Alongside the races for state and national offices, North Carolina voters will find six proposed state constitutional amendments on the ballot in November.
One of these amendments will be familiar to N.C. residents: a requirement that voters after the 2018 election to provide photo identification at the polls.
A previous North Carolina law with a voter identification provision was struck down by a federal court in 2016. The court decided the law targeted minority voters, or would at least disproportionately affect minority voters.
Mitch Kokai, senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation, said lawmakers want to include this amendment on the ballot to prevent voter fraud.
“As anyone who votes in North Carolina knows, all you need to know to be able to get a ballot is a name and an address,” he said. “In most cases, the vast majority are the people who have that name and live at that address, but it does open the door for voter fraud.”
The Brennan Center for Justice, a nonpartisan law and policy institute at New York University School of Law, found in a 2007 study that voter fraud rates in the U.S. are between 0.0003 and 0.0025 percent.
The NAACP has filed a lawsuit to remove the voter ID amendment from the ballot, along with three other proposed amendments. The lawsuit argues that because some of the legislators who voted for the amendments were elected from districts that a federal court ruled were unconstitutionally gerrymandered, they do not have the authority to put constitutional amendments on the ballot.
Rev. T. Anthony Spearman, president of the North Carolina NAACP, said the General Assembly is trying to circumvent the 4th Circuit Court’s previous decision.
“The General Assembly, in its devious way, is coming back and is repackaging this piece to make it seem like now they want the people to chime in, when in reality the people are not as knowledgeable as they could be regarding the previous litigation,” he said.