North Carolina is facing a federal lawsuit over its new voter ID law, which makes it mandatory for registered voters to show a valid ID before they will be allowed to cast a ballot at the Nov. 5 polls.
But the federal government has more than one distinct advantage that puts state lawmakers behind the eight ball — and that is the fact that N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper, who would normally be expected to defend the state’s law, is a Democrat and previously toured the state in opposition to the voter ID law.
On Tuesday, Cooper went so far as to tell the media that his office will not hire additional attorneys to assist in the law’s defense. In our mind, that simply signals Cooper’s indifference to a defense of the law against the Obama administration, despite the fact that he is legally bound to defend North Carolina’s laws to his utmost ability.
Although Cooper is now flip-flopping and telling anyone who will listen that he can and will defend the law, we think his actions then speak far louder than his hollow words now.
There is no doubt in our mind that the state’s voter ID law will bring another level of integrity to the ballot box, as well as help in bring more poll watchers to election sites, make absentee voting easier and even put an end to lobbyist influence over the election process.
There is also no doubt that the free identification cards being offered by the state can easily be obtained by any individual who wants one. Outcries by opponents who say the ID cards will be impossible to get by the poor, disenfranchised and minorities are simply lying — primarily because they know the law will be a solid roadblock in their efforts to defraud the voting process.
Make no mistake, voter fraud does happen — and Bladen County has enough exhibits of that over the years to make this law a valid one.
We will not be surprised, however, if Cooper does his best to quietly circumvent the state’s defense.