Gov. Pat McCrory wants the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate North Carolina’s voter ID law for the November election. The law, which requires voters to bring a photo ID to the polls, was thrown out by a federal appeals court ruling. Late Monday, McCrory announced that he has sent a formal request to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to stay the ruling while state leaders appeal the decision. “Allowing the 4th Circuit’s ruling to stand creates confusion among voters and poll workers and it disregards our successful rollout of Voter ID in the 2016 primary elections,” the Republican governor said in a news release. “The 4th Circuit’s ruling is just plain wrong and we cannot allow it to stand. We are confident that the Supreme Court will uphold our state’s law and reverse the 4th Circuit.” The McCrory administration hasn’t yet petitioned the Supreme Court to hear an appeal of the ruling, but it said it will submit one soon. A three-judge panel of the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last month that the 2013 voter ID law was passed with “discriminatory intent” and would “target African Americans with almost surgical precision.”
The judges rejected lawmakers’ claims that the law was designed to combat voter fraud. The ruling prohibits North Carolina from requiring photo ID from voters in future elections, including November’s general election. It restores an extra week of early voting, reinstates preregistration for 16- and 17-year-olds and ensures that same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting will remain in effect.
McCrory’s request doesn’t ask for the entire law to be restored for this year’s election, even though his attorneys say they’ll defend all its provisions if the Supreme Court hears an appeal.
Instead, the filing asks Roberts to bring back the photo ID requirement and stop the Court of Appeals’ mandate that counties offer 17 days of early voting instead of the 10-day period that counties had originally planned for. The request also seeks to prevent 16-year-olds from pre-registering to vote. If Roberts grants the request, same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting would still be available for this year’s election as mandated by the Court of Appeals ruling.