• 36°

Subjective vs. objective

On Dec. 31, 2019, U.S. District Court Judge Loretta Biggs blocked North Carolina Senate Bill 824 (containing language pertaining to the Voter ID law approved by voters across our state as a constitutional amendment in 2018).

In her findings, Judge Biggs touted racial motivation as a likely factor in the N.C. General Assembly’s crafting of the voter ID law. She added that the N.C. NAACP, which brought a lawsuit against the implementation of the measure, was likely to prevail in several of its allegations against the law.

The use of the word “likely” would, in our opinion, suggest more of a subjective rather than an objective view by the Honorable Judge.

In early August of 2018, the North Carolina NAACP filed a petition, one asking, among other things, for a Wake County Superior Court Judge to remove Voter ID from a list of nine amendments proposed to voters statewide for the November General Election that year.

Without providing exact instances, Judge Biggs later ruled that North Carolina has a past history of recurring state-sanctioned racial discrimination and voter suppression efforts. She added that the board of elections failed to educate voters enough about the implementation of Voter ID.

Again, we take issue with a word in her statement. How much is “enough?”

At the request of the boards of election in our local four counties (Bertie, Gates, Hertford and Northampton), this newspaper published, in June of last year, a news story informing our readers of educational seminars on the Voter ID requirement. That story was published on more than one occasion in our newspaper.

The boards of election in Bertie, Hertford and Northampton counties each conducted two such seminars at different locations; Gates held one.

What we have an issue with, other than the judge’s subjective reasoning and her unelected seat on the bench, is how her lone decision outweighs the wishes of a wide majority of North Carolina voters who favored such a constitutional amendment.

While we can factually point to the great number of instances where a person must present photo identification to obtain goods/services – purchasing alcohol/tobacco products, applying for Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid, applying for a job or unemployment benefits, purchasing a gun, obtaining a marriage license….the list goes on – we can think of only one reason why someone would object to showing ID to vote…..they plan to commit voter fraud.

And we can also factually point out that Senate Bill 824 went above and beyond the types of photo identification deemed acceptable, which moots the claim of “voter suppression.”

Having the personal power to elect leaders at the local, regional, state and federal levels is both a right and a privilege. Displaying proper identification to cast a ballot is not discriminatory towards any race, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. Rather, it adds a layer of integrity that the election was carried out in a fair and honest fashion. Isn’t that what we all want?

– The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald