Sen. Joel Ford hopes for a more collaborative future between black Democrats and white Republicans…
(Lionel Parrott, Liberty Headlines) North Carolina State Senator Joel Ford is a black Democrat – but is proud to help implement photo voter identification in the state.
In a commentary published by the Charlotte Observer and touted in a press release from the state’s Republican Senate president, Ford says he sponsored a recent bill enforcing voter ID because it was what the people wanted.
North Carolina voters added photo ID to the state’s constitution last month.
Calling himself “my own man with my own thoughts and my own opinions,” Senator Ford admitted that he didn’t support the legislature’s first attempt at voter ID, which they passed back in 2013 before a federal court struck it down.
He says their first attempt would have made it more difficult for minorities to vote.
At the same time, he said the idea that Republicans who sponsored voter ID did so with racist intent was an “unfortunate narrative.”
Additionally, he wrote the notion that voter ID suppressed voters was a “false conclusion.”
While saying that any voter ID law deserved scrutiny, Ford added “scrutiny … is different from pre-ordained conclusions from partisans with interests other than good policy. That game does not interest me and I will not play it.”
Ford said black people often talk about wanting a “seat at the table” and that he did just that by participating with Republicans in the legislative process and helping to improve the implementing legislation.
“[T]o their credit, the Republican-led Senate accepted a large number of ideas and amendments offered by the Democrats,” he wrote.
Ford called his “line in the sand” a provision allowing voters to obtain free ID during the early voting period, a change to which Republicans agreed.
“When I decided to support this bill, my late grandmother came to mind,” Ford wrote. “I asked myself whether she would have been able to vote under this legislation; she would.”
He added that he hoped for a more collaborative future between black Democrats and white Republicans.
Sadly, the possibilities for that seem remote. Considered by liberal voters to be too friendly to Republicans, Ford was defeated in the Democratic primary in May by Mujtaba Mohammed, an advocate of social justice politics.
Mohammed, who recently tweeted that “voter ID is voter suppression,” will replace Ford next month.