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Voter ID bill rolled out by Senate, locals react

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One more week of legislation in Raleigh and the General Assembly is going out with a bang. Lawmakers are planning to move on what's being called the one of the most-restrictive voter ID law in the country. 

Kellie Hopkins, the Director of Elections in Beaufort County is keeping a close eye on the developments out of Raleigh. On Thursday, the senate rolled out its version of House Bill 589.

The bill sets out 7 qualifying forms of photo ID, election officials will require to vote.

  1. North Carolina driver's license.
  2. Special identification card for nonoperators.
  3. United States Passport
  4. United States military identification card.
  5. Veteran's Identification card.
  6. Tribal enrollment card.
  7. Driver's license issued by another state, but only if the voter's voter registration was within 90 days of the election.

Opponents of the bill are speaking out. Friday morning in Greenville, a group of them placed pink flamingoes on the lawn of the Pitt County Courthouse.

Their message, "don't let what happened in Florida happen here." Florida cut the number of early voting locations and changed voting requirements in a similar fashion. That resulted in long lines, delayed results and people feeling it was too complicated and difficult to vote.

"Despite the warnings, the general assembly is poised to make the same mistakes Florida made in 2012," Justin Guilory said.

The left leaning group, Progress NC, also wants lawmakers to stop restricting the young vote. The current bill does not allow voting with a College ID.

"It's rigging elections to manipulate the outcome to favor a partisan advantage. That is just plain wrong." Bob Hall of Democracy NC said.

Most republicans do not agree. Keith Kidwell, President of the Beaufort County Republican Party said, "The reason they are saying no to the college ids is because you don't have to be a resident of where you are doing the ballot." 

Republicans say the purpose of the law is to prevent voter fraud.

"We have not had many cases of voter fraud in Beaufort County, but in the same breath if it's being done well, we wouldn't catch them." Hopkins said.

The Civitas group conducted a report in 2012 on voter fraud.

One of their conclusions is that college campuses are prime spots where fraud could happen, pointed out in one case.

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