a photo ID. I am going to my post office, going to open my P.O. box, "Can I see your photo identification?" Why do I need that, that's mine? Nobody willing to tell me? That's my mailbox, why should I have to provide and ID for that? Wow, okay, well the point is all the people saying that we don't need photo ID or the people saying that it's disenfranchisement of the people, prove it. You say that people aren't voting scandalously, we can't say it's fraudulent because I may get sued if I say fraudulent, okay, so prove it. You're saying 66% of the people, as I heard earlier, 66% of females do not have the proper identification. I bet you I could go through the crowd right here and ask each individual that's a female for their photo ID and I bet you almost every single one of you can provide one for me. So all the people in here saying that this is just for disenfranchisement as minorities, this is for disenfranchisement of the women, this is not about women's rights, this is not about trying to bring back Jim Crow laws, you're trying to say that it's partisanship. This is not partisan at all. I believe that most North Carolinians, as the polls have shown lately, are for photo identification. So let's speed up this process, make sure it's diligent, make sure it's not going to disenfranchise people, but let's make sure this process is done right. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Speaker number 25, Ms. Friend, welcome to the committee. You have the floor for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much. I appreciate your allowing me to be here and I appreciate what this committee is doing. I retired from state government a year and a half ago and now I'm a full time volunteer so I can come and do things like this. I believe that it is important to assure that everyone has access to voting and that we should do all that we can to encourage more people to be involved and to vote. One inhibitor to voting can be long lines at the polling place, as some people don't have time or schedule flexibility to wait to cast their ballot and will leave in frustration. I have seen this myself in Wake County. This past year during early voting I saw people leaving at Wake Tech, at Ebenezer Baptist, at Lake Lynn, at Optimist Park, many of the early voting sites, because they were frustrated because of the long lines. Therefore, I rise to speak in favor of a new voter identification card, which I believe will improve the process. Use of a voter photo ID will streamline and speed up the current cumbersome, and very time consuming check-in process, which leads to the long wait. Ask anyone who has worked the polls, especially at early voting, when people are choosing the convenience to vote wherever they like, not necessarily at their home precinct, and people will likely agree with this. The bottleneck is always the check-in point. A voter identification card could enhance the system to improve efficiency and make it easier and thereby reduce that bottleneck so voters get their ballots faster, the waiting will be shorter, access will improved and in addition, there will be increased security for the voting process. I'm in favor. Thank you very much, appreciate your time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, ma'am. Ms. Rogues, welcome to the
You are speaker number 26. Mr. Oakes, welcome. You have the floor for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. Committee members have my detailed analysis in the screen shoot, I’m sure you’ve seen it. If you don’t look for voter fraud, you won’t find it. In the 2011 City Election, I found 44 voters who had asked for absentee ballots in very similar handwriting and whose witnesses on the ballot envelopes were made by the same local activist or his wife. Those are pretty suspicious. But the local board voted that that was not worth investigating because that would not affect the election. So if you don’t look for voter fraud, you won’t find any. Ever. Next issue is on the SPOE No Drivers License Report, which I downloaded in detail. I got a listing of all 620,000 voters and went through it somewhat. I found that 150,000 voters should have been taken off the rolls because they had codes that indicated that the mail did not get to them. The mail was not forwardable or was not returned. Those people should not have been counted in that 600,000 voter list. Another 46,000 voters were fairly obviously out of state students. Not that they shouldn’t be voting, but you wouldn’t have found them in the local drivers license files but in the Virginia or North Carolina drivers license files. So that takes us down to 400,000 voters, potentially. In a quick poll, I looked at some people I knew who were in that file in the local county. All twelve of my friends who were there. I called them all up and asked. They all had photo IDs. They didn’t understand why they were on the list. In another instance of the files being bad, I went through the file and tried to do an age profile and you found the usual age distribution where you get all the way up to age 111, where there’s 24 voters. Strangely enough, at 113, there were 14,600 voters on the no drivers license file. 80% of those were in three counties. I don’t know what’s going on there but there’s something strange, hinky. In the regular voter files, there’s 12,000 voters in that similar constraint. A way to solve the problem, however bit it is, whether it’s 600,000 or 100,000 is to mobilize the election forces. We have 1,000 full time election workers and we can call upon the reserves. That’s election workers of about 20,000 people. In worst case, that would mean every election worker would have to go to somebody’s house, to 30 people’s houses to get their photo IDs. That’s not impossible to do in a year. It’s easy in fact to do in a month, probably. And finally, imagine how short the lines would be at check-in, if you could walk up to the voting booth, scan this card and get a ballot popped out in your hand. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, sir. Speaker number 27, Miss Callie. Welcome to the community. Ma’am, you have the floor for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much. I am Sammie Callie, a proud Salem College woman, and an executive member of the College Democrats of North Carolina. But most importantly I come to you as a North Carolina voter. Voting should be easy, information available, and the polls reachable. Voting is not a privilege. It is a right. With low voter turnout, long lines and already too many rules, the state of North Carolina should be actively working to make this process the most successful it can be, rather than confusing it. As someone who actively works with registration and turnout, I can say that too many students don’t know how to successfully register and vote. The truth is, changing rules will stop people from voting. Currently voters are able to register at the location that they spend the majority of their time, with intent to return when leaving. This allows for students to vote on or near their campuses, and helps eliminate the barriers or having to return to a parent’s address or an alternative location. Young people are also less likely to not have a license or other form of photo identification, and have less access to transportation. Since students live at these locations for four or more years, it’s important that they are involved in their communities. We want students to find their home in North Carolina. Stopping them from voting here is doing the opposite. Students have coursework, sports and leadership. Limiting the number of days of early voting will affect students from exercising our rights. We also ask that student identifications be accepted as a form of ID, as for many of us, that’s the only way we’d be able to vote here. ?? is already making it hard to vote on campuses
To even cut across through our dorms. Obtaining photo ID can be costly and burdensome. For voter identification to be not considered a financial barrier to the ballot box, a modern tax ?? essentially, the state would have to provide free photo identification. NC voters must also consider the 40 counties that are covered in section 5 of the voting rights act, which protects people in the area with a history of racial discrimination. This would require 40% of our counties to clear their voting changes with either the Justice Department or a panel of federal judges in Washington, DC. As a student, as a voter, I ask that the best interests of all North Carolinians be considered. I demand that all citizens, despite lack of resources, be able to vote. Free and easily. Instead of directing efforts to make this less accessible, let’s make it better. Supporters of changing voting laws are speaking about potential harms, potential fraud. I’m speaking about real suppression. Thank you so much for your time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, ma’am. Speaker number 28 is Mr. Elkins. Sir, you have the floor for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. Thank you members of the committee. Most of us think that the struggle for the 19th Amendment began in Seneca Falls in 1848. But Kelly Foster, in 1852, got up before a convention and said for 14 years, sisters, the way to this spot where we are is paved with my bloody feet, because I have been working for the right for women to vote for those 14 years. And so I’m proud of our country that finally in 1920 we did pass the 19th Amendment. But I’m also proud as a North Carolinian, of our state. In 1964, I volunteered to help transport people to register to vote. Out of the more than 20 people whom I took to the registrar that day, not a single one was able to register because they were asked to read and interpret the Constitution. But their color was black. We have come forward, fellow citizens. We have a state we can be proud of. But the voter ID would be a step backward. Nd I say that as a resident of a senior community, Carroll Woods Retirement Center in Chapel Hill, where a large percentage of our residents in their 80s, some in their 90s, and a few in their hundreds, no longer drive. And I’m glad they don’t drive. [LAUGHTER] But for them, they’re mobile, but bright as they are, informed, getting a voter ID would be a real problem. As it would be, I am convinced, for many thousands of people throughout our state. Our problem with one potential fraud, in our whole state, this is a problem we don’t need to fix. Let’s not go backward. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you sir. Speaker number 29, Miss Chivetta. Welcome, ma’am. You have the floor for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you for the opportunity to address this public hearing. I am Janet Chivetta. I am registered as an independent voter and am a published author. This is an issue that has captured my attention and for that reason I have devoted many hours of research on the subject of voter ID. I have heard the claims from opponents of this bill, that it will restrict the disadvantaged and poor of our state from voting because of the difficulty they would have in securing a photo ID. These claims led me to investigate the facts regarding that assertion.
In the four states where photo id requirement was in effect during this past election, Georgia, Indiana, Tennessee and Kansas, there has not been any evidence of a negative impact on voter turnout including minority voters. In fact, to the contrary, the Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper reported that turnout among black and hispanic voters in Georgia actually increased after the law went into effect. Most would agree that the poorest in our society are those who receive public assistance in the form of welfare payments or housing subsidies. It is impossible to cash a welfare check or open up a bank account without a photo id. The Raleigh housing authority requires that adults who receive any form of housing subsidy must present a government-issued photo id before they qualify for this assistance. The spokesperson for the housing authority said that they want full confidence that the housing subsidies are going to the right person. One of the first priorities for the staff at the men's Wake County homeless shelter is to assist the residents in securing a photo id if they do not already have one. The director of the shelter told me that they help them get ids because they need it to function in society. For example, to open up a bank account, to get a job, to receive government assistance. In conclusion, the voter id mandate should not deter the poor and minorities from voting since the vast majority already have a photo id. Those who do not would be assisted in getting one. In fact, the mandate would actually bring about a side benefit to our citizens. With greater efforts made to encourage and assist all to get photo ids, the greater number of citizens would have a better chance to achieve upward mobility and to thrive in our society. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you ma'am. Speaker number 30, Miss Cotton. Welcome to the committee. You have the floor for a time not to exceed 3 minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good afternoon. Thank you Mr. Chairman and committee for allowing this hearing to take place. I'm here today to represent myself and the 6 million people that are registered to vote here in North Carolina. I also served 16 years on the county board of elections. We talk about oh, there's no fraud out there. There's no fraud. Well let me tell you, there's no fraud being reported and prosecuted because it's not being looked for. OK? I know it, I was there. There's lots of it going on and I think voter id is one way that we can help to improve that situation. I have with me today my casebook - got my photo on it. Got my driving license - photo on it. I have my credit card - photo on it. I have my bank id card - photo on it. Did it cost $20 $30 $40 dollars for me to get these ids on these cards? No. And I think we here in North Carolina can implement this process at a very reasonable amount. Make it affordable. And get the people where they need to to get voter id. There are 92 motor vehicle license offices in the state of North Carolina that have a photo machine in it. There are 8 that do not. We can send a mobile unit into those 8 counties and get those people registered with a voter id. It's not impossible, it's not going to break the bank, and it's time we got on with getting voter id here in North Carolina. Thank you so much. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you ma'am. Speaker number 31, Mr. Wilson. Welcome to the committee. You have the floor for a time not to exceed 3 minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] My name's Art Wilson. I'm 76 years old. And according to what I'm hearing from many of the prior speakers they would just be in amazement I've managed to find my doddering way up here to the mic. It's often and loudly said by some there is no voter fraud. And yet to clarify qualification of a voter is an attack individual's right to vote. ?? word is disenfranchised. We would have no honest citizen being disenfranchised in these votes. However,
?? legislation now allows an illegal vote to be cast and cancel out an honest one so you are disenfranchised whether you like it or not. The same naysayers claim if there is fraud, a small amount is insignificant. What’s a small amount. Municipal elections in 2011 had over 35 locations that were decided by less than ten votes. Marsville seat for the city council was decided by 3 votes and yes, there was voter fraud in Marsville. I’ve been on the Board of Elections, and yes there were. Only one voter fraud act is too many. We the people consent to be governed by our vote. This is our one personal tool which we have control over government not government control over us. It must be a strong tool, kept sharp and kept clean. Oppose House Bill 253 and Senate Bill 235 are totally inadequate in accomplishing those goals. It’s a waste of time for them. In our legal system, why do we demand written contracts? Because its over 4000 when Jacob cheated Esau out of his heritage by fake ID to their father Isaac. We learned that people will lie, steal, or whatever necessary to achieve their ends. Power, wealth, as well as our personal future is at stake in our elections. Why are we such fools that we would give anyone a voice in our future and control like just on his word. A photo’s required, but a minimal of social sciences on the plain there. If disenfranchising the poor is invalid, therefore. The energy that gets the physically disable to the polls can now can help those without photo ID obtain one. The latest bipartisan polls last February show that 67% of active voters want to have photo ID to protect their vote. Continued manipulation of the vote is the only logical reason to not have photo ID. I believe we owe our vote to those who died for our right to keep it. And an obligation to future generation to protect it. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Wilson. The chair has been informed that speaker number 32 is not here. Before the chair welcomes speaker number 33, the chair would like to remind all of the speakers, if you would, to please identify yourself before you begin your remarks. With that, the chair is pleased to welcome speaker number 33. Miss Sutton, you have the floor for a time not to exceed 3 minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman and to the committee, thank you for this opportunity to speak. My name is Linda Sutton. I have previously served on the North Carolina Election Law Review Committee. We worked very hard to improve and strengthen our election laws, not put in barriers. I previously have worked through many organizations here in this state. A lot of them partisan organizations working to get the vote out, get people registered to vote and get the vote out. As a member of the Forsyth County Board of Election for six years, we always have mostly losing candidates who come in to yell voter fraud. I can tell you, in my county, we’ve had the County Board of Election, the State Board of Elections, the State Bureau of Investigation, the District Attorney’s office and you name it. Voters alike. Candidates who are disgruntled. Average citizens and don’t even talk about the news media, all digging and looking and researching. But, there was not all this voter fraud that people are talking about. Proponents of this bill says because of fraud. Okay, how many people do you know that are actually going to show up and vote using somebody else’s name. Come on. Impersonating someone else? That just doesn’t...
