On Aug. 13, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed into law a voter ID bill that was widely denounced by civil rights advocates. Not only did it mandate government-issued photo IDs at the polls, but it reduced the state’s early voting period from 17 to 10 days. According to McCrory, however, he didn’t actually shorten the voting. “First of all, we didn’t shorten early voting, we compacted the calendar,” said McCrory in an interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd on Wednesday. “But we’re going to have the same hours in which polls are open in early voting, and we’re going to have more polls available. So it’s going to be almost identical. It’s just the schedule has changed. The critics are kind of using that line when in fact, the legislation does not shorten the hours for early voting.”
Thanks to an amendment from a Democratic state senator, the law specifies that North Carolina must continue to offer the same number of aggregate early voting hours as were available in 2012 for presidential elections and 2010 for midterm elections. But it still took away seven calendar days that were previously available to North Carolina voters to head to the polls.
The law also ended same-day registration and pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-old voters who will be 18 on Election Day.
Studies have shown that voter restrictions tend to disproportionately impact women, minorities and low-income voters — demographics that tend to swing Democratic.