By Becky Hogan
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory jumped 115 spots in the TrendPo rankings since yesterday after signing a wide-ranging voter ID law in the state.
The North Carolina law will require voters to present government-issued photo identification at the polls and will also shorten the early voting period from 17 to 10 days. Additionally, the law eliminates pre-registration for voters who turn 18 on Election Day as well as same-day voter registration.
The ACLU and other civil rights groups have already announced that they plan to take legal action against the law.
McCrory’s social media results show how different groups may be reacting to the voter ID legislation. On Facebook, he saw very little momentum on Facebook until the law was actually passed. This could indicate that his voter base supported the new voter ID law, but were less concerned about the issue at the time the legislature was debating the measure.
This sentiment follows polling on the issue as well. While there’s significant resistance to voter ID laws on the left, polls generally show that most Americans support them by large margins. Recent North Carolina polls showed nearly 75% of voters support requiring voters to show photo ID.
It makes sense, then, that McCrory, received more buzz on Twitter at the time when the voter ID legislation was being considered in the NC legislature in mid-July—the same time that Democrats and minority groups were opposing the legislation.
While McCrory has called the law “common sense,” many Democrats and minority groups have criticized the law, arguing that it suppressed the minority and youth vote.
Republicans support the law because they say it’s necessary to combat voter fraud and will save the state money.
More than three-fifths of states currently have some kind of Voter ID law.
Voting rights and voter ID issues have been hot topics, particularly in southern states, after the Supreme Court ruled in June that 15 states can pass laws and make changes to elections without needing pre-approval from the Justice Department.
The issue garnered a lot of media attention in both national and Beltway media over the past month. What’s interesting is that there has been more media coverage around the time Texas passed its law on voter ID (July 25) than when it did in North Carolina.
This is likely due to the fact that the Department of Justice took legal action against Texas to reassert federal supervision of Texas’ voting practices. Texas is the first state the the DOJ has targeted on the voter ID issue since the Supreme Court ruling.
Will the DOJ intervene in North Carolina too? We’ll be watching to see how legal action against the law affects McCrory’s online buzz and overall voting rights trends in other states.