From the desk of Senator Joyce Waddell

House Bill 1092, Constitutional Amendment - Require Photo ID to Vote

Joyce Waddell

CHARLOTTE, NC – Today, the Senate voted on House Bill 1092, which would amend the North Carolina Constitution to require voters to provide photo identification at the polls. On June 26, the constitutional amendment passed the House. If passed by a three-fifths majority in both the House and the Senate, the proposed amendment would appear on the November ballot.

Senator Joyce Waddell made the following comments expressing her concerns about the voter ID requirement:

“Many of us in this room are seniors, so we know the hardship House Bill 1092 would have on seniors in our community, families, and particularly, African-American citizens. Voter ID laws are strategies to prevent communities of color from having access to ballots and participating in this democratic process. Everyone should have the right to vote and not be discriminated against. House Bill 1092 will do more harm than good when it comes to our seniors. This bill, in many ways, puts an undue burden on many people. This amendment would ask voters to implement a discriminatory voter restriction. This bill is for partisan gain. It would make North Carolina the third state in the United States of America to amend its constitution to include voter ID and restriction. North Carolina should be one of the most progressive states. Mississippi and Missouri are currently the only two states that require voters to present identification in order to cast the ballot. This bill just does not make sense. In Mecklenburg County, there has only been one case of irregularity in the November 2016 election. More than 300,000 registered voters in North Carolina do not have a photo ID. No voter should feel intimated or targeted. Every voter should feel the election process is secure. Despite making up nearly half of Mecklenburg County’s voting-age population, people under the age of 40 only cast 20 percent of the votes in the November election. Meanwhile, people over the age of 65 cast a quarter of the county’s ballots while making up just 13 percent of the voting-age population. This bill does not seem fair. It does not seem like we are helping our seniors. Retired seniors who stopped driving are unlikely to renew their driver’s license. If their ID is expired, they can't register to vote. Seniors with disabilities find accessibility at polls difficult, and when asked to show their IDs, they feel disenfranchised,” said Senator Joyce Waddell.

Senator Waddell voted against House Bill 1092.