So the Republicans are back in control of the North Carolina General Assembly and immediately they began to speak in code. The most egregious local example was an interview in the Jan.19 Mountain Xpress, "Front Row Seats: A New Start for N.C.'s Grand Old Party.”
Former Buncombe Republican chair Bill Keller's first advice to the state GOP, after its 113 years in the legislative wilderness, is to institute photo identification of North Carolina voters (apparently to ensure against the "dead people" vote).
I would be the last person, dead or alive, to suggest that some deceased voters don't actually make it to the polls. Of course we have some voter fraud, but a bit of research shows that most "dead voters" are folks whose names have remained on the register after their passing. Rarely do they vote. One current study done in Connecticut found that, statewide, of the 9,000 names of deceased folks that remained on the poll lists, only 300 actually voted. Hardly enough to change the will of the people. For that you would need to look at a December 2000 ruling by the Rehnquist court.
As Mr. Keller, the good Republican that he is, surely knows, the idea of photo I.D. at the polls is a staple Republican scheme that would make it difficult for living minorities to vote — people of color, poor people, those without driver's licenses and the elderly, for example. It might eliminate some of the dead voters, but I guarantee it would eliminate a lot more of what Mr. Keller calls the living, "Big D" voters.
Surely, after being out of power for over a century, there must be more pressing issues that the GOP could attack. Perhaps the $4.3 billion state structural shortfall predicted over the next 26 months by the Civitas Institute. Well actually no, Keller goes on to suggest that the local GOP could best serve the cause by ensuring "fair, accurate, reliable, safe elections." To achieve this, he says that the GOP must find enough Republican workers for the polls and properly train them. Presumably to identify and deter those "dead people" from voting.
— Rick Vogel