?? How many illegal or non-citizens do you think really want to show up and chance being deported or getting federal time? They don't do that. You know they don't do that. Our current laws in this state work, and they are sufficient. And they have worked throughout North Carolina's voting history. It has been admitted by many here and across the country that these photo ID bills and other voter suppression tactics, like forging registrations and tearing up registrations of certain voters, were all planned and orchestrated to reduce the voter turnout of certain voters. And this is a fact, ladies and gentlemen. So I ask you today, requiring a photo means you're trying to stop some impersonation because you want to verify that person by their picture. But is the real problem? So how can you, with a good and clear conscience, pass a photo bill aimed at impersonation without any real evidence of such? In my daily work I travel all across North Carolina. I've talked to students, the homeless, veterans, senior, minorities, handicapped. And I've heard so many stories. Stories from people who voted all their lives but now may not be able to because of needing this extra piece of information in order just to vote. I've spoken with people all across this state who possess a driver's license and are in agreement with our stand that a photo ID is not needed. So I ask you, do you believe your own election or reelection was because of voter fraud? If it was such fraud, why have you not recalled the election? I say this because you feel that our current system works, our current election law works. It works, because you were elected. And you are a testament. And you were elected without a photo ID. Thank you ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES]Thank you, ma'am. Speaker Number 34, Ms. Dunn. Welcome, ma'am. You have the floor for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Thank you, Chairman Lewis, members of the Committee. I appreciate this opportunity to address you today. My name is Corey Dunn. I'm the Director of Public Policy for Disability Rights, North Carolina. We are the state's protection and advocacy organization advocating for the legal rights of North Carolinians with disability, and we oppose the implantation of any ID requirement to vote. That said, we know there are many in this body who feel strongly about this requirement, and so I wanna offer our guidance on this issue. Voting is, as many have said today, the most fundamental way in which we engage with our government. As such, we should aspire to broad participation and work to facilitate participation in voting, particularly for those who are often marginalized in our society. Many people with disabilities in North Carolina lack photo identification. Requirements to produce photo ID to vote would likely depress participation among voters with disability, who already vote at 10 to 15% lower rates than the general populations. People with disabilities already face barriers in voting, and we should be working to eliminate those barriers, not create more. In particular, I urge you to reject any proposal that would require voters to go through the DMV. Moreover, if you do choose to adopt a photo ID requirement, it should be phased in over several years. Allow voters to sign an affidavit attesting to their identity to have their ballot counted. And there should be aggressive outreach to those voters who so attest, to connect them with the resources to meet the new requirement. There must be ongoing mechanisms in place to assure that any voter who appears at the polls can cast a ballot without undue hardship. Disability Rights is here as a resource to you as you move forward. And whatever path you take, it must protect the right to vote for all of our state citizens, including North Carolinians with disability. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Thank you, ma'am. Speaker Number 35, Mr. Tim. Sir, welcome to the Committee. You have the floor for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Thank you. I'm E. A. Tim, and I am for government-issued photo ID. If we are to be a state under the rule of law, compliance to the law has to be verifiable. If we never had a means to verify one is speeding, one could easily say no one speeds. With identity theft so rampant, voter fraud is accomplished easily. I have seen on TV young men bragging they voted more than once just to see if they could get away with it. I have heard of others voting more than once just because they want their candidate to win. The lawful voter is the one that is harmed by voter fraud and is disenfranchised, as well as the candidates running for office that are the victims of injustice. Subversive groups for socialism, like the Communist Party U.S.A, do not want
Want verifiable photo voter ID since they believe in the end justifies the means. Recently I had to show a photo ID just to pick up a friend's sick son at school and to enter a federal building just to use the bathroom and to cash checks. I can remember a TV story of a blonde woman in San Diego about, complaining about her credit card bills running high even though she had a photo ID credit card. The authorities traced the charges to a, the state of Washington where an illegal had his photo made onto her credit card. That is why the government issued photo voter ID has to be verifiable to its lawfulness, so that the illegal, the subversive, the socialist, and the dead do not vote. Implementation should be through the board of elections, with the aid of the police verifying the registered voter with only one permanent residence per one family, since people forget to take their names off the voter registration rolls when moving, and for a family member when they die. Voter fraud should be a felony that can be proven easily. Voter fraud is a gross injustice to a supposedly free civilized society. It is akin to letting the organized criminals run the country. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you sir. The chair has been advised that speakers 36, 37, and 38 are not present in the room. The chair would like to, at this time, issue an invitation to our guests who are listening in 544. The chair counts about 18 chairs that are free up here and we would invite them to join us in 643 if they would like to do so. With that, we will move onto speaker 39. Ms. Bradford, welcome to the committee. You have the floor for time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you chair and good afternoon all. My name is Robin Bradford. I'm a resident of Mecklenburg county, precinct chair of precinct 134, and a concerned taxpayer. I stand here on the shoulders of so many black and white people who worked and stood together to make sure all had the right and equal access to cast their vote. I ask, what is the true motivation of some members of the general assembly? The point of voter fraud has been stated as the issue, but the fraud is this bill. We have, we have the lowest number of voter fraud, and I believe this is another ploy to disenfranchise and create a larger gap of the haves and the have nots. If you're concerned about voter fraud, take a look at the absentee voting ballot. How is that process? Would you need to send in your ID to get your vote cast through the voter, the absentee voting process? Do we have a plan for that? I haven't heard one mention. If we have excess of state dollars, then we need to invest our dollars in education and not this program. We need to be able to educate our children to move forward and be a part of this process and move our state forward. Voting right is not a racial entitlement, but a right for all legal citizens. The state cannot continue to tell voters they don't matter. The vote that you are about to suppress are some of the same votes that you received to be elected. Think fully about the crime you are about to commit. Through the fundamental rights of voting is a true democracy. We have the option to choose our leaders, however, only slaves do not choose their masters. Think about the crimes you are about to commit. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you ma'am. Speaker number 40, Ms. Franklin. Welcome to the committee ma'am. You have the floor for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you mister chair and members of the general assembly. I am happy to be with you today, not happy with the purpose. I think there will be a time when each of us will submit DNA or some other proof of who we are, and there may be some surveillance that will confirm where we live, where we put our heads down at night. I don't look forward to that day. We have a radical, and I brought my drivers license with me, and I recently updated my passport. You would be hard-pressed to put this picture together with the picture that I use to travel internationally. Many people would say the same thing. This is five years old. My passport looks terrible. We have a radical alternative to voter ID by picture, which is your signature. It is very powerful
Write your name and swear or attest that you are who you say you are and that you live where you say you live. And, that the faith that people have that that will allow them to vote is fundamental to everything we get to do. You get to act here because we do not have fundamental questions about our elections. We elect people, we move on. I’ve run five times, been elected three. I tell you, when you get elected, you have to get to work right away. You can get to work in this country and in this state because an assumption is made that you’ve been placed there under a legal process into which all of us participated. Most of us participated by signing our names and attesting that we are who we say we are. It’s up to others to challenge that. I’ve sat in on recounts. I’ve been there. I’ve taken the telephone calls from the people who need a ride and can’t get none. Whose brother doesn’t like how they vote so they won’t take them to the polls. There are reasons why it’s difficult. Go with what’s working. Go with attesting that your signature represents you. You’re willing to give it up. Think of the people who in your behalf put our constitution in place. Think of the people who revised our constitution, including in the state of North Carolina. None of them was required to officially identify themselves by a photo ID because we took faith that they said they were who they said they were. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you ma’am. Speaker number forty one. Mr. Matthews. Welcome to the committee sir. You have the floor for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chair. My name is Donald Matthews. I’m with the Randolph County NAACP. And, I want to thank you for this education that I’ve received today. I was wondering how you maintained the governor’s office and the majority in both houses. It must be through the dead people that voted and the non-residents. But, with that being said, this is more about power than anything else. It’s about the retention of power and denying people the right to vote. When we do this in this country, we have people that become disenfranchised. This is not what you guys signed on for. I guess I should be facing you. You signed on to uphold the constitution of North Carolina. To make sure everyone had equal protection under that constitution. That is all we are here today asking you to do. Do what you said that you would do when you ran for election. This is not about power. It is not about you maintaining power. If you do the right thing by the people of North Carolina, you will get elected over and over again. If you do the wrong thing by the people of North Carolina, that same ballot box that you’re trying to impede right now will be your undoing. It’s strictly up to you. Honor the system that we have in place, there’s absolutely no need for a voter ID bill. Thank you for your time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you sir. The chair has been informed that speaker number forty two is not here. Speaker number forty three, Mr. Burns. You’re welcome sir. You have the floor for the time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you members of the committee. I’m Dennis Burns from the North Carolina Coalition of Verified Voters. We’re a non-partisan group and I want to remind people we were formed after malfunctioning voting machines nearly caused our state a re-vote in 2004. The most striking blunder being, Carterwright County where 4400 votes were lost by a computer machine almost forcing us to re-vote. We, and other citizens fought for House Bill 238 to improve voter integrity. We’re continuing to fight for it and we’re concerned about the quality that it gets maintained. Published reports, including from that radical group the Bush Election Commission. End poll observations have shown that there are still quality issues in terms of integrity, but voter impersonation is not one of them. This is a government solution to things that are not a problem. Two to three cases in 4.5 million votes? Plus, this so called fix will impede voting integrity in a couple of ways, including the fact that disenfranchise…
A huge number of voters, whether you argue 400,000 or 500,000. If you must proceed, we recommend three things in any bill. Number one, an alternative ID to a photo ID. Most of us carry a new voting card. I don't think my neighbor's gonna steal it from my mailbox. And that should be sufficient, particularly when you sign as a witness under felony threat in front of an election judge. Secondly, let's provide more funding to the Board of Elections, the Board of Elections that were cut in 2011. Let's go back to those problems in the past when you were short of election funds. Why spend $5, $10, $15 million in a tight year that could be done for better. And more poll watchers and more election machine verification and testing. Third, and lastly, let's extend early voting hours. It stands to reason, whatever you do, the lines will get longer, and that will impede voting. Most North Carolinians who work, and we all hope everybody can work, don't work in the precinct that they live. So please, extend the voting hours. Those three simple additions will not hurt voter integrity, which is our key goal, where a photo ID will. Thank you very much for your time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, sir. Before we invite our next guest up, the Chair would like to invite those listening in Room 544. Many of our House and Senate members have adjusted themselves in the chairs and have freed up about 18 more. So we would invite you to join us in 643, if you are so inclined. At this time, we'll move to Speaker Number 44. Ms. Johnson, welcome ma'am. You have the floor, and you have the floor for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good afternoon. My name is Linda Diane Johnson. I'm from Charlotte, North Carolina. I am here on behalf of the seniors in North Carolina. Some were born with midwives and do not have birth certificates. In order to get a North Carolina ID, you need a birth certificate. This is just a waste of time and money for everybody to get an ID to vote. This is just a poll tax, something more for seniors to worry about. We have enough problems trying to keep up with every time we get a Social Security raise of $20, that you figure out a formula to take away $10. Thank you for your time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, ma'am. The Chair has been advised that Speaker Number 45 is not here. Therefore, Speaker Number 46, Ms. Farrell. Welcome, ma'am. You have the floor for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Okay. Thank you Mr. Chairman and House Committee on Elections. My name is Jennifer Farrell. I'm a Wade County voter constituent, no one really special, stay-at-home mom of twins. I do have a pretty awesome Facebook page called Forward Americans. In my opinion, the requirement of showing ID upon voting as a registered voter is not relevant or good policy. I'm not the only one, as is telling from here today. Everyone that's come out to speak out against voter ID, the two rooms that overflow, people listening to this. There's also an active petition circulating the state titled We Oppose a Voter ID Law that Disenfranchises Voters. It's close to 10,000 signatures. That speaks volumes. And the secret is out, also, it's gonna be tough for a lot of you to hear. The secret is out that North Caroline Congressional legislative districts were redrawn to Republicans' advantage. Wade County's Congresswoman Renee Ellmers ranked second on The Hill's list of top ten House members who were helped by redistricting. Make no mistake that voter ID law is just another way for our Republican controlled legislature to continue to try to ?? in the future. I think I've shared with this Committee, I think there's a 24 to 13 ratio, I think a 24 Republican to 13 Democrat ratio on the Committee, which is also a little disappointing. Out of the 4.3 million
