Voter identification legislation in North Carolina will pick up steam again now that the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down part of the Voting Rights Act, a General Assembly leader said Tuesday. A bill requiring voters to present one of several forms of state-issued photo ID starting in 2016 cleared the House two months ago, but it has been sitting since in the Senate Rules Committee to wait for a ruling by the justices in an Alabama case, according to Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, the committee chairman. He said a bill will be rolled out in the Senate next week. The ruling essentially means that voter ID or other election legislation approved in this year’s session probably will not have to receive advance approval by U.S. Justice Department lawyers or a federal court before such measures can be carried out.
In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled a key provision of the federal law cannot be enforced unless Congress changes rules on which areas of the country still need to be monitored.
The “preclearance” requirement covered many areas of the South, including 40 North Carolina counties, mostly in the east. That has required laws approved by the General Assembly for both statewide elections and local elections in those counties, as well as redistricting maps, to receive formal approva