29/08/2013 1:48 AM AEST | Updated 29/08/2013 3:43 AM AEST

GOP Candidate Speaks Out Against 'Turd' North Carolina Voter ID Law

Republican congressional candidate Jason Thigpen is speaking out against North Carolina's new voter identification law, characterizing the measure passed by the state's GOP-controlled legislature as a "turd."

Thigpen, who will challenge Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) in next year's primary to represent North Carolina's 3rd District, said the measure signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory (R) earlier this month is "discriminatory."

"You can paint a turd and sell it as art, but it's still a turd," Thigpen said in an article posted to his Facebook page on Monday. "This is 2013 and any legislator that puts forth such a discriminatory bill should be laughed out of office. This is America, not Russia."

He continued, "You have those that honestly believe our country would be better off turning back the clock to years ago, also known as the 'good-old days,' which weren't all that good for everyone. After suppressing the right to vote, what's next? Are these so-called Representatives going to push for preventing our military, veterans, and women from voting?"

When asked by Roll Call about his remarks, Thigpen said he supports requiring voter identification at the polls, but only if steps are taken to make sure the requirement does not discriminate against any individuals.

"I do support requiring voters to provide a photo ID in order to vote, as long as there isn’t any undo burden or expense placed on the voter in order to do so," he said. "Otherwise, it’s considered a poll-tax.. I honestly believe that any legislation which may invariably reduce voter turnout is a bad thing and cannot imagine what argument, not discriminatory in some fashion, could be made to purport differently."

North Carolina's law, in addition to requiring identification at the voting booth, reduces early voting time, ends same-day voter registration, eliminates a program to pre-register minors and stops a state-sponsored voter registration drive. The law also scales back the amount of public disclosure required for "dark money" groups.

Last week, former Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke out against the North Carolina law, saying it would only hurt the Republican Party.

"I want to see policies that encourage every American to vote, not make it more difficult to vote," Powell said while addressing a Raleigh forum. "It immediately turns off a voting block the Republican Party needs... These kinds of actions do not build on the base. It just turns people away."

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