RALEIGH – Not that we should have expected anything less from governor hell-bent on countering anything that is remotely associated with Republicans. Governor Roy Cooper took out his veto pen and sent a message that he cares very little for what the majority of voters think on the issue.
Last month voters approved of amending the N.C. Constitution to include a photo identification requirement for casting a ballot in person. The General Assembly convened for a special session to, among other things, fill out the details required to implement the constitutional mandate.
Predictably, the Left cried foul almost immediately, accusing the Republicans of racist motivations as they clamored for more and more forms of ID to be accepted at voting sites. The Republicans were hardly stubborn on the issue; quite the opposite, actually. They expanded the list of accepted IDs to include student IDs, expired IDs, and allowed for a heaping plenty of ‘reasonable impediment’ exceptions. Those expansions were co-sponsored by a Democratic state senator, and complemented the already bullet proof mandate that county boards of elections provide any registered voter with a voter ID free of charge.
Instead of signing a bipartisan bill to implement a Constitutional Amendment already approved by voters, Cooper reached into his bag of social justice excuses and found his veto pen.
Cooper said the proposed law “puts up barriers to voting that will trap honest voters in confusion and discourage them with new rules.” Moreover, he said the bill’s fundamental flaw is its “sinister and cynical origins,” being that it was “designed to suppress the rights of minority, poor and elderly voters.”
“The cost of disenfranchising those voters or any citizens is too high, and the risk of taking away the fundamental right to vote is too great, for this law to take effect,” Cooper said in his figurative middle finger to the majority of voters in the Old North State.
Designed to suppress minority voters? The final legislation was championed by Democrat Sen. Joel Ford (D-Mecklenburg), who happens to be black. Does the governor think Ford has sinister motivations to suppress the black vote? Does Sen. Ben Clark (D-Cumberland) share these racist motivations? What about Sen. Don Davis (D-Pitt)?
Cooper’s veto message is so absurd as to be laughable, if it were not so depressing as a reflection of the current state of Leftist mindset.
Republican leaders were apt to point this out in response, vowing to override the veto while they still have effective super-majorities.
Senate Pro Tem Phil Berger said, “Governor Cooper’s veto explanation for the reasonable and bipartisan voter ID bill is a tired rehash of unconvincing talking points rejected by the voters. Despite the governor’s personal feelings on voter ID, the fact remains that the constitutional amendment passed with a broad mandate from North Carolinians. The governor is putting special interests ahead of the people’s will, and we plan to override the veto.”
Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, expected to challenge Cooper in 2020, said, “To put partisanship ahead of common sense is not only bad for our state, it is not the leadership our state needs. I hope our General Assembly will swiftly override this veto to ensure our state’s constitution is upheld.”
Cooper was obviously aware that his veto would be overridden, and that voters collectively rolled their eyes at these very same anti-voter ID talking points from the Left on November 6. So what is he thinking? He was thinking the set up gave him a cost free way to appease his Leftist overlords with empty rhetoric, because the legislation to implement the Constitutional Amendment would pass over his objections.
However, he has made a miscalculation. Voters will here, from now until the 2020 elections, that he vetoed THEM and their support of voter ID. He did even when legislation was bipartisan, inclusive, and about as common sense as anything to come out of Jones Street. His grandstanding may end up costing him re-election.
The legislature will likely move to override this veto in the next few days, with Senate moving first, and the House voting on Wednesday at the earliest.