NCGOP Chairman: Trump wants to see NC try again on Voter ID

Robin Hayes met with Trump, Priebus in Oval Office on Thursday


WASHINGTON, D.C. - The head of the North Carolina Republican Party met with President Donald Trump at the White House on Thursday to discuss an increased role of state parties and future moves pertaining to Voter ID laws, among other issues.

In an exclusive conversation with the North State Journal, Robin Hayes, chairman of the NCGOP, said he met with staff in the Eisenhower Executive Building before joining the president and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus in the Oval Office to discuss political issues. 

Hayes said the administration invited him along with nine other state party leaders from across the country in hopes of getting a pulse on the nation at the conservative grassroots level.

"He asked us: 'What are people saying in the counties, in the precincts?'" Hayes said, noting that all the recent calls he has made into county leaders in advance of the chairman race made it possible to quickly answer. "I told him: Republicans in North Carolina aren't buying into all this Russia, FBI stuff, and the things the media is turning up — they are very supportive. Stay the course."

Hayes said that when the president asked him about pressing issues in the Tarheel state, concerns about the recent Supreme Court decision on the state's Voter ID law were raised.

In July, a Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that North Carolina's Voter Identification and Verification Act, which required certain forms of government-issued photo identification cards be presented at the voting booth, was discriminatory. The election law was passed by a Republican-controlled legislature and signed by former N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory in 2014.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the appeal, citing a "blizzard of filings" that led to confusion over who had the right to represented the state. 

"The president is very much in favor of fair elections, making sure every vote counts," said Hayes, who said that Trump was keenly interested in if state leaders would try again on the issue. "He was very much aware, very much interested, and is very much a believer."

Hayes said he told the president that Voter ID would continue to be a legislative priority because, "it is in the best interest of the people of North Carolina." 

When asked if he left the meeting feeling like the president would like to see Republicans "try again" on the issue, Hayes responded with a quick, "absolutely."


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