Colin Powell To N. Carolina Gov.: Your Voter ID Law Punishes Minorities

Powell reads North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, calls BS on his voter fraud claims.

By Brentin Mock Aug 22, 2013

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell had choice words for North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory about the voter ID bill he recently signed, and on the governor’s own turf. At the 2013 NC CEO Forum in Raleigh, a gathering of over 400 corporate executives, Powell took the podium to deliver a keynote address, shortly after Gov. McCrory made remarks from the same stage, and attacked the voter ID law.

Powell’s comments, from John Frank at the News & Observer.

"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."

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

"What it really says to the minority voters is … ‘We really are sort-of punishing you.’" 

Frank said Powell’s comments represent "the most high-profile criticism of the Republican-crafted law that requires voters to show photo identification at the polls."

A couple of weeks ago, though, another former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, also lambasted North Carolina’s voter ID law, which she said was "like the greatest hits of voter suppression," when she spoke at the American Bar Association conference in San Francisco.