We Got This One, At Least

June 24th, 2011

Governor Perdue of North Carolina vetoed a Republican bill aimed at disenfranchising Democratic voters:

The right to choose our leaders is among the most precious freedoms we have – both as Americans and North Carolinians. North Carolinians who are eligible to vote have a constitutionally guaranteed right to cast their ballots, and no one should put up obstacles to citizens exercising that right.

We must always be vigilant in protecting the integrity of our elections. But requiring every voter to present a government-issued photo ID is not the way to do it. This bill, as written, will unnecessarily and unfairly disenfranchise many eligible and legitimate voters. The legislature should pass a less extreme bill that allows for other forms of identification, such as those permitted under federal law.

There was a time in North Carolina history when the right to vote was enjoyed only by some citizens rather than by all. That time is past, and we should not revisit it.

Therefore, I veto this bill.

The veto will, thankfully, probably not be overridden. However, it should be noted that Governor Perdue is a Democrat; it would have been much more encouraging had a Republican demonstrated the moral virtue of striking down a bill by his or her own party aimed at illegitimately stripping Americans of the right to vote based on political affiliation.

Sadly, that is not likely, and in many states where the legislature and the governorship are both held by Republicans, it is almost certain that such laws, passed by legislators eager to violate the civil rights of those who would not vote for them, will be happily signed by governors of similar moral depravity.

It should also be noted that for these laws to pass in the first place, almost the entire Republican bloc must vote in unison–demonstrating how very little moral courage exists among the individual members of the right wing of our legislatures.

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