Representative G. K. Butterfield

Representing the 1st District of North Carolina

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Butterfield Sends Letter to McCrory Urging Rejection of NC Voter ID Bill

Jul 26, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) today sent a letter to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory strongly urging that he veto House Bill 589, the so-called Voter Information Verification Act that passed the North Carolina legislature yesterday.

In his letter, Butterfield wrote, “[T]he goal of this legislation is to systematically suppress minority votes in order to affect the outcome of state elections.  While supporters of the bill purport there is rampant voter fraud when defending why the bill is necessary, nothing could be further from the truth … The real reason for ramming this partisan bill through the North Carolina Legislature without any support from Democrats is not to protect elections from nearly non-existent voter fraud, but rather for Republicans to remain in political control so more laws can be enacted to limit the freedoms North Carolinians hold dear.  Now, only you have the power to stop these sweeping changes from taking place.”

If the Governor signs the bill into law, Butterfield has vowed to ask the United States Attorney General to use all available options to challenge it because it will violate the Voting Rights Act and the United States Constitution. 

For a summary of the proposed changes to the state’s election laws, visit here.

Butterfield’s full letter follows.

 

July 26, 2013

The Honorable Pat McCrory

Governor of North Carolina

20301 Mail Service Center

Raleigh, NC 27699-0301

 

Dear Governor McCrory:

I write with urgency to request in the strongest possible terms that you reject House Bill 589, the so called Voter Information Verification Act that passed the North Carolina legislature yesterday.  If signed into law, North Carolina voters’ ability to meaningfully and equally participate in the electoral process will be severely restricted.  This discriminatory and deplorable legislation will turn back the clock on the advancements that so many have fought to obtain.

Simply put, the goal of this legislation is to systematically suppress minority votes in order to affect the outcome of state elections.  While supporters of the bill purport there is rampant voter fraud when defending why the bill is necessary, nothing could be further from the truth.  The North Carolina State Board of Elections has identified only two instances of potential voter fraud in the last 10 years.  House Speaker Thom Tillis’ comments during an interview seem to directly conflict with supporters’ stated reason for supporting the bill when he said “[t]here is some voter fraud, but that's not the primary reason for doing this."

The real reason for ramming this partisan bill through the North Carolina Legislature without any support from Democrats is not to protect elections from nearly non-existent voter fraud, but rather for Republicans to remain in political control so more laws can be enacted to limit the freedoms North Carolinians hold dear.  Now, only you have the power to stop these sweeping changes from taking place.

I again implore you to veto this egregious bill.  Your failure to do so will reverse a generation of electoral progress in North Carolina that was largely fought and won through the courts.  Should you sign this bill, I will have no choice but to demand the United States Attorney General use all available options to challenge the new law because it is a blatant violation of the Voting Rights Act and the United States Constitution. 

As elected officials, we take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.  I hope that you will do what is right and just on behalf of the nearly 10 million North Carolinians you have the duty of protecting.

Thank you very much.

 

                                                                                                Very truly yours,

                                                                                                G. K. Butterfield

                                                                                                Member of Congress

 

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