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Morning Memo: GOP in power, today's big vote and a new political show

BIG VOTE TODAY: North Carolina children as young as 5 may soon be able to receive their public school education online from for-profit companies. The State Board of Education plans to vote Thursday on a special application for virtual schools that want to run public charters and receive taxpayer money. Full story here.

INAUGURATION FESTIVITIES GET UNDERWAY: Thursday marks the beginning of the traditional inauguration festivities. Council of State officials will get feted at a reception at 6 p.m. at the Progress Energy Center. The event is hosted by the Junior League of Raleigh and five companies with business before the state will sponsor: Charlotte Pipe and Foundry, Cisco Systems, Duke Energy, Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians and the Hendrick Companies. It's just one of the few opportunities special interests will get to lobby the state's top officials this week.

***This is the Dome Morning Memo, a digest of the state's big political news with analysis the reads between the lines. Thanks for reading. Click below for more.***

Morning Memo: New analysis shows voter ID may impact nearly 1 in 10 voters

VOTER ID BILL COULD AFFECT 613,000 N.C. VOTERS. A Dome Morning Memo exclusive: A new report from the State Board of Elections found as many as 613,000 voters, or 9.25 percent of the North Carolina's voters, may not have a state issued driver's licensed or identification card -- raising the stakes ahead of Republican efforts to push for voter ID legislation in the upcoming session.

The new analysis, which compared Division of Motor Vehicles records to state voter lists, discovered that 53 percent of the voters in question are Democrats and a quarter are over age 65. A disproportionate share -- about 30 percent -- are black.

***Thanks for reading the Dome Morning Memo. This is a daily tipsheet for N.C. politics that breaks news, offers analysis that drives the agenda and digests the latest political news. It's a new product so send send tips, ideas, thoughts or even a better name to dome@newsobserver.com. And thanks for reading. Click link below for more.***

House GOP backs down, allows election money in the budget

UPDATED: House Republicans reversed course Thursday, allowing a Democratic-sponsored amendment it blocked a day that takes money from a gubernatorial inauguration fund to get a federal grant designed to ensure the integrity of the 2012 election.

The amendment to a bill tweaking the recentally approved state budget won by a large bipartisan margin -- 90 to 21. It's unclear why the GOP blocked Democratic Rep. Deborah Ross' attempt Wednesday but allowed Rep. Mickey Michaux's amendment Thursday. 

A day prior, House Speaker Thom Tillis even went so far as to defend the House's use of the obsure rule to keep the amendment from being considered. The rules are there for a reason," Tillis said, noting the chamber already had a lengthy debate on the Help America Vote Act -- or HAVA -- money.

The Senate later voted not to agree with the change, meaning more negotiations are likely.

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