ROCKINGHAM — North Carolinians will need to show identification at the polls in future elections.
The N.C. House of Representatives voted 72-40 on Senate Bill 824 Wednesday to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto. The state Senate passed the bill 33-12 on Tuesday.
The constitutional amendment was on the November ballot and passed statewide with an 11 percent majority. The number of Richmond County voters approving the measure was 23 percent higher than that of those against it.
“Delivering voter ID to the strong majority of North Carolinians who support this simple yet essential election integrity measure has been a long time coming,” House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, said in a statement. “I’m proud of the commitment House lawmakers made to finish this accomplishment and keep our promise to the people of North Carolina who approved voter ID in our state constitution.”
Cooper vetoed the bill on Friday calling it a “solution in search of a problem,” adding that it was was designed to suppress the voting rights of minorities, the elderly and the poor.
“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.
According to the National Conference of State Legislators, 34 other states across the union have some kind of requirement to show identification when voting. Wisconsin, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi and Kansas have strict requirements.
The North Carolina amendment calls for providing county boards of elections with equipment to print out free voter ID cards upon request.
Other forms of identification accepted to vote include a state-issued driver’s license, a non-driver state-issued ID card, a tribal enrollment card, a student ID card and a government employee badge.
There are also exemptions that allow a voter without an ID to fill out a provisional ballot.
State Rep. Ken Goodman, a Richmond County Democrat, said Monday that he supported the measure.
“Anybody that’s motivated to vote will be able to vote under this bill,” he told the Richmond Observer.
(Note: This story may be updated later to add quotes.)