Cast the NC State Board of Election referred 310 cases of fraud for prosecution from the 2008 election. There just seems to be some, this imaginary concern by republicans who want to keep legally registered voters from casting their ballots. Many of us perceive, believe and fear that the GOP want to keep legally registered voters from casting their ballots. The solutions being talked about, about providing photo IDs at the state's expense because you can't require people to spend their own money to exercise their right to vote, is ridiculous. The last time I heard our state is very poorly ranked in public education and the other option of being discussed of alternative forms of ID, where do you draw the line? What's acceptable. All this back and forth. I think it should just be a dropped issue. The state GOP's goal seems to be to get this legislation passed through both state houses and to the governor's desk prior to the Supreme Court's decision on the voting right act in June, but they can't do anything about it until they make a decision in June so they're still dependent on that Supreme Court decision in order to even change any of this stuff. If republicans really want to reengage their real constituency in the state and nationally they're going to have to change the way they're approaching policy. I love how everyone's just looking at their computers and kind of reading and not listening to a lot of what other people have to say when they don't want to hear what other people want to say. We are gaining national recognition across multiple forms of media as a state enacting or trying to enact new oppressive or supressive legislation against its residents and very quickly. Please take a step back and really take into consideration what we're hearing from voters on this issue and all issues in this session as well as using facts and common sense and reasoning in your judgement. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you ma'am. Speaker number 47, Mr. Raider, welcome sir. You have the floor for time not to exceed 3 minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. I'm Steven Raider of Bedford County. Any new procedure often brings about speculation and we've heard a lot of that today, but I urge the committee to look at fact rather than hype and hysteria. And the facts are available because many places in the world and some in the United States already require photo IDs and have for years, so the facts are available. You don't need to listen to hype and hysteria. We've heard today one speaker had experience in New Hampshire. Another testified about research in some of the other states that do have voter ID requirements. I want to speak to one example I'm very familiar with and that is Moldova, which is North Carolina's sister state and has been for the last two decades roughly. Moldova has always had a photo ID requirement since it regained its independence and they go as far as requiring a stamp placed by the polling officials on the ID of the voter that way if somebody's on a voting list at two polling stations they can't present the same ID again. Now over the last 5 years that I have worked with democracy and governance programs in Moldova I've been certified by the central election commission in Moldova as an international election observer that covered 7 elections, the local elections of 2007 and 2011, the parliamentary elections of 2009 and 2010, the constitutional referendum of 2010 and the elections in the ?? region for the people's assembly in 2008 and for ?? in 2010. I've observed elections and polling stations that covered the waterfront in both of the major cities, Kishnel and ??. In rural areas in all regions of the country in both towns and villages. In polling stations that not only represent the majority Romanian population but all of the ethnic minorities that comprise over 1%. I've observed in many poor areas and from my observation the voter ID requirement has not impaired the right to vote of anyone, in fact the poor, the minorities turn out as strongly as the majority and the people with higher incomes. I would also point out that there are two organizations that have done extensive election observation and prepared written reports in English over many years. The office of democratic institutions in human rights of the organization for security and cooperation in Europe which has an international election observation mission and the local civil society organization, the coalition for
…their elections and that group has a representative in every polling station in the country. Those written reports do not reflect any problems with voter ID requirement in Moldova; they do not reflect any impairment of the right to vote of Moldovan citizens. So if you look at the facts the system works and does not impair votes. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Sir. Ladies and gentlemen of the community, Speaker #48 has asked that he be joined by two colleagues but that they will present within the three minute time and the chair has agreed to that. The chair would ask Mr. Weeks to please introduce those that are going to present with him as well, but with that you have the floor sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good afternoon, I will be sharing my time with my colleagues Johnna Mitchell and Malcolm Richbourg. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good afternoon, I am a student at Saint Augustine’s University and I am Malcom Richbourg. I feel that the voter ID bill is not fair. This bill will suppress the vote of minorities and college students as well. North Carolina has voted for more than 200 years and we have not had any problems with voting. We shouldn’t change anything that isn’t broken within North Carolina. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Hello everyone, I’m Johnna Mitchell, Student Welfare Chairperson at Saint Augustine’s University also a sophomore. I have voted in many elections, local, state, and two Presidential elections and there was nothing wrong with the way that the polls was ran and I personally believe that, I come from Nash county and Nash country doesn’t play games so I think that saying that there’s a problem or that we even have issues is just a joke to me because since I was a child my Mom has taken me down to the polls and I’ve seen that everything works smoothly and for 237 years it’s been working fine. I don’t see the problem, like Malcolm said; you can’t fix a problem if there’s no problem in the beginning. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Alright, good afternoon, my name is Nathan Weeks. I’m a double major currently studying political science and international relations at Shaw University here in the great state of North Carolina. I’m a student leader and currently serve on the SGA of my University as well as many other student organizations and sports teams. So, I know firsthand on engaging the student body and current political issues and affairs. I led the initiative personally on my campus to get everyone registered to vote going with the slogan 100% with help from common cause. The current system in place already has a process in which you validate that who you are is who you say you are and there is nothing wrong with this system. We fill out documentation and in return we’re given voter registration cards. The proposed legislation warrants that you have to show a state issued photo ID in order to vote. Voting is a constitutional right. There are more alleged alien sightings than people accused of voter fraud. I am an out of state student from Maryland and how does this proposed legislation disenfranchise me? I shouldn’t have to go back to Maryland to vote; out of the 12 months in the year I spend no more than a month back in Maryland and North Carolina has become my home. Will my college ID suffice or will there have to be valid student ID from a state institution? There are 60 universities in the North Carolina system, 51 private colleges and universities on top of these, the average out of state North Carolina student debt after college is $57,300 and the average income of bachelor’s degree for a graduate is $47,000 a year. 46% of all North Carolina students are out of state students and out of the 46%, 32% end up living in North Carolina post-graduation. We are not only students but economic entities. We invest our lives and money into the state and we should be able to exercise our rights as active citizens seeking to better ourselves. In classrooms we are taught our rights and we are taught how to exercise our rights and finally we are taught how to fight for our rights, that’s why I’m here today. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, sir. Speaker #49 before you come up ma’am the chair would like to announce that it was our intent at the end of each group if someone was skipped or was not in the room that we would give them the opportunity to speak and the members and guests may wonder why the chair continues to call out their number we do have a court reporter here and it’s his job to track the names of the folks that are offering presentation so after we hear from speaker 49 and speaker 50 we will go back to speaker 42 just to be clear.
With that speaker forty, nine, Ms. Gressel. Welcome ma'am. You have the floor for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ladies and Gentleman, I'm a senior citizen of Rockingham County, and a member of the Legal Women Voter's. One of the greatest achievements of American Democracy has been the introduction of mass public education from children to advanced research universities. The impact of state funding cuts to arrange of critical... I'm sorry... critical educational investments is evident across North Carolina. We rank 7th worst in the country in the depths of cuts in school funding since the start of this recession. These cuts put the state's economy and long term prosperity in jeopardy, and undermine our potential for effective educational reform. Good schools and an educated work force foster economic growth, and we are shooting ourselves in the foot by reducing our investment in education. North Carolina is going backwards on education, and has now moved to 49th in the nation in how we fund public schools. This being the case, how can you justify passing a law in favor of making photo I.D. a requirement in order to vote? According to a study from New York Universities Brennan Center for Justice, 11% of voting age citizens lack necessary photo I.D. You may not think that sounds like much, but it represents twenty-one million citizens, and there is no doubt that, in a close election, they could make a difference in the outcome. Attorney General, Eric Holder, has compared this law to a poll tax, given that sometimes costly steps needed to obtain the needed documents. Today legal scholars argue that photo I.D. laws create a new financial barrier to the ballet box. There have been precious few instances in which voter fraud cases has resulted in conviction. The New York Times reports that there were only one hundred twenty cases filed by the Justice Department over five years, many of which came from mistakenly filled out registration forms. Only eighty-six of these one hundred twenty, country wide, resulted in conviction. According to Rick Casson, University of North Carolina Irvine, Election Law Specialist, there are very few documented cases. When you do see election fraud, it invairably involves election officials trying to change election results, or else absentee ballets, which photo I.D. can't prevent. Based on the experience of states, which have already enacted photo I.D. laws, the cost of implementation runs into millions of dollars per year, and dramatically increases the cost of administering elections. Even if the state decides to incur these costs, it's I.D. requirements will be vulnerable to successful Constitutional challenge, causing further expense. North Carolina is 2.5 billion dollars in the hole already, and since education takes up over half of the state budget, education will sustain the largest share of any further cuts. In this difficult budgetary time, I ask you, ladies and gentleman, how you could possibly justify spending millions of dollars for years to come on this new and controversial election procedure that has not been shown to improve election security? Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you ma'am. Speaker number fifty, Mr. Fairanola. Welcome sir. Please introduce yourself, and you have the floor for time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. My name's Joe Fairanola. I live in Durham County. I want to thank you for the opportunity to be heard. This opposed voter I.D. law is not justified by any serious or wide spread problem. Since the current system has not been shown to be broken, why do we demand such an elaborate fix that would create often burdensome difficulties to so many law-abiding, tax paying citizens? Restrictive voter I.D. policies threaten to unfairly exclude hundreds of thousands of our state's eligible tax paying voters. These I.D. requirements fall hardest upon people who have traditionally faced barriers at the polls, the elderly, students, people with disabilities, the poor, unemployed, and people of color. I urge you not to pass this law. However, if you insist on instituting this burdensome law, the state must make a major effort to put abide voter I.D. to North Carolina eligible voters who need such proof. The state should permit a wide range of proof, as well as extensive training for poll workers who will be charged with enforcing the law.
