RALEIGH, WAKE COUNTY - President George W. Bush's former secretary of state Colin Powell thinks North Carolina's new voting law hurts the Republican Party and punishes minority voters.
Powell spoke Thursday at a CEO forum at a Raleigh country club attended by Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican who signed the GOP-backed law last week.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that Powell's comments represent some of the highest-profile criticism of the law that requires certain government-issued photo IDs to vote, shortens early voting days and makes it harder for students to cast ballots.
Powell said the law hurts the Republican Party by turning people away. The former top Pentagon general also rejected some GOP arguments that IDs are needed because voter fraud likely exists but is hard to detect.