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Speaking in Raleigh, Colin Powell blasts North Carolina voting law

UPDATED: Moments after Gov. Pat McCrory left the stage, former Secretary of State Colin Powell took aim at North Carolina's new voting law Thursday, saying it hurts the Republican Party, punishes minority voters and makes it more difficult for everyone to vote.

"I want to see policies that encourage every American to vote, not make it more difficult to vote," said Powell, a Republican, at the CEO Forum in Raleigh.

"It immediately turns off a voting block the Republican Party needs," Powell continued. "These kinds of actions do not build on the base. It just turns people away."

The retired general served as the keynote speaker at the event and made his remarks moments after McCrory finished his remarks. His comments represent the most high-profile criticism of the Republican-crafted law that requires voters to show photo identification at the polls, cuts early voting days and makes it harder for students to vote.

In one comment, he seemed to rebuke McCrory for suggesting that voter fraud likely exists but is hard to detect. The governor had compared it to insider trading.

"You can say what you like, but there is no voter fraud," Powell said. "How can it be widespread and undetected?"

Powell, who served under President George W. Bush, also said the new sends the wrong message to minority voters. "What it really says to the minority voters is ... 'We really are sort-of punishing you,'" he said.

McCrory delivered the event's opening remarks and preceded Powell, but didn't address the election law directly. McCrory stayed for part of Powell's speech but not long enough to hear the voter ID remarks, a governor's office spokeswoman said.

Instead, he focused on the role of community colleges in education and job training. "Education is our greatest challenge. There's a disconnect between what we're teaching and what employers need. What I'm trying to do is bring commerce and education together."

Powell also blamed the political impasse in Washington on the Internet, cable TV and extremist advocacy groups. And he defended the liberal arts as a discipline that gives people as sense of their place in the world -- another line that hits at McCrory.

--John Murawski and John Frank, staff writers


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Voter ID laws penalize Seniors and the Disabled

Voter ID laws penalize seniors and the disabled who are home-bound. Someone told me that they can make a copy of their ID and send it in with the ballot. However if you are sick and homebound then you probably don't have a current ID and it would be difficult to get one. Further you would also have to have access to a copier or printer.

As far as the rest of your comment, I agree that most able-bodied people do have ID's so I am not sure what the problem is. ID's can be expensive but at the California DMV you can get one pretty cheap by showing them proof that you are low-income so I think it is $8.00 vs $30.

How Exactly Does Voter ID Suppress Voting?

Everyone opposed to voter ID requirements says it will suppress the vote or it will discriminate against minorities but absolutely nobody says just how it will accomplish this. Is there any adult that doesn't already have picture ID? Is there someone who doesn't drive, rent, smoke, drink, fly, enter a government building, lease a vehicle, open a bank account, cash a check or a thousand other things that require ID? And if there is, is there an impediment based on skin color, ethnicity, sex or age in obtaining one?

There are really only two real reasons to oppose requiring an ID to vote: you think voter integrity is less important than making sure minors can't buy cigarettes or you champion fraud and cheating in elections.

I think I know which one applies to uber-liberal Colin Powell, a man of zero principle or integrity.

GOP Cowards

Give them time....they'll find a way to disenfranchise anyone who's not White and a member of the NRA Nazi crowd.

Ex-GOP

"Voter fraud" is the lie racists hide behind

I'm just surprised these cowardly racists haven't tried to revive that african americans count only three fifths as much as a white man.

What?

You think carpetbagger "has unquestionable racial overtones?" You really are a liberal, aren't you. I bet you're a white, older (Baby Boom), educated, rich (more than 60k/yr) woman who is out of touch with us real people. Do you have a gay "bestie," yet? It's all the rage with your set.

What does he know

It's been years since he was a real Republican.

Unintended consequence monster

Yelp all you want about the "legitimate" reasons for implementing the voter ID laws, the unintended consequences of it will be what the future remembers you for. It is quite clear this law makes it harder for minorities to vote. Staying willingly ignorant of the unintended consequences of your decision doesn't make them go away. Nor does it win new people to your cause.

No need for voter id

The truth is very little voter fraud has happened in the U.S. I won't clutter this post with a lot of links, but if you want evidence, you can check out my analysis of the motivations and perceptions around the recent NC voter id law here: http://www.theunpackagedeye.com/posts/

Rachel Bowman
www.theunpackagedeye.com

Carpetbagger, really?

The term carpetbagger has unquestionable racial overtones. This doesn't help your case in defending a law that has been decried for preventing people of color from voting.

Rachel Bowman
www.theunpackagedeye.com

Carpetbagger?

Aubrey Moore. The man has earned both the credentials and the respect to speak truth to power. Some of you show your own lack of both plus your willingness to show the world how small you are by pretending otherwise.

Thank you Sir.

the internet, cable tv and "extremist" advocacy groups?

"Powell also blamed the political impasse in Washington on the Internet, cable TV and extremist advocacy groups."

Yeah, well when you have more than one opinion then it does mess things up. Without the internet, cable tv and the "extremist" advocacy the government in Washington could do just about anything and the mainstream media would sing their praises.

Extremist advocacy groups? Who makes up the list? Or is it one of those "eye of the beholder" deals?

I'll keep listening to both sides as long as Powell lets me.

No it is not. Do not allow

No it is not.
Do not allow this carpet bagger to sway you...(recall he also said Obama would be great...(snort)) (AND he knew it was ARMATAGE who leaked Valieri Plame's name but said nothing and let the circus run on there is no honor in that)
Voter ID has worked wonderfully in Ga and actually increased participation.
If you check w/ the AG you will see a huge backlog of fraud that is being sat on. The NC Voter Integrity Project verified this.
It is pretty ridiculous that these outsiders can make such a fuss...most Yankee states(liberal) are more stringent in voter laws than NC.
I'm a Judge Next year...If that lady in Carrboro tries to vote 2x like she did last year she is going to jail...(once we get an AG that honors the rule of law)

It is obvious that NC

It is obvious that NC republican leaders are more interested in curtailing voter participation by making it more difficult to vote. Why? Voter fraud is not a problem in NC that deserves such dramatic interventions.

Colin Powell is a respected government leader. I am pleased that he spoke the truth of the voter restriction travesty in NC.

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