law. In addition, the law should not be implemented and enforced until all eligible voters have had multiple opportunities to obtain the required ID. This must include providing convenient times and locations such as local post offices, schools, libraries, and even a mobile voter registration van, vans. Voter registration sites must have proper photo equipment and train specialists who can provide the required ID on-the-spot or within 20 days of application. This should be at no cost to the person receiving the ID but they will still have to pay the hidden cost of getting ID proof, such as birth certificates. These documents can be hard to obtain and cost money. It also costs money and time to get the DMV, Social Security Administration, or Counties Records Department to obtain these documents. For low-income voters these barriers are significant and unfair. In addition, such a law would cost the state millions of dollars. If local election boards are tasked with providing the free ID's, the cost of making those falls on county budgets which are already strapped in this economic climate. Is voter ID really worth increasing the property taxes or diverting money from education or other needed public programs? It has been said that democracy is not as efficient as a dictatorship but it is effective in granting rights to the citizens, such as the right to have a voice in how they are governed. Please don't force this law through. It is not necessary. It is not fair. It is not democratic. No eligible voter should be turned away from the poll because he or she doesn't have a photo ID. Thank you for your attention. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, sir. We'll now move to speaker number 42, Mr. Kevin Rogers. Welcome sir, you have the floor for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, for the opportunity to speak today. My name is Kevin Rogers, I am the Policy and Public Affairs Director for Action NC, a statewide policy and advocacy organization working in the low to moderate income communities throughout the state. It is on behalf of our members that I am here before you today. In preparing my remarks I was looking over my notes from the previous legislative hearings on the same topic. As best I can recall, this will be the fourth time now that I've given comment on the topic of voter ID. Many of my colleagues, who you've heard from before, have given even more comment. I have used moral arguments against voter ID. I have used legal arguments against voter ID. I have used pragmatic arguments against voter ID. Today, I am not here to argue. While we have been, and continue to be, firmly against any form of voter ID we understand the reality in which we are working. I want to thank Speaker Tillis and members of the leadership for committing to hear concerns before the bill was drafted rather than after. We are hoping to have some effect to that end. Our major concern with any form of voter ID is the additional burdens, financial and otherwise, placed on the poor and the elderly and the impediments to voting that those burdens create. In the past, the solutions floated by this General Assembly was a free ID, issued by the state, for the express purpose of voting, so as to meet the constitutional burdens of the state. I want you to understand why that is an inadequate solution. Assuming that proof of identity would be required for this ID, where does that individual find the documents? Our elderly citizens, who were born at the dawn of the 20th Century, many in rural areas at the time when birth certificates and county clerks were not as accessible as they are today? And while many younger folks who have easier access to these documents, many states charge money, sometimes up to $20-$30 for these documents. It's true that North Carolina will issue these documents for free but we have no control over the cost to residents born years ago in other states. What happens to these individuals who are unable to obtain these documents under normal circumstances? We have documented cases, which we'd be happy to share with the committee, of folks being forced to hire attorneys to prove their identity before they can vote, a great personal expense. And how many people face the same problem and simply gave up for want or time of money to continue? I urge this committee to take these circumstances under consideration as you craft the bills. Our members would be happy to come and speak with you to tell you their concerns about how these laws would make voting more difficult for them and their families. We understand that you have concerns about the election process, we simply ask for you to be respectful of ours. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, sir. Speaker number 51, Ms. Ferguson, welcome ma'am. You have the floor for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Hi, my name is Patricia Ferguson. I am from Burke County, North Carolina, first congressional district. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for this opportunity. As a little girl, I can remember two loving
...grandparents. One with a fourth and seventh grade education respectfully. Who worked as tenant farmers, sharecroppers, everyday to make ends meet. As a daughter of a single teen mom, among the many responsibilities they had was of raising to me to love God, family and my community. Neighborly advise such as, "Do onto others as you'd have them do onto you," were powerful principles that have served me well all of my life. I can remember a lot of my childhood in Northeastern North Carolina before my mom came and got me and took me back up north with my siblings, however, what has puzzled me and wracked my brain the most since this voter ID legislation surfaced was the voting rights of my grandparents. I'd never really thought about it within this context until now because to me voting rights was a right a lot of good, brave, and powerful people fought for for so many to have. The intention was this voter ID legislation has brought has touched sensitive moments and memories. As I said, as a little girl I remembered things. I remember growing up in rural North Carolina, but what I never remember is my grandparents voting. I asked my mother about this a few days ago because my grandfather has passed and my grandmom is 98 years young and...So I said to her. I said, "Mom, did you ever see them vote when you were little girl?" And she said, "Never." She said never. I said, "Why do you think it was never?" And she said, "I think it was because of all the fuss being made about voting rights. That they were probably too afraid." In a region of the state with the largest African-American population, and with the growing aging population, enacting a voter ID requirement will have unintended outcomes. Our poorest and most vulnerable, our least likely to be informed of such a law and thereby turned away at the voting both, and turned away from exercising a right that their citizenship guarantees. The comments of all speakers so far today opposing this legislation does hold tremendous merit, and I am hopeful that you will give thoughtful consideration to our position. Thank you so much for your time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you ma'am. Speaker Number 52, Miss Montford, welcome. Please introduce yourself to the committee. You have the floor for the time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good afternoon. Thank you for allowing me to come before you today. My name is Mary Montford. I am President of North Carolina A. Philip Randolph Institute, a state-wide non-profit organization. My question to you is, "Why? Why are you considering a federal ID law? A poll tax on people that are already struggling to pay their normal bills. Why?" At the North Carolina A. Philip Randolph Institute we have a food pantry. We feed hundreds of people a month, having to make tough decisions whether or not they are going to be able to eat, pay rent, their mortgage, or just be able to buy all of their medicine at one time and still have enough money to buy all the other necessities in life. The list goes on. Monday through Friday our volunteers give them support. Our volunteers are senior citizens, homeless people, unemployed people, and college students. They are our brother's keepers. The senior citizens we feed struggle everyday with health issues and food issues in their life just to sheer survive. The homeless families have already lost just about everything and live in tents in the woods, some of them children. Other homeless live near the railroad tracks, or wherever they can find a spot. There's a man that lives in a shopping center parking lot beside the road in Raleigh. Numbers of you have probably seen this man. The unemployment people who, by no choosing of their own, were laid off from their jobs, or their jobs have been transferred out of state or overseas are also juggling and trying to maintain to not become homeless: paying their rent, mortgage, car note, utilities, and let's not forget about the college students who run short of food.
Does some embrain mandate most selfless, we see them ourselves. They have no mandate to purchase tools. We are again our brothers people. Are you trying to hit the least amongst us. Are you trying to burn us down with more financial stress bills down to us in a manner of unemployment wanted to see in this state, curtail the Medicaid, but truly not happened either. But yet why give big businesses more tax revenues to do what they please and yet impose new tax on financial disenfranchised a politics lets reveal the photo id row will indeed create another financial hardship on families. You will be asking citizens to actually determine whoever to pay bills buy medicines or both. I oppose the undue hardship of photo id. North Carolina must look forward not backwards. Thank you. [Speaker Changes] Thank you Madam. Speaker No 53 . Mr Yeltin. Welcome sir, you have the floor time not to exceed three minutes. [Speaker Changes] I want to thank you sir for extending the number beyond 50. I went to the Internet at 10 ‘o clock I couldn’t start up. Then I find out late yesterday afternoon about this being dome and I drove almost 300 miles to get here and stand before you. And Chairman Lewis has my written comments. And I would like to ask to take a copy of those comments and give them to every member of the committee. Because when you see my comments, you are not going to see numbers pulled out of the air are studies over here. You are going to see things that I experienced as a democrat and as a republican. And folks the fellow [inaudible] do you really good when a democrat DA and a democrat board of election will not prosecute some body for voting twice. And that happened to me in Buckingham county. I am sorry. You could have all along you want. But that doesn’t work. So the way to solve it is through positive Photo ID. When they used the school to put out the mail. When a friend of mine’s daughter goes to Western Carolina and she is recruited actively and said you can vote here at western and vote in your county. So that’s what going on in the real world. You read my comments, I can give you names, dates and people of the fraud that is occurring in North Carolina. Now this is not a political issue. I have heard right here from this podium. They want to change it because they didn’t the outcome. But I think the current leadership entirely liked the outcome of the last elections. Don’t you. So why they want to change that. You have got to stop and think. As I said this is not a political issue. My 97 year old mother had to get a photo id to cash a cheque and there was no problem. I didn’t realize we had this many stupid people in North Carolina. You can’t get an ID. Kids are in college and they don’t drive. My goodness. In 1956 when that little black truck holed up the factory. I knew I was going to get a day off. You know why I was going to get a day off. We had an election day. One day one town and that was it. That create in my mind how important the elections are. We knew how early voting, five weeks to vote, anybody can vote, what message are you sending to the young kids that voting is not important and its just another every day thing. So when you look at the things rules think about a way to clarify how college students can vote. And all those people attending this ground there that had no [inaudible] I got a real important question for you. You don’t want a voter id, but how many of you want an ID before I have the right to have a gun. Think about that and what your personal motive is. Thank you very much for your time. [Speaker Changes] Thank you Sir. Speaker Number 44 . Miss Eaten. Glad to hear Madam. Welcome. You have the floor, time not to exceed three minutes. [Speaker Changes] I am Roselyn Johnson Eaten. I came to prove what Dr Barbara had said. He introduced this lady as a ninety one year old.
