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Voting Update: Urging a Veto

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed a voter ID bill passed in his state, while North Carolina Gov. Bev Persue faces a similar choice, as her state’s bill is on its way to her desk. Here’s an update on where things stand on voter ID.

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June 17, 2011

Big news—Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed the voter ID bill recently passed by that state’s legislature, writing in his veto message that “it is unacceptable to impede or discourage citizens from voting who have lawfully cast ballots their entire adult lives.”

As North Carolina’s voter ID bill passed this week, Gov. Bev Perdue will soon face a similar choice. Perdue has not publicly commented on whether she will sign or veto the bill.  The Brennan Center urges Governor Perdue to veto the bill, as Gov. Nixon and the governors of Montana and Minnesota have also done when costly and unnecessary voter ID bills reached their desks.

North Carolina joins Alabama and New Hampshire — states with voter ID bills pending at the Governor’s desk. 

So far this session, voter ID and/or proof of citizenship bills have been signed into law in Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee (two independent voter ID and proof of citizenship bills), Texas, and Wisconsin.  A constitutional amendment in Missouri passed the legislature and will be on the November 2012 ballot. Active bills in Alabama (proof of citizenship), Arkansas, and Ohio have passed through their chamber of origin.

In a time when states face serious budget shortfalls and other state-level problems, legislatures this session have misguidedly and rather aggressively focused on costly voter ID measures and restrictive voting laws that will only harm voters.  We hope Governor Perdue has the common sense to veto the legislation the North Carolina Legislature has given her.