Speakers Voice Concerns About Voter ID Law

Speakers Voice Concerns About Voter ID Law

8:35am Jun 10, 2015
Keith Chappell of Winston-Salem addresses state elections officials during a meeting on North Carolina's new Voter ID law, which goes into effect next year.
WFDD Photo by Paul Garber

More than 100 people showed up for a meeting in Winston-Salem Tuesday on the state’s controversial Voter ID law. 

State elections officials told the crowd that they weren’t there to debate the law but to hear people’s concerns about how it will work.

They got an earful. More than 40 people spoke, with some praising the law and others blasting it. Anna Fesmire of Greensboro, a co-president of the League of Women Voters of the Piedmont Triad, opposes the law.

She says she’s concerned about language that requires a photo ID to have a reasonable resemblance to the person presenting it. She says she underwent chemotherapy two years ago, and it drastically changed her appearance.

"I really think that if I had been voting at the time, that a poll worker who didn’t know me would not conclude that I reasonably resembled my photo ID," she says.

JoAnne Allen of Winston-Salem spoke in favor of the law, but she says it will take good poll workers to ensure that it works properly.

"If you have people who don’t have a problem turning their back, saying ‘Okay, that looks good, go ahead with it’ then yes, you’re still going to have some forms of cheating, because people are just human and people have their ideas on what they want to do," she says.

The Winston-Salem meeting was one of nine planned by state elections officials to get feedback on the law, and state officials say the attendance was the highest so far.

The next meeting is scheduled for tonight at the Watauga County Administrative Building  in Boone.

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