[0:00:00.0] …So, I guess you all remember him when he says that, that is me, so it is good to be to see all you representatives, visitors, members [Inaudible], we go through a lot today. So, I’m here to tell you about a living experience of voting rights, when I became 18 years old I told my mother, “Well, sit down and let’s talk.” And she said, “Alright.” So, we sit down and I begin to tell her that I want to register the vote. So, she said, “Well, that’s the way. We go down to Louisburg, North Carolina in Franklin County and we moved about 7 miles out.” So, my brother ___[01:08] and ___ who were also there. We went down to the Courthouse and back to the Courthouse we walked in and three men sitting there and he asked the question, “Lady, what you are doing here and what you want?” I have told him that I came to see about register and voting and I was 18 years old. He said, “Well, sit down over there and then I will tell you got a lot of things to do before you get register.” So, he just asked me to standup, to standup straight and look at them and repeat the constitution of the United States of America. I did as he asked, I stood up straight and looked at them and he said, “Not looking to the right, not looking to the left but look at us, repeated without a mistake.” I did that and he said, “Well, you are a smarter lady.” So, then he said, “We will take her as right and legal.” Well, after that day I felt like I was going to do something and I did do something, it was very exciting to be register vote and a great revolution but now it has became a ___[02:58], it has become very, very shocking very, very burdensome just think about what we are going to in the state. I pray that you will ___[03:12] and help him as he helps us and that ___[03:18], thank you so much for your time and have a good day. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you so much Mam. Speaker #55 is also Ms. Ethan, Ms. Ethan welcome mam you have the floor for time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman, my name is ___[03:38] Ethan and that is my mother just spoken before me, I’m Chair Person of the Franklin County Democratic Party and I’m glad to be with you today. Voting is one of the most important rights of the citizen and is firmly mental right to democratic process, our ancestors ___[04:01], dad and had to read the constitution for that right. Together our past generation moved the moral accomplice towards a victorious and just history. Therefore, voting has become a sacred right and privilege and certainly has become respected. You as law makers and us as citizens know that research has proven that there is very little or not voter fraud in North Carolina, voter fraud idea is realistic and unrealistic, unclassified, undocumented and unfounded. It’s just a fear or a tactic. Voter fraud is a felony in North Carolina and there are safeguards in place to detect… [0:04:59.9] [End of file…]
Voter fraud. It is a crime that nobody wants to commit. As a retired social worker for the Department of Social Services in Franklin County, I have a great deal of experience with the elderly and their plight in voting and trying to get to the polls. It is quite difficult for many of them to provide the income to hire someone, whether it's a caregiver or a neighbor or someone else to get to the polls to vote. They have to insure that this is done, so they certainly do not want to impersonate a living person or a dead person because they can barely get there themselves. Voting is something that they see as a right and a privilege. They do not take it lightly and they do not commit fraud. Therefore, we have many problems in North Carolina that we must deal with. However, voter fraud is not one of them. I ask that you consider all the pleas and information that has been presented today and I ask that you not impose this unjust law on the elderly and the young in North Carolina. Thank you very much. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you ma'am. Speaker number 56 the Chair will ask him to introduce himself. The Chair is aware that he is from Fayetteville, but cannot recall nor read the sheet. The Chair apologizes for that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] In the name of God the magnificent and merciful, I am Imam Minister ?? Smith Muhammad. God's peace be upon you. I'm here today my beloved brothers and sisters and first of all I would like to thank God for this opportunity. For those of you who know me well, you will get criticized when you step out of line, no matter how big or how small. For those who do not know me well, I'll also like to get a compliment when it's due. And for the young man standing behind me, I can call him a young man my Vietnam Vet living by the way in America the greatest country on Earth, that's who we are. We must step up to the plate and recognize who we are, the greatest country on Earth. The world is watching. The young man standing behind me, he has done a phenomenal job is making everyone Republican, Democrat, Independent, etc. feel welcome. I've rarely seen that among my fellow Democrats. So, those of you who call themselves conservative, I guarantee you you're not as conservative as I am as a Democrat. Now, clearly, how did we get to this place? How did we get to this point in the activities in the state of North Carolina? As one of the elderly statesmen in the legislative Black Caucus told me, most of you stopped listening. That's how we got here. You stopped listening to the people on the ground as President Obama says from the ground up. You stopped listening and if you know as well, we'll come back to bite you if don't listen to us. So, now that you've been bitten and the Democrat lost the House and the Senate, now you will listen. But, it's not an easy lesson. Dr. Alvin Poussaint of Harvard University put it this way. He said it's time for activism in the street. It is time for activism in the street brothers and sisters. Voter ID pictures, if it's not broke don't fix it. Our universities have gone to the extreme. They let drug dealers on campus before they let alumni on campus. That's just how messed up and mixed up this ID problem is. It's out of control. You need to listen to individuals such as the 91-year-old lady who spoke before me and the 97-year-old man that's sitting in the back. He's here from Charlotte. They have a great story to tell. Now, Ralph Campbell put it this way. This is what we need. Ralph Campbell, the first African American State Treasurer, great friend of mine, friend of yours. His door was always open on the City Council and when he became State Treasurer. Your doors are not open enough in the legislature. You are not acting like Ralph Campbell taught you to act. That's why we're suffering.
peace be upon you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you sir. Speaker number 57 Mr. Ramey. We're so glad you're here sir. Welcome you have the floor for time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chairman and committee. My name is Willie Thomas Ramey III. I'm the Senior Pastor of the Ridgeway Baptist Church in Ridgeway, North Carolina which is located in Warren County. I've served in that position for 36 years. Our church was established in 1867. Our average membership of our average attendance is 69 each Sunday. 65% of our membership are senior citizens. 40% of the seniors are over 70 years old. 12 of those members receive in home healthcare and they can't come to church. We have to take the church to them, but they vote. 5 members are in a rest home or in the convalescent center, but they vote. 70% of our members find themselves living at and below the level of poverty, but they vote. Many of them have worked all of their lives on farms and industries that are throughout our county and they live on social security, but they vote. We do not have a motor vehicle department in our county. A unit comes to our county once a month for half a day. There is no place in Warren County to buy license plates, but we vote. We have no outcome that comes into our county that help our people. People of Warren County already feel the chill of winds of neglect in disparity, desperation, and isolation. We are at the bottom of the income level. We're number 5 in per capital income from the bottom. We have no political influence. We have no sociological influence. We have no military power. We have no political power and it seems as if to me that we're trying to take away the constitutional rights that we already have. We've brought people up in the haves and the have nots. It seems to me that I should have had nots equating us now to the Pharoah of Egypt telling us to make bricks with our straw. It seems to me that I can hear Nebechanezzar saying tell me what my dream was, interpret my dream but don't tell me what, but don't tell me what the dream is. Voter id is not necessary. We said that that's so many different disparities that's going on, so many fraud that's taking place. Why hasn't there been persecution for them? If you got proof why didn't you take it to court. And if it didn't take at the first level why didn't you take it another level. If it's so bad why are we all sitting here satisfied that we got elected. I don't understand if it is so bad how come something hasn't gone to the Supreme Court, hasn't gone to the Judicial level person we're not trying to say that 3/4 of a person does not matter at all. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you sir. Before, before we invite our next guest for the chair I would like to announce a little bit of housekeeping. It's the Chair's intent to invite four more speakers to present and then this committee will go into a 15 minute recess and then we will reconvene. So with that Speaker number 58 Ms. Sullivan. Welcome ma'am you have the floor for time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. My name is Virginia Sullivan and I've rised to speak and thank you for the time to speak against the requirement of photo id to vote. I speak for the Urban Ministry in Charlotte, North Carolina. I'm a volunteer counselor there helping homeless and fragilely homed people, house people with a variety of problems. In Urban Ministry center serves 400 people per day. You and I probably live in secure housing with automobiles that automatically lock and thus a safe place to secure our id we carry with us. Homeless lack those privileges. Their possessions including their id are routinely stolen and lost as they've made their way around the city searching for meals, warmth, safety and relationships. They are often alienated from family members.
Speaker: who resist them for storing and routinizing id in the last seventeen years we have become experts and how somehow can obtain and id obtaining a photo id is ?? with few resources require time money and access here is the process for those who have lost it all first ?? approved form of id that can be a school record if you live in McLean burg county may be if you have lived in north Carolina medical record sealed a prison id in order to get medical id i have sent people to emergency room for ?? reason just to obtain a medical record you and i obtain for that second go to social security to obtain a print out of ourselves security number and letter you can do it with a letter from us but we have to observe you sixty days prior to that letter take the print out and seal piece of id to D M V fourth wait ?? for the mail to come fifth take your social id for your security of the card 5 road trip ?? bus at the cost of 40 dollars if there is no other id we have to get a birth certificate that's unspecific and if you are unlucky born in new york city you have to provide your photo id for the birth certificate requiring photo id for the necessary franchise who do not have the time money or access to get an official id as a private citizen i should encourage you on not to pass this bill not to put this barriers there is no clear evidence of voter fraud ?? and specially the hometown my last comment is my lost passport cost $100 thank you, Speaker Changes: thank you mam speaker number 59 Mr ?? welcome sir you not have the time exceed 3 minutes , Speaker Changes: i don't ?? i too know how it like to lose an id i have to go to big process just to give my security card a birth certificate ?? i know people are in this world right now they have got a lot of ?? to walk into trolley North Carolina to began everything stolen ?? but as if today i know i made a home a lot of people think with we have no id but the all ?? there is got to be somebody for the day he passes away the first thing you wanna do is you wanna get him sheltered need food they need clothes OK if ?? but if you got to get birth certificate it costs you $60 $75 without family without resources the think we are gonna get that an id is a piece of cad in your pocket stand ?? but let you know the card doesn't vote we people do right i know all lot people right now that kill is to ?? but those people are love to vote they love to vote i just got my ?? within four years i lost all my freedom and presence bu i got right to vote in got people around me that's my id it's not gonna help me vote i understand that but why not people ?? they want a security card the want a birth certificate OK now how about this how about they wanna drop this law how about a question for you the next time the time for the presidential election and is that the person who won is that the person you want to win the person you want to win from 177 votes how you know the people without an id to you need the people here today, Speaker Changes: thank you sir ladies and gentlemen it has been brought to the chair that one of the speaker had a special need and therefore contrast to that the chair announced earlier and skip to speaker no 73 and welcome Mr.walker sir we are glad that you have the floor for time not to exceed three minutes, Speaker Changes: thank you Mr.Chairman thank you for everyone ?? also thank you for accepting me,
order, I also believe in everything they spoke about, legal aided, whatnot. I believe that a man should have IDs to represent him. A woman should have ID in case someone should jump on you, how would they know who jumped on you, if someone did jump on you, how would you know who jumped on you. How would you know who broke into your home if you didn’t have ID. If you have ID there’s a possibility that it could always be prosecuted if need be. Now, other than that, this afternoon, they sent me back to Rutherford BCU. I hope each and every one of you could see me. I was a military man. This is my daughter when she was born. I never knew that she existed, but due to the fact her mother told her, find your daddy, I feel I must have been a good man. I was in the service. France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany, and all over there. I served under General Patton and Eisenhower. I’m glad to be back at 88 years of age. I just want you all to know that this little lady say, and her mother say, find your daddy. Since then, she’s been here to the United States, she’s still a citizen of Germany. She been here for a year in the States. She came here September the 11th and left October the 2nd. She says since she’s been back, many people have finally ?? and I just want you to know that I’m thankful to let you know that I’m a proud father. Proud American Citizen. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, sir. Next will be speaker number 60, Mr. Mortimer. We’re glad you’re here, sir. Welcome to the committee. You have the floor for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I want to thank the members of the committee for giving the citizens this opportunity to come before you and speak on this issue. My name is Lee Mortimer. I live at 4116 Livingstone Place in Durham. I served on a legislative study commission for election law review in 1996. Over the years I have advocated for fairer ways to conduct elections. I’ve spoken about election reform at the legislature and in local settings around the triangle region. Requiring voters to produce a government issued photo ID in order to vote is a remedy in search of a problem. There is very little, if any evidence, that fraudulent voting has been a problem in our elections. If there had been, we know that a lot of candidates would have appealed and contested, a lot of losing candidates would have appealed their election losses and that just has not happened. There could be some reasonable examination of voters’ identity to assure that they are who they are and that they are at the correct polling place. When I was coming over here ten years or so ago, Republicans were advocating a different voter ID proposal. The proposal then would have accepted a utility bill, a rent receipt or some similar identification. Utility bill or rent receipt would be checked against the name and address on the voter registration list, if everything matched, the person would be allowed to vote. I don’t know why the proposal now has become so much more onerous. Republicans may have wanted to appear reasonable and moderate when you were in the minority. Now that you have enough legislative votes to push through just about anything you want to, perhaps there’s not so much need to be reasonable. Most of us in this room take for granted our driver’s license or other forms of government issued photo ID, but many people don’t have those. They are young, they are poor, they are older people who don’t drive or don’t own a car. They are the elderly or the infirm who don’t often leave their residence except when someone else takes them out. I recently was working with a lady who resides in an assisted living facility. She hasn’t had a driver’s license in years nor any other kind of photo ID. If this law passes, she would have an additional burden placed on her ability to vote. For these and other fellow citizens, having to obtain a government photo ID would be a genuine hardship. Even a free ID would impede many people from voting and a free ID card from the government obviously is not free. It would be one more unnecessary expense that should not be added to the taxpayers burden. This new requirement for voting is not fair and is not needed. I urge you to reconsider before pushing through something that unfairly and needlessly restricts many of our citizens from exercising their right to vote. Thank you very much. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much, sir.
Speaker number 61, Miss Bun. Welcome, you have the floor for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Committee. Common sense is sometimes common. An overwhelming majority of individuals support photo voter ID. It is amazing the number of places mentioned by previous speakers that you have to show your photo ID. Your vote is very precious. It's more precious than a FedEx package. And as far as cost, this is a replica of my personal photo ID, and it cost about ten dollars, which is about what an ID would cost. Ten dollars. For the hundreds of people that could not be here today, and for the millions of people and the six million voters of North Carolina who support photo voter ID, please, please do this. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Miss Bun. The Chair's been informed that speakers number 62, 63, 64, 65, and 66 no longer wish to speak. Therefore, when the Committee reconvenes, we'll be at speaker number 67, Mr. Smith. It is 7:06 PM. The Committee will stand in recess until seven... The Chair apologizes, getting tired, I'm too old. The Committee will stand recess until 7:25. Members and staff are invited to room 612. Members and staff are invited to Representative Stam's office, room 612. The House Committee on elections will come back to order. Our next speaker will be speaker number 67, Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith, welcome, sir. You have the floor for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Representative Lewis, and to the Committee, for allowing voting citizens to come and speak to you. The arguments have been, and will be made, that a voter ID law in North Carolina is absolutely necessary, if we are to reign in the ubiquitous scourge of rampant voter fraud, but we all know that this law will not be aimed at preventing voter fraud, as supporters claim, but to set up new barriers that will make it more difficult for minorities and the poor to exercise their right to vote. The law is a poll tax, and it will disenfranchise new generations of African-American, Latino-American, poor, and elderly citizens. Just when we thought he was dead, Jim Crow lurches forward like an incessant zombie. Associate Professor of History at San Francisco University, Charles Postel, writes, "The new law and the historic poll tax share three significant points. First, a voter restriction is like a poll tax when its authors use voting fraud as a pretext for legislation that has little to do with voting fraud. Second, it is like a poll tax when it creates only a small nuisance to some voters, but for other groups it erects serious barriers to the ballot. Third, it is like a poll tax when it has crude partisan advantage as its most immediate aim." End quote. When literacy tests, poll taxes and similar laws were enacted in 1890s, the very men who wrote them believed in and practiced a form of White supremacy that Frederick Douglas said would shame a nation of savages, and they were proud of it. These laws were designed to intimidate, and ultimately bar African-Americans from voting. Ironically, in the case of the illiteracy tests, many of the administrators of those tests were illiterate. And what was the rationale in the 1890s? Voter fraud. The funny thing was that the politicians who were in support of these suppressive and oppressive laws were involved in fixing elections and vote-buying. Like its predecessor, this voter ID legislation was designed to put another barrier between Blacks, the poor, and other minorities and the ballot box. As a proud American and North Carolinian, I am ashamed to say that North Carolina Republican legislators are championing the political advantages of photo ID laws that will disproportionately affect minority, elderly, poor voters. My
paternal great grandfather paid and had to jump through hoops in order to cast his first vote. My grandfather, who could read and write, was forced to read the preamble to the state's constitution in order to vote. My father, a 24-year marine corps veteran and former president of the North Carolina School Board Association, has voted since he was able to, without showing any identification. I intend to follow the example of my forefathers, and do it the same way my father still does: freely and unencumbered by a poll tax in the form of photo identification. I will fight this. This is said to be the people's house. A voter ID law will make it some people's house. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, sir, very much. Speaker number 68, Miss Rinke. Welcome, Ma'am, please identify yourself for the record. You have the floor for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My name is Octavia Rinke, and again, I would like to thank you for the opportunity of allowing me to speak. I am here today, I am opposed to voter ID. Voter ID is nothing but a poll tax. I've listened tonight to a lot of people talk about this issue. There is a difference between a privilege and a constitutional right. It is a privilege to have a driver's license. It is a privilege to have all kinds of credit cards with your picture on them. All of that is a privilege, but it is a constitutional right to vote. This bill is not fair. It is unjust. Something happened here, so I brought my photo ID, and it is called the African-American Journal, and it talks about our plight from February 1778 to November of 1956. I would challenge all of the legislature, before you do anything else with this bill, to read this. It talks about our voter suffrage. It talks about how we were killed, beaten, just for the right to vote. And when you begin to institute a photo ID, let's not play games with that. It's nothing but an illusion, taking us back to the past. And the sad part about this is that no... It's just no offense to anyone, if you don't know our history, how in the world can you bring forth a legislation that is fair and just, and not "just us"? There's something wrong with this legislation. We have been down this road before. We have had all kinds of tests imposed upon us. This is just another test. Please do not move forward with this photo ID. We have rules on the books, for everyone to vote. As a former precinct worker, I did not see fraud at all in our precinct. We were taught, and taught very well, and we follow all the rules, because guess what? As a precinct worker, you sign off too. So I am just confused at why we are here with a photo ID. I don't understand it, but please understand that there is a difference between our constitutional right and a privilege. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Ma'am. Speaker number 69 is not currently in the room, so we'll move to speaker number 70, which I believe is Miss Freeman. Miss Freeman, welcome, Ma'am, you have the floor for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and to all of the representatives here, I stand very proud to be in this place this afternoon to express myself. I stand on the shoulders of my parents and that generation. Oftentimes, when it was election day, my parents used to say, "This is the one day that everybody is free, and equal, whether you're Miss Anne on the hill, or Uncle Bob in the valley, everyone have a voice and a vote." Let's not take that voice from the people. I heard the lady say that, again the previous speaker said, that I have credit cards with my ID, I have this with my ID, and that's wonderful. It's wonderful for you sitting in this room to have all those things. I am a social worker, and I know about the little people
.. for who do not have those things to get those ID.. I have people who are recovering from Floyd, in terms of ID. They have not got those things, and you know, I hear people say that, well they're irresponsible, adults should have these things. We should all be rich. I wish I was rich, and I would give people ID so that would not be an issue. I encourage you to vote with your heart, and make it possible for everybody. One day, out of the voting time, to be free, and to be able to express themselves. Your vote is your voice. Let's use it that way. And I thank you all. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you m'am very much. Speaker number seventy one, miss Benne four, if I'm pronouncing that correctly, M'am, welcome please, identify yourself for the record, and you have the floor for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you chair. I would like to thank you for this opportunity to speak today. Good afternoon my name is, or good evening, my name is Sonya Jackson Bennetone. I reside in Wilmington, North Carolina. I am the great grand daughter of former slaves, Fanny Perkins Williams, and Henry Williams. I am empowered to be a descendant of former slaves, because if they can survive the worst form of inhumanity, I have no excuse for failure. My father, the late Reverend Isiah James Jackson Junior, survived segregation. There were restaurants he could not go to. Beaches that were less than a mile away, that he could not take his family. However, regardless of the obstacles, my daddy, was my hero. He had the love of god in his heart, the love of family, and he loved his country. And he was proud to say that I am a United States veteran. My daddy took voting very seriously. For any of his children to forget to vote, was worse than committing a crime. My daddy never forgot about bloody Sunday in March of 1965, when Jimmy Lee Jackson was killed by State troopers. And others brutally attacked in a peaceful march while trying to register to vote. However, god took a tragic event which had gained national attention, and led to the signing of the voting rights act of 1965 which enabled millions of African Americans could vote.. to vote. Some were born with the right to vote, but others, some had to die for their constitutional right to vote. And no, we do not take this for granted. Voting in America is a day when all Americans are equal. One man, one vote. Passing the voter ID bill will cause the state of North Carolina, or could cause, the state of North Carolina millions of dollars. North Carolina has the fifth highest unemployment in the nation, has severe cuts to public education, and I'm confused where there's even funding for such a bill that we don't need. The voter fraud reporting is so low that if the bill passed it would have the same results. When one registers to vote, everything is verified. Percentage wise, it's hard enough to get people to the polls once. More or less than trying to do it illegally twice. Most senior citizens like my mother, will have voted in the same precinct for over half a century. And a precinct is just like your neighborhood, everyone knows one another, even the poll workers know you, cause you vote in your neighborhoods. And to tell my mother, or any other mother, or citizen they cannot vote because of an ID, is injust. We serve a just god and when there's an injustice, it's our Christian duty to do what's just and right. I ask not only you to stop the voter ID bill however, I ask the same god that was there for my great grandparents during slavery. The same god that was there for my grandparents and parents when voter suppression was legal, which is the same god that has allowed me to stand before you today to ask those who are placed in office to please stop this bill. Thank you for listening. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you m'am. Speaker number seventy two, mister Gala goad. And please feel free to correct the chair and the pronunciation, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you mister chairman, committee, representatives, and members of the public. I'm.. again, my name is Jake Gellar-Goad, and I'm happy to be here today, and I come with one simple message. Have more hearings. Have more hearings. There are so many folks who couldn't be here tonight. But everyone who did come tonight, I think no matter what side of the issue you are speaking on, you're glad and you agree that it's good for people to come and to have their voices heard. So we need to have more
For hearings. I work with a lot of people from East North Carolina, and I was glad that democracy in Greenville and the Greene County NAACP, and Greene County Grassroots could all make it up for this hearing. And I'm glad they had a chance to speak out. But for every one of them who had a chance to come, there are many more who couldn't. So please, have more hearings. One week's notice for a weekday meeting at 4pm when people have to work, that's not enough. Have more hearings. For all those folks in East North Carolina where poverty is such an issue, folks who can't afford to get the IDs, they certainly can't afford to drive up here and tell you they can't get those IDs. Please have more hearings, have them across the state, have them in East North Carolina. When you combine photo ID with the tax on early voting, the tax on same day registration, a tax with redistricting and other measures, it starts to look like it's politicians trying to choose their voters rather than letting voters pick their representatives, and that's not how it should be. We need to have more hearings. So in closing, you guessed it, have more hearings. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you sir. Speaker number 73 has already spoken. Speaker number 74, Mr. Hobkins. You have the floor, sir, for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. The arguments I've heard here tonight in favor of this legislation have struck me, as at best, intellectually vapid or at worst, overtly disingenuous. Legislation like this has appeared in legislatures across the country in recent years, and I think that the political calculus that has animated the forces proposing these bills is profoundly cynical. And any legislature and any lawmaker who votes for this bill should be ashamed of himself. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you sir. Speaker number 75, Mr. Brand. You have the floor sir for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you sir. I'm Rick Brand and I'm chairman of the Vance County Democratic Party and I live in Henderson, North Carolina. In the last eight years in Vance county, the board of election has had three cases of voter irregularity which were investigated. The current system works. One of them was an elderly couple who had simply forgotten that they had voted and showed up at the polls and the pollworker called them, told them and they remembered. The second one was a chronic alcoholic who had in fact forgotten that he had early voted and showed up at the poll and was told he could not vote again. The third one was a pollworker who got confused between an uncle and a nephew who had very similar names, and so when the uncle showed up to vote, the pollworker said that he had already voted. So, we don't need a Voter ID bill in Vance county because the voter irregularities that have happened in our county have been taken care of very well by the current system. However, since I understand the political reality, if you are going to pass a voter ID bill, it seems to me incumbent based on the vast amount of voter irregularity in Vance County that you need to apply voter ID to absentee ballots as well. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you sir. Speaker number 76 is Mr. Washington. I apologize. Mr. Linville. I apologize. Do you know what number you are? Okay, so this is speaker number 79, Mr. Linville. The chair apologizes. I'm glad you're here sir. You have the floor for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you mister chairman and committee members. My name is Richard Linville. I reside in Forsyth County. We do need a voter ID. No doubt about it. I've worked the polls for several years, and I don't know where the numbers are coming from as far as voter fraud. It is correct that the voter integrity project come up with 30,000 dead people. There was in 2012, there was 832 voters that voted absentee ballot. That was 112 years old. That's great. But there's only 330 people in the United States. Is that voter fraud? If it's not I don't know what to call it. I'm looking at a deal here in, where the election board, state board of election in the Obama campaign registered 11,000 people online. North Carolina does not allow that.
That’s illegal. How did that happen? I have called the Attorney General three time, hadn’t got an answer. I wonder if somebody’s going to be prosecuted on this. I don’t know, but I’m not not giving up. I’ll call him again. I had a pretty good program going until I come in 76th or 79th and everybody else had done beat all my stuff up, but anyway. I want to also say an ID, you don’t have to have a driver’s license to go vote. Getting an ID card, you have to go to the North Carolina driver’s ID, to get a North Carolina driver’s ID, you go to any driving license office and apply for it. All you’ve got to have is proof age, identification, and if you apply and you get it, it is good for five years. You could go back and renew it in five years. What’s the deal about high school kids...not high school, college kids, not getting...they don’t have to have a license, they can go get this ID. Another thing is to, getting to the polls. I worked the polls. I worked them for five year. I’ve watched bus after bus after bus after bus after bus of people brought in and let out. I saw people bring them in, go in with them, and direct them on how to vote. That really bothers me. I cannot see how in the world we can get by. Voting is a fundamental right that everybody has. But it’s also a fundamental right for it to be fair and transparent, thank you very much. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, sir. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to go back to number 76, Mr. Washington, sir. We’re glad you’re here. You have the floor for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’d like to thank the chairman and the House. Allow me to speak on this serious issue in Congress today. My name is Roland Washington. I’m a United States Marine Corp veteran and a senior. I’m an advocate for the homeless in Charlotte, North Carolina, one of the leadership members of that group. I’m also a member of Action North Carolina as well as Democracy of North Carolina. I’m here today to speak on behalf of the homeless, middle class, lower class of North Carolina. Your attempt to pass through a law that requires ID to vote will make it harder for me, for the homeless, and all people in North Carolina to exercise our right to vote. Please, today, let’s use common sense. Do not waste taxpayers’ money and time on needless law that airs extra hassle and burdens, especially on the homeless in this state. Also, please do not play politics with our sacred right to vote. Please do not let your divisions by political party divide the people from our right to vote. I’d like to thank you for allowing me to let you hear my voice for all people to be heard. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much sir. Speakers 80 and 81 are not here, so speaker 82, Mr. Bristol, we’re so glad you’re here sir. You have the floor for a time not to exceed 3 minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] My name’s Eric Bristol, I’m form Pitt County, Greenville, North Carolina. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, board members. I’ve heard a lot of people speak today, and I don’t have much more to add to that, except that this issue is more than a voting struggle. It’s a class struggle. A class struggle that dates back over 300 years. I’m Anglo-Saxon...
...descendants who have voted in favor of this bill. What are you afraid? You have entire walls filled with hard bound legal documents protect ya. I'm gonna ask the members of this general assembly, and if necessary Governor McCrory, consider the words of George Washington who begged us, "to labor, to hold in our breasts that spark of celestial fire called conscience." [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, sir. Speaker Number 83, I do not believe is here. I believe you are Speaker 84, sir. Yes, sir. Speaker 84, Reverend Green you have the floor, sir, for time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Than you, Mr. Speaker. I'm Reverend Isaiah Green with Equal Treatment Incorporated, we are a civil rights group domiciled out of North Carolina, but we serve throughout the United States. I do appreciate the privilege to come and speak with you, briefly. I would have been here earlier today, but we served two federal summons on the Wake County Court Administrators, B Colon Willoughby and also Judge Eagles multi-million dollar lawsuit against them for what we call IMP and that is Intentional Malicious Prosecution. Last week I got the opportunity to talk with Sheyenne Rodriguez, WTBD 11 eye witness news in front of the legislature here and gave her our views about a solution to the problem of voter fraud and having to present an ID card when you go to vote. Basically we all know that most of us we register prior to voting and your name is already on a list. When you go to the poll to vote usually there is several lines and most polls I've gone to there are three lines and they go through alphabetical order probably the first nine alphabets and then the second part and then the third part so the solution that I offered to WTBD to be presented to the public never was aired. I was on the noon days news, but they never gave the solution to the problem. Now, this is the solution that I propose is that: at every poll setting that you have cameras that take pictures of everyone that comes there to vote and then if there is a problem with fraud you have everybody on the camera. So when you start matching who came to vote in different precincts if the same face shows up twice then you have the perpetrator. Now this is the thing. All we have to do is put laws in place to make sure that they're fined and that they are penalized or go by the federal statutes which are already in place for fraud. Thanks so kindly. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, sir. Speaker Number 85, Reverend Gatewood. We're glad you're here, sir. Welcome. You have the floor for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. I appreciate it, Chairman. I am Reverend Curtis Gatewood with the North Carolina NAACP. Now we've heard from extremists tonight. Some referring to people as stupid. Some referring to people as if they do not understand how they could be disenfranchised when we are talking about laws or putting into place unjust laws. Let me just say on behalf of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People we are here to make sure North Carolina does not take the path of hypocrisy vs democracy.
It is hypocrisy when you have race-based gerrymandering and redistricting that stacks tax and bleaches black voters. We call that hypocrisy, not democracy. When you have disguised voting techniques such as voter poll taxes and voter ID. That's hypocrisy, not democracy. When you're alleging voter fraud without evidence. We've had an escalation of voter participation from African Americans, Hispanics, especially over the last general elections, that North Carolina should be proud of. Youth are turning out to vote. North Carolina should be proud. But what do we do? We're trying now to find ways to discourage young people that we often criticize for not participating in the electoral process. We criticize them. Now they're willing to vote, now they're showing up to polls like at no other point in history. What do we do? We turn around, we come up with a new barrier to jump over, more hoops to jump over. It's hypocrisy when you're cutting early voting and you know young people are coming out to early vote like never before. It's hypocrisy. When you're making it more difficult for people to vote who have been disenfranchised for hundreds of years. It's hypocrisy to claim we have a democracy, therefore we hear the NAACP saying maintain the commitment to the principles of the 14th, 15th and 24th amendments and the voting rights act of 1965. Properly applying section 5 of the voting rights act. Making it easier to vote by allowing easy access to everyone who is ready and willing to participate in the civic life of their community. We need more democracy, not less democracy. We need more Sunday voting, not less Sunday voting. We need more early voting, not less early voting. We need democracy not hypocrisy. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you sir. Speaker 86 is withdrawn. Speaker 87, Mr. Salinger, welcome sir you have the floor for a time not to exceed 3 minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thanks for letting me speak here today. My name is Walter Salinger and I live in Greensboro, North Carolina and this is Tim Morlan and he does too. I'm here to speak against the proposed voter ID law. A stated purpose of the law is to prevent in-person voter fraud yet the number of documented cases of in-person voter fraud in North Carolina is vanishingly small. Indeed it's been said that in-person voter fraud and being abducted by a UFO occur about as often as one another. Why create a law to solve a problem that doesn't exist? One might say that even though the problem of in-person voter fraud doesn't exist, the law would at least give peace of mind to those who worry about the problem might exist and the law would provide this peace of mind without any harmful effects. Problem is that the proposed law does carry the potential for seriously harmful effects on our democracy. It could create a barrier to voting as a result of the long lines that would stem from new ID checks at the polls, for example, or because a prospective voter misunderstands the new law or because an overzealous poll worker misapplies it. Moreover, the new law would be expensive to implement due to the cost of providing on a timely basis the necessary ID to legitimate voters. These costs are estimated to be in millions of dollars in North Carolina, can't solve a problem that doesn't exist and worsen our state's severe financial distress. A far greater concern to me and many of my fellow North Carolinians - a greater concern to me than the financial cost however, is that whether as a result of increasing wait times of voter misunderstanding or the overly zealous poll worker, a citizen might be wrongly denied the right to vote. Denying a citizen the right to vote would be profoundly unpatriotic because wrongly denying an American citizen the right to vote is an assault on the very foundation of our democracy. Responding of the seriousness of this threat to our democracy, thousands upon thousands
As an orphan girl and north Carolinians who signed a petition that before you dislike them this year on their well over 94,094 hundred people assigned this fashion as potentially urgent Pleas to consider your obligations to their constituents and for democracy and to reject this law imposing only faces the prospect of the creation of a new fall write the law that has embedded with senate seats of unpatriotic assault on our democracy as its sole potential benefit it provides this neighbor with all of the sublime for those for individuals as anxiety about the possibility of a person voter fraud is so severe that facts don't know as against the psychologist I can assure you that individuals to find itself on settlement by an imaginary danger but they require new law against it will not find relief from the new law and surely safe to say that there be for that kind of reflection is not found a more Carolina general assembly Madrid thanks (SPEAKER CHANGES) are in Mr. Sun. Few will which you can feel free to pursue back to the car and we'll make sure that some of the session mixture of speaker number 88 PM status with chrome speaker number 89 minutes of worker on your own recognition am aware of the home viewer four for, (SPEAKER CHANGES) pixie treatments ATM card for under-confidence and store constitutional liberties in real caring and on one person, I represent about 1000 RY9 individuals and organizations such as wearing a connector nor in Creole unless some counties the best way to protect dollar integrity as to the clout of photo ID I just kept the White House Larry given union bank of power from level actions this last week Board member at the before he could be sworn in and out of that was very interesting will head back dollars to get out of 1:00 AM a person working on the board actions and one I’m what the polls and can assure you that there would be matched I see if we had donor ID photo ID skis I have lobbied the Frats, nine D street and I can tell you about being registered voters B baby holes when they are Mages $2.00 and that's good because of them several years ago at analysis private companies that have come forward and said they would help provide photo I D's equalization 59 we have not only have you get five B but we wanted to go get worn whenever it takes time to get voter ID we are we going to compact NS and with a small percentage of people here today A tip excuse me just a mammogram all racial or to make sure like phone and will stop, is for the moment (SPEAKER CHANGES) often for this makes them with a small percentage of people you didn't have the support against Iraq because they didn't support it is because they had worked in a PC to turn to come in support photo ID a consumer's Demand (SPEAKER CHANGES) Thank You ,speaker number 90 his withdrawal speaker number 91 Mr. Bradley will ensure volume 44, 6 to 3 minutes the on the Baltimore bullets became public so, Poland and for that right now on winning stocks Bradley of the deal from Tasmania, North Carolina originally have been there for 19 years on the third lots of things brought up tonight's one including the government down pass liberal conspiracy as North Carolina I can imagine the basketball conspiracy and North Carolina we might be the most moderate state in the south but that's really not saying awful lot of the Internet as a study which I hope he will not that it should not going to affect the delivery over its head table North Carolina every citizen of all the………
18 and North Carolina has this card issued. Because otherwise it's unconstitutional. So as long as you keep up and make sure everybody that lives in North Carolina, above the age of 18, has voter ID card I guess you can do it. But I still think it's an extra hardship. I'll worry about it, though. I'm not going to say I believe in the literal truth of the book of revelations, but you would think the most effective way to do this - if you're really concerned about this - is having an RFID chip implanted into you. Then everybody knows who you are. Now I disagree with that, and if you look at the book of Revelation, which again I don't accept very literally, talks about having the mark before anyone can buy and sell or even vote. So a religious argument for this law, I don't think that there really is one either. So please don't disenfranchise the voters of North Carolina. There is no vast liberal conspiracy. Thank you very much. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, sir. Speaker number 92 has withdrawn. Speaker number 93 is Miss Allison. Ma'am, we're very glad that you're hear. You have the floor for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker and those of us that have stayed here. This wonderful opportunity talk about participatory democracy. That's what it's all about. And I looked up the guidelines, and the question was whether the requirement of a photo ID upon voting is a good policy. No, it's not a good policy. I aggressively say that. Enough reasons have been given already. I don't need to articulate many more. [But that's when the] guideline was if required the impact of a photo ID on election, what is the impact? The impact is going to be negative. You've heard it over, and over, and over again. The record will show that. But you know I want to change a little bit. First in freedom, North Carolina. The republicans who are running this show now you all have [enough] authority. You all have a new day. You're not going to join the polluted stream all those other states. Are you going to let those persons who have worked tirelessly to make North Carolina a leader in the South? You all getting ready to mess up. You don't need to join the polluted stream. Freedom. Justice. Don't give up this wonderful opportunity to be talked about all over the world. North Carolina is going to make the news. Do you know you are going to in fact go against. I'm not going to call those ?? in Washington and all those other states. Republicans you have an opportunity. I'm giving you a challenge. North Carolina will praise you, you'll be in history, call up Abe Lincoln and say, "Look what we did." Let me stop right now. Participatory democracy. You should be getting more people, not putting up barriers. You have time to do it. The mainstream is polluted. And I don't want these good democrats all of us used to be until FDR came along. You all have a chance to attract some more folks. You're not going to do it by doing what you doing now. You're not doing what's right. It's dead wrong. It's not just, it's not fair. And you all are giving up an opportunity to put North Carolina on the map. Dear Republicans, do the right thing. Don't pass this. Look at national news. World news. And join some of the republicans and some of the democrats who are willing to-- no it's not compromise, it's doing what's right. Thank you very much. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, ma'am. Speakers 94, 96, and 97 have withdrawn. Speaker 98, Mr. Brown. Welcome, sir. You have the floor for a time not to exceed 3 minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mister Chairman. I'm Jerome Brown. I'm chairman of the Wake County voter education coalition. We are in opposition to the voter ID bill. And you've already heard a ton of information tonight so I will be brief. Why restrict and make it more difficult to vote in North Carolina. I think you've heard a lot of reasons why.
this bill should be reconsidered. Point 2 I'd like to make is, the photo voter ID is not needed in North Carolina. I am not a Tea Party member, I am not a Socialist, I am not some of those things that you heard other people stand before you and describe. What we're talking about is basic, common sense. The other states across the United States that have done this and have tried this, clearly have left a path that I would hope North Carolina does not want to follow and duplicate. That does not make sense to me. I consider myself to be a very reasonable human being, and something smells of high you-know-what to me, and that's the way I have to describe it. This is not rocket science. The third point that I'd like to make is that voter integrity in North Carolina is not the question or issue. The evil this hides behind is a shame. Point 4, North Carolina voting is at a premium. The past two election cycles bear this out. Now I'm very good at connecting the dots, and for the past two presidential elections, I've connected the dots and it leads me right here tonight. This was not an issue two elections ago, it has now become an issue for North Carolina. Connect the dots. Point 5, is changing the rules so that it short circuits the people of North Carolina is a crime being made or attempted to be made here, that is the issue. North Carolina citizens should not be short circuited. And my last point is it should not stand. Changing the rules not should not stand, it should not move forward. The state of North Carolina does have a problem with what you're trying to propose now. There is no voter fraud. Nobody has still presented the evidence to show that voter fraud in North Carolina is rampant and out of control. As I said, connect the dots, do not pass this bill. North Carolina does not need this, we can lead. North Carolina needs to lead on this. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Sir. Speaker Number 99 has withdrawn. Speaker Number 100, Miss Clayton, we're so glad you're here, Ma'am, you have the floor for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Chair. Thank you, members of the legislature. My name is JoAnne Clayton, I am a Wake county citizen and also a Board of Elections Trustee and I am a Chief Judge, and your first line of defense when it comes to voter fraud. Many of my co-workers and other chairs have stepped up here and said pretty much what I'm going to say right now. We haven't seen the voter fraud you are seeking. We are the ones who would look at that voter ??. Let me give you a perfect example of what happens when you have that voter ID. The lines that you saw, the longest lines in the history of voting, will continue to get longer and longer. The big lines that we saw as poll workers, the help desk is the longest line that exists, and that's looking at that ID, and looking at that person and telling them to go back and get what they need. We are not letting voter fraud get through here. We know what's going on, we see it firsthand. This is imaginary. If you want to live in an imaginary world, create an imaginary fix, but we have a real world. We need to deal with real fixes, and the real fix we need right here and right now, we need more time to vote, we need equipment to vote, we need people to help vote. We have such a short amount of equipment out here, that we could have gotten these voter lines down in half if we had what we needed. Instead, your legislative body wishes to cut our board of elections. Why would you cut what you want to fix? You're here today to say you want to fix something? Fix it for real. With a real healing. We don't need a band-aid for something that's huge. The huge things is we have people who need and want to vote. When I see a 103 year old lady in her wheelchair in the rain voting, and you tell her she has to have an ID and come back? How dare you, any of you, any of us, to determine that woman's faith and ability to vote in this state. We have no right, no right at all, to turn anyone here away from voting. Thank you very much. Please reconsider, and vote "no". Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Ma'am, very much. Speaker No. 101, Miss Richardson, Ma'am, we welcome you, and
the floor is yours for a time not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, sir. Thank you all for listening to what I have to say. I really appreciate it. As a voter, one of the reasons why I don’t want to see this ID facade, we got a problem, we got...all of a sudden, after all these hundreds of years with all these presidents, with all these being voted in, all of sudden now you want to see an ID. We’re going to send you home. 2014, we sending you home so enjoy your hatefulness while you can. But let me just tell you a little story why I don’t like voter ID, because it reminds me of this. I remember my parents coming home from the voting polls with heavy hearts. As my parents entered the house, I could see tears were streaming down my mother’s face because of the degradation, intimidation, and disrespect she and my father were made to endure. They were asked how many bubble were in a bar of soap. However, at that time, that poll was being assisted by a federal officer so my parents were allowed to vote that night. Even after they came home and I had asked my mother about the situation about what happened, she was still distraught about it and had felt, I guess she felt more American because she knew that by doing that, she was creating a situation where another person would go and go through whatever she went through to get this done. The point it, later on that night, we had to use guns to keep people from destroying our property. Good old boys, or teabaggers, or Republicans, or whatever you want to call them, were trying to destroy our property because my parents voted. I’m just putting you on notice. We’re going to get rid of you. Enjoy your time. Make all these crazy laws that you want to make. Try to put us back into the 50s, Jim Crow, you can try it. But I tell you what, you will leave eventually. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The next speaker 102 has withdrawn, speaker 103 is Mr. Hollowell. Sir, you have the floor for a time not to exceed 3 minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you sir and thank you to all of you. My name is Hugh Hollowell. I am a minister in a Mennonite church USA. I am, by the grace of God and the incredible forbearance of my board of directors, the executive director of Loved Ones Ministries located 707 W. Jones St, 2 blocks away from here. We are a 501C3 that engages spiritual care in the homeless community of Raleigh, North Carolina. I am not an activist. I’m a minister. I’ve got to confess, I don’t know a lot about politics. I know a lot about homeless people. I can tell you, I can tell you lots of stories. I could tell you stories about my friend Greg, who despite serving in the Armed Forces for 20 years, dealing with countless bouts of PTSD, in trying to navigate the system, who had his papers stolen, who had the misfortune of being born in New York City where one must have a photo ID in order to get a birth certificate so that one could have a photo ID. I’m sure that makes sense to them. I have to tell this man that I can’t help him. For all of the people who were willing to help people get IDs, I want you to meet Greg. I expect a line tomorrow at 707 W. Jones to help Greg. I could also tell you the story about a certain day in November last year when I drove over 20 homeless people to the polls and they voted. I know that at the time I was helping 4 of them get their photo IDs. They weren’t in yet, but they voted. I can tell you about my friend Nadia who was ??
...Twenty-one. And voting for the first time in her life. You see, what you have to understand what homelessness is. Homelessness is a series of losses. You lose your job. You lose your home. You lose your family. Sometimes you lose your children. Eventually you lose your dignity. And Nadia and I are driving back. It's late at night. We're toward the end. And she says; "They didn't take this away from me". I know you're tired. We've been here a long time. But the tiredness and the frustration you feel is nothing compared to the frustration my people feel when they're being denied a fundamental right. Please don't take that away from them too. Thank you very much. [speaker changes] Thank you sir. Speaker number 104, Ms. Porter. Welcome, ma'am. You have the floor for a time not to exceed three minutes. [speaker changes] Hello. My name is Kim Porter. I am not a Democrat. I am not a Republican. I am registered as an Independent voter. I say that because I don't see this as just a partisan issue. I see this as an issue of morality. We must not pass this voter i.d. bill. Voter i.d. is not a big problem as far as people abusing it. It's not a problem in our State of North Carolina. It's also not a problem in our country. It's not a big one. What our big problems though, are things like unemployment and under-employment. Lack of affordable health care. The price of gas which is coming up an upwards of $4.00 a gallon. Homelessness. Hunger. I come from Precise County where one in four children is hungry. Poverty is also a big issue. How about foreclosures? Let's do something about the foreclosures in our state and all across our nation. About pollution and climate change. What about our education system. We know we're not number one in the country. Let's do something to fix those problems. Voter fraud is not a big problem. There're so many other issues that we need to be dealing with today. In North Carolina, the State Board of Elections reports that more than 500,000 eligible voters do not have driver's licenses or State issued i.d. cards. This is an issue. They have been voting. And you know what, We don't have enough people in North Carolina who are voting. Isn't that a problem. How about the problem of we need to get more people, more citizens out voting. That's important. Women are 54% of active voters, but only 66% of those without a North Carolina photo i.d. Seniors are 18% of active voters, but 26 of those without a North Carolina photo i.d. Youth are 13% of active voters, but 16% of those without a North Carolina photo i.d. And African-Americans are 22% of all active registered voters, but they are 31% of the active registered voters who do not have a North Carolina i.d. I know that we also need to be concerned about if i.d.'s were required, who is gonna pay for these things? Our counties cannot afford to pay for i.d.'s for people. I know I come from Winston, Salem like I said earlier. We are having a problem with out tax base. Because we have a whole population of people whose tax base have been severely undercut. We have people with $150,000.00 homes who are now supposedly worth $50,000.00. Let's fix that problem. We don't need to end Sunday voting. Sunday voting is very important for churches and other people. We also need to be able to continue to have early voting. When over 250,000 people voting in this last election for early voting. And I'm just going to summarize by saying, this is the time when we need to be encouraging people to vote. We need to encourage participation, not discourage it. We already have too few people voting in North Carolina and across our nation. Let's not make this an even greater problem. Be honest. Be just. Be fair. Make North Carolina proud. Please resist the urge to choose your voters. North Carolina voters should be choosing their politicians. Thank you. [speaker changes] Thank you ma'am. Ladies and gentlemen, as Chair I would like to express my sincere thanks to our staff for the incredible work they've done tonight and in preparation for the night. I would like to express my thanks to our Sergeant-at-Arms for the great job that you've done and for facilitating this event tonight...
Like to thank our committee clerks. I'd like to thank the staff from the Speaker's office that is here. I'd like to thank my staff that has worked very hard on tonight, but most of all on behalf of our Speaker and our Speaker Pro Tem, I'd like to thank all of you who took time to be here tonight to express your concerns. I can assure you that those concerns have been heard and will be reviewed and the sacrifice that you made to be here is duly noted and greatly appreciated. The committee on. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mister chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Stam, please state your purpose. [SPEAKER CHANGES] To thank you for dinner. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Oh. Thank you. Thank you sir. The committee on elections will meet at one o'clock tomorrow in this room. There being no further business, this committee stands adjourned.