County: Voters should show ID

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 19, 2011

By Karissa Minn
SALISBURY ó County commissioners are considering asking state legislators to require voter identification in Rowan County elections.
The Rowan County Board of Commissioners will discuss sending the request at 6 p.m. Monday on the second floor of the J. Newton Cohen Sr. Rowan County Administration Building.
If the board passes the proposed resolution, the county will ask its legislative delegation for a local bill. It would be patterned after a Senate bill passed by the General Assembly but vetoed by the governor.
The Senate bill would require voters to bring to the polls a North Carolina drivers license; a North Carolina voter identification card; a U.S. passport; or a valid state, employee, U.S. military or tribal identification card.
ěRequiring identification by those who are charting our communities and nationís future is not unreasonable, and giving notice now will provide many months to allow those individuals to secure the required identification,î the proposed resolution states.
The resolution adds that while some have said this would place undue hardship on certain community members, those people already must show identification to pay their bills with bank accounts or money orders.
In addition Monday, the board plans to authorize a formal challenge to Rowan Countyís 2010 Census count.
The county disagrees with the U.S. Census Bureauís housing counts. After comparing the data to the countyís own 911 records and 2010 aerial photography, planning officials have said about 1,500 homes may have been left out.
In order to make a formal challenge, the county must submit maps and lists of all addresses that may not have been counted or placed correctly.
Also at Mondayís meeting, commissioners plan to:
Hold a public hearing for the renaming of Berkhamstead Lane to Stone Castle Way.
Consider approval of construction of a $1.3 million community hangar at the Rowan County Airport. The hangar would be available for both general and corporate aviation clients.
If the cost was financed over 12 years, the annual payment would be about $110,000. According to County Manager Gary Page, the county would make about $60,000 back per year in hangar rental and taxes.
Approve resolutions for refunding and community college bonds. The refunding bonds would save the county about $960,840 on 2003 bonds issued for school construction.
Debt service payments on the $12 million community college bonds would be structured so that the countyís property tax rate would increase by 0.25 cents in fiscal year 2012, 0.5 cents in 2013 and 0.5 cents in 2014.
Approve debt write-offs for the health department totaling $41,250 from inactive client accounts.
Approve the purchase of a $127,000 roll-off truck for environmental management.
Approve rules of organization for a Home Community Care Block Grant Advisory Committee.
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.