In May of last year the Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s ruling that struck down the North Carolina’s voter ID law as an unconstitutional effort to “target African-Americans with almost surgical precision.” As a result, the argument that a voter ID law was necessary to eliminate voting fraud was soundly defeated. There was a conclusion that if this law passed, it would cause irreparable damage black voters. The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear an appeal on this far-reaching, mean spirited and misguided attempt by the extreme members of the Republican Party had finally buried this ghost once and for all. As Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, said at the time, “An ugly chapter in voter suppression is finally closing.”
At least that’s what he and many others thought. However, here we are again, watching far-right conservatives trying to revive the ghost that has haunted millions of African Americans for more than a century – the specter of voter suppression. Now the new trick is putting a question on the November ballot asking whether a voter ID law should become part of the state Constitution.
This is just another ploy to play on the emotions of the general populace. The proposal to add such an amendment is both baffling and cunning. It energizes the passions of a few and weakens the faith of those who put their trust in the democratic process.
The assumption that voters will agree to have a voter ID requirement enshrined in the North Carolina Constitution is based on questionable premises.