Foes protest Voter ID bill with pink flamingos at Legislature - WNCT

Foes protest Voter ID bill with pink flamingos at Legislature

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

A revised bill supported by Republicans at the North Carolina legislature would add sweeping new restrictions on when, where and how citizens can vote - and it drew a pink surprise from opponents Tuesday.

Legislation which advanced in a Senate committee Tuesday would cut the state's early voting period by a week and eliminate same-day voter registration. It also increases restrictions on provisional voting and would eliminate straight-ticket voting. The measure also repeals publicly-funded elections for judicial races and increases the maximum campaign contribution to $5,000.

The bill also would require voters to present a government-issued photo ID at the polls.

Republicans say the measures are necessary to combat voter fraud. Non-partisan voting rights groups and Democrats say the new restrictions amount to a blatant attempt to suppress voter turnout.

But opponents say the move will make North Carolina having problems like Florida, and they put about 200 plastic flamingos on the lawn around the legislature to make the point.

"At the core, our democracy should be about asking people to participate," said Bob Hall of Democracy NC. "Getting people to be participants and active in their political processes, being involved in a democracy. This is just the reverse."

But Rep. Harry Warren, a Rowan County Republican, said, "I don't anticipate any more time consumption to have that ID ready when you give them your name, you present your ID. I think by January 2015 it will be a very smooth operation."

The bill now heads to the Senate floor.

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