Gov. Pat McCrory and other state officials filed their first official response Monday to two of the three federal court lawsuits that challenge the extensive election-law changes adopted this past summer. In response to allegations by the NAACP, the League of Women Voters, several voters and other civil rights organizations, attorneys for the governor and state officials dispute plaintiffs’ contentions that the new measures are a blatant attempt to suppress the African-American vote. The filings offer few details of the legal strategy the attorneys representing the governor and the Republican-led legislature plan to employ in fighting the suits. They ask for the cases to be dismissed. Also on Monday, McCrory defended North Carolina’s law at an event in Washington held by the conservative-leaning Heritage Foundation.
“I think our voting ID laws – yes, by the national media and even by some of the local media in North Carolina – have been greatly exaggerated, and it’s commonsense reform that protects the integrity of our ballot box,” McCrory said at the foundation’s “A Conversation With a Reformer: How the States Are Leading the Way.”
In response to the state’s filing, Penda Hair, co-director of the Advancement Project, an organization behind the NAACP suit, said, “It is telling that, in all 20 pages of North Carolina’s answer to our lawsuit challenging this onerous voter-suppression law, the state not only failed to present anything new, but they also offered no justification for the measure.