North Carolina is emerging as ground-zero for the modern-day voting rights movement, an author of a book about the history of voting rights said in an interview Friday. “North Carolina is a case study in the voting rights fight,” said Ari Berman, author of “Give Us The Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America” and a writer for The Nation, a left-leaning magazine. Berman spoke Friday during the 72nd annual convention of the N.C. NAACP, which has the theme, “Pursuing Liberty in the Face of Injustice.” The convention started Thursday and ends Sunday. The Rev. William Barber, president of the state NAACP, said he expects 800 to 1,000 people to attend.
The N.C. NAACP, along with the U.S. Department of Justice and others, are involved in a federal lawsuit against the state and Gov. Pat McCrory over the 2013 Voter Information Verification Act. The law requires voters to have a photo ID in 2016, eliminates same-day voter registration, reduces the days of early voting from 17 to 10 and prohibits county elections officials from counting ballots cast by people who are in the right county but wrong precinct.
The law also abolishes pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds. The lawsuit alleges the law violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the state and U.S. Constitution and that it makes it more difficult for blacks, Hispanics, poor people and young people to vote.