North Carolina: Challengers of new voting regulations want 2014 trial; state officials push for delay | News Observer

Parties who are a gulf apart over what laws should be in place to ensure fair and open elections are just as widely divided about how quickly a lawsuit challenging new voter laws should be heard in federal court. On Thursday, attorneys for the NAACP, League of Women Voters, the ACLU of North Carolina and other voter rights advocates will gather in a federal courtroom in Winston-Salem to talk about one early point of contention – whether the trial will happen before or after the 2014 elections. Attorneys representing Gov. Pat McCrory, the N.C. Board of Elections and other state officials have laid out a proposed schedule in a report to the federal court, suggesting that a two- to three-week trial could be held no sooner than the summer of 2015.

Minnesota: Ritchie proposes new election rules on ID, proof of address | Politics in Minnesota

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is proposing a number of rule changes to state elections law which he hopes to see implemented in time for the 2014 primary elections. The changes would give greater options for proof of identification and residency in Minnesota, and seem aimed at making it easier for transient citizens and college students to vote. Rather than push the measures as part of a legislative agenda, Ritchie is seeking to enact them as administrative changes. According to the press release, both of his predecessors in that office, Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake,and longtime DFL Secretary of State Joan Growe also invoked their power to change election rules. Under one proposed rule, voters would be allowed to register using a learner’s permit in place of a driver’s license, and could also present an identification card issued by any other state as a valid form of identification.

Connecticut: Same-day registration largely unreported | Connecticut Post

More than half of the 165 cities and towns in Connecticut that held local elections on Nov. 5 failed to report how many people took advantage of same-day voter registration, making it difficult for the state to gauge the success of the program on its debut. A Hearst Connecticut Newspapers analysis found that 88 municipalities failed to report the number of walk-ups, which, Av Harris, a spokesman for Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, said, is compulsory. “It is the law. They’re supposed to comply with it,” Harris said. Harris acknowledged there is frustration on the part of state election officials, who he said have the power to fine municipalities $50 for non-compliance. “Nobody wants to be cited for incomplete reporting of election returns,” Harris said.

North Carolina: Pat McCrory: We Didn’t ‘Shorten Early Voting,’ We ‘Compacted The Calendar’ | Huffington Post

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.”

Ohio: GOP looks to turn clock back on voting | MSNBC

Back in 2004, some Ohioans waited in line for 10 hours to vote as President George W. Bush carried the state, and with it, the election. After reforms were put in place, voting went much more smoothly in 2008 and ’12, when Ohio twice