If you tuned in to the NC Senate today, you could be forgiven for scheduling a visit to your chiropractor for whiplash tomorrow. Despite Sen. Berger and Rep. Moore's statement about "not rushing" the implementation language on the voter ID constitutional amendment, it's zooming through the Senate. Less than 24 hours after introducing a revised bill, the Senate Rules Committee passed it Wednesday morning and the full Senate heard proposed amendments, accepted a few of them, and passed it as amended around 6pm.
Almost all of the amendments proposed by Democrats were tabled without discussion. Sen. McKissick managed to get one through that would extend the voter ID expiration date to from 8 to 10 years. Hats off to Sen. Smith for her brilliant speech about how she was granted the right to vote at 18 and "the right to vote never expires!" Voter IDs will expire, however, thanks to the lame duck Republicans. Read WRAL's summary of the amended bill and watch video of the session here. The Senate's final vote (aka "3rd reading") and guaranteed passage will occur after they convene on Thursday morning at 9:30am. It goes to the House from there. It's not on the House calendar for Thursday as of 8pm Wednesday, but that could change. Read NC Policy Watch's summary of the bill and process as of today.
As Kate reported yesterday, some positive changes have been made since Monday in terms of voting rights. AND we must remember that this solution to a problem that doesn't exist ("voter fraud") is being rushed through in a lame duck session by an illegally constituted legislature. A Republican senator admitted tonight that they have no idea what this will cost. Already underfunded counties will bear most of the long-term financial burden, even though the state says it will provide unspecified funds for some of the initial setup.
Stronger NC posted a good list of questions and concerns that you can choose from when you contact your NC House representative and Rep. Moore TODAY. We can't make this go away, but we can continue to use calls, tweets, and emails to pressure the NCGA to do everything possible to make a voter photo ID process simple, easy, and accessible to every eligible voter.