Still stung by their defeat in last month's elections, Republicans across the country are back to looking for ways to suppress the vote.
Today the president of a conservative group in N.C. predicted the future for Tar Heel voters: "One of the first bills the North Carolina General Assembly will enact next year, and that new Gov. Pat McCrory will sign, will establish a photo ID requirement to vote in North Carolina."
The governor's mansion has changed hands. The new governor, Pat McCrory, is a Republican. The outgoing governor, Democrat Bev Perdue, was the last line of defense against the voter ID law when she vetoed it last year. Republicans who control the statehouse even considered overriding her veto. With Pat McCrory, a known voter ID supporter, in charge, voter ID is all but done. The question will be whether or not the law will be fair enough to receive Justice Department approval under Section 5 the Voting Rights Act.
Republicans in the Badger state have been working hard to pass a voter ID law since they took over the statehouse in 2011. Their first law was shot down repeatedly by judges who found that it violated the state's constitutional protection against a "substantial impairment of the right to vote."
Over the weekend the incoming Republican Assembly Speaker, Robin Vos, was asked whether or not it would be worth amending the state's constitution to make way for a voter ID law. "Yes, I would favor that," he said.
One of the strangest arguments in the voter ID debate comes out of Minnesota, where an amendment version of a voter ID referendum just failed. The major group behind the initiative, Minnesota Majority, is now complaining that it failed because of voter fraud. It's a convenient argument, to say the least. Our law to prevent voter fraud couldn't pass because there was too much voter fraud!
Unfortunately, the argument doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Sen. Katie Sieben, the incoming head of the Senate Elections Committee, pointed out that fraud is all but non-existent in Minnesota. That won't stop Minnesota Majority from continuing their fight, vowing "there's work yet to be done."