RALEIGH – There are lots of voters around North Carolina that have moved to the First in Freedom state from other places. Many of those places have voter ID requirements for elections, and many of them are also blue states. To them, the notion that North Carolinians decision to require photo identification at the ballot box is somehow racist in motivation is an empty and nasty accusation. Yet, activists judges, biased media, and Democrats at large insist that Republican lawmakers were intent on suppressing the black vote by creating onerous and burdensome ID requirements designed to disproportionately affect African-Americans.
Except, a former Democrat state lawmaker from the Charlotte area, Joel Ford, who happens to be black, was instrumental in crafting the voter ID law to be as redundantly inclusive and flexible as possible. He has written an op-ed in the North State Journal (NSJ) decrying the smears of racist intent, and explaining in exceedingly reasonable terms how the latest law (and the Republican leaders that ultimately advanced it) was developed in good faith with maximum input.
The following is an approach that used to be taken by many more Democrats in our state. Yet, Ford, and others that refuse to bow to the Left’s increasingly radical dogma, was made a primary target and ultimately lost his seat in the General Assembly.
“I’m a Democrat, and I sponsored legislation with Republicans to implement photo voter identification in North Carolina.
I have always been my own man with my own thoughts and my own opinions. Hopefully, you will — as I have — reach your own conclusion informed by your personal convictions, free from the intrusive pressures of those who wish to form your opinion for you.
I didn’t support the previous iteration of voter ID, which a federal court ruled unconstitutional, because I believe it would have made it more difficult for some to vote, including communities of color. Still, as some of my colleagues also said during debate over the bill, I disagree that the Republican sponsors had racist motivations, which has become the unfortunate narrative in the years since.
I submitted my own bipartisan photo voter identification proposal back then. I did so because I believed then, as I do now, that requiring voters to show identification is a reasonable step to secure the most sacred act in a democratic republic.
Voter identification proposals often get caught up in the false conclusion that an ID requirement necessarily suppresses votes, particularly for black citizens like myself. That concern requires vigilance, but it is no more an absolute truth than the charge that all opponents of voter ID support fraud at the ballot box. But it is natural for any discussion of voting requirements to raise suspicions. Our country fought a war to eliminate the scourge of slavery, and even then, the white powers-that-be came up with new, creative ways to continue black subjugation.
Because of our history, all discussion of legal requirements governing the right to vote demand cold scrutiny.
Scrutiny, though, is different from pre-ordained conclusions [CONTINUE READING]“