House Republicans say new data from the State Board of Elections show far fewer voters lack photo identification than the numbers cited by critics of a voter ID bill up for debate this week.
More detailed figures provided to The Associated Press nearly halves the potential number of registered voters without photo ID from about 610,000 in a January report to about 318,000. A spokesman for Speaker Thom Tillis argues the number may be less because about 115,000 of those identified in the latest analysis haven't voted in the last five elections.
State Elections Director Gary Bartlett confirmed the data Tuesday, saying his office anticipates publishing a full report Wednesday.
Civil rights and election protection groups argue that the photo ID requirement is unconstitutional and presents an obstacle to voting.