North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed a far-reaching election reform bill into law Monday.
The new law will require voters to present a valid photo ID at the polls, shorten early voting to 10 days, and eliminate pre-registration for 16 and 17 year olds. It also does away with straight ticket voting and same-day registration.
“Common practices like boarding an airplane and purchasing Sudafed require photo ID and we should expect nothing less for the protection of our right to vote,” McCrory said in a statement, arguing that requiring a photo-ID is “a common sense idea.”
WRAL noted that there was no signing ceremony for the legislation.
The photo ID requirement will take effect in 2016, and while left leaning groups and politicians have argued against such laws, polls have shown that North Carolinians favor them by relatively large margins.
In July, Attorney General Roy Cooper – by letter and petition – urged McCrory to veto the legislation, calling it “regressive” and arguing that it would end in a legal battle, specifically from the Department of Justice.
“With a veto, you can encourage more people to be involved in the political process, stop this bad public policy, and prevent the confusion and cost of a legal battle,” Cooper wrote in a letter to McCrory.
In an op-ed published at Raleigh’s News & Observer Monday, McCrory argued that the reforms he signed into law “will protect the integrity of one of the most precious rights guaranteed in our state constitution, the right to vote.”
“These and other reforms will strengthen the integrity of North Carolina’s election process,” he continued. “Protecting the sanctity of every vote cast is among the most important duties I have as governor and is why I signed these protections into law.”