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Most NC voters support "voter ID" according to multiple polls, so why not have voter ID in the NC Constitutution? In addition to the fact that it could be done via a law rather than a constitutional amendment, what is proposed is not what most people think of as "voter ID." Here's what you'll see on your ballot: Constitutional amendment to require voters to provide photo identification before voting in person. House Bill 1092
Here are a few of the issues with this amendment:
- Its purported purpose is to reduce in-person voter fraud, which is close to non-existent - 508 of 4.8 million votes cast in 2016, most of them by felons on probation who mistakenly thought they were eligible to vote.
- 381,000 eligible NC voters (5.6%) do not have photo ID, primarily seniors, young people, low income people, people of color, and people with disabilities.
- >1400 eligible citizens could not vote in the March 2016 primary due to the ID law that was in place at that time and ruled unconstitutional a few months later.
- There is no plan to ensure that all voters who need an acceptable ID will get one.
- Types of photo ID that would be allowed or exceptions to the law won't be decided until AFTER this is voted on and will be enacted by the same legislators who wrote the unconstitutional law that was thrown out for discriminating against people of color "with almost surgical precision." That law did NOT include common forms of photo ID such as student or employee IDs, government-issued employee IDs, or expired IDs (such as drivers licenses for the elderly who no longer drive and old passports).
- Only Mississippi has a strict photo ID mandate in its constitution. This proposal is worse: it lets legislators revive a discriminatory law to exclude any voters they want.
- It creates a permanent voting restriction that could cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars, at the expense of other needs.
- Once it's in the Constitution, it will be harder for the courts to overturn it - which is why the Republicans at the NCGA want to trick voters into approving it as a constitutional amendment, without telling voters exactly what it will mean.
- Absentee ballots are not included in this amendment, despite evidence that fraud is more common in absentee voting.
- Mandating "photo ID" ignores future technological advances such as biometric IDs and could trigger costs and delays to update.
- Have you ever stood in a line at the Division of Motor Vehicles? How many buses did you have to take to get there? Did you have to find child care or take a day off work? It's a nightmare on good days and will be a major obstacle if voters are required to get a "free" ID from the DMV in order to vote - like a new poll tax.
- One example of the impact of this amendment:
Who likes paying income tax? (Deafening silence). Who thinks our schools are adequately funded, our bridges and roads are in great shape, and state services like the DMV and Dept of Environmental Quality are flush with the cash they need to function? (More silence). We pay income tax to fund services we want and need, and the proposed constitutional amendment to change the cap on the most we could pay would drastically reduce the state's ability to provide those services during the next economic downturn (which will come, they always do). Our Constitution currently caps the state income tax at 10%, this amendment would lower the cap to 7%.
The current state income tax rate is 5.4999%, but just a few years ago the highest income bracket was taxed at 7.75%.
Here's the proposed amendment: Reduce the income tax rate in North Carolina to a maximum allowable rate of seven percent (7%). Senate Bill 75
Here are some of the reasons this is a bad idea for all but the wealthiest of us:
- Lowering the cap on the income tax rate reduces the options state lawmakers have when balancing the state budget.
- Challenges such as roads and transportation needs, a growing school-age population, or an economic downturn could pressure the legislature to change the tax code.
- This would force lawmakers to increase other taxes, such as property and sales taxes that disproportionately burden working and low income families.
- This amendment would make tax breaks for the wealthy permanent while hurting middle and low-income people.
- More burdens would be shifted to local county and city governments, and they would be pressured to increase their tax rates.
- No outside expert opinions were considered and no discussion was permitted in the creation of the amendment.
- Read more about this amendment:
Download or print and SHARE brief descriptions of all the amendments and what they really mean:
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Remember, the constitutional amendments will appear at the bottom of your ballot.
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