New Hanover County GOP, Democratic Party react to overturned voter ID ruling

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — You might have to present a photo ID to vote in the next election after a court ruling Wednesday, and now the New Hanover County Republican Party is reacting.

In 2018, North Carolinians voted in favor of a new law that would require voters to show ID at the polls.

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In December 2019 U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs struck that law down, saying it was tainted by racial bias.

On Wednesday, a federal appeals court overturned that decision.

New Hanover County Republican Party Chair Will Knecht, who supports the law, reacted to the news.

“There are so many ways for an individual to get an ID. And if you also look at it, someone has to register in order to vote, we just don’t let anybody walk in off the street without doing anything for the privilege of voting,” Knecht said. “And this is just an extension of that, presenting an ID to make sure you’re the right person, especially in this environment. The integrity of our elections is critical.”

New Hanover County Democratic Party Chair Richard Poole said in a statement:

“Republican legislators continue to pursue voter ID laws to remedy an imaginary defect in our elections: voter fraud. Despite their failure to prove such fraud, they continue to pursue these remedies with one goal in mind: to make voting more difficult for people who will not support their candidates – people of color, young people and poor people. 

The only recent example of voter fraud in our state with the capacity to change the results of an election involved absentee ballot fraud in Bladen County,by a Republican.

The voter ID proposals would do nothing to prevent the rare incidents of fraud that actually occur. Republicans have tried on many occasions to prove such fraud in court and have failed every time because it doesn’t exist.”

Assuming an injunction at the state level is lifted, North Carolina will join 35 other states that have voter ID laws.

WWAY reached out to the New Hanover County Democratic Party Wednesday afternoon for reaction and did not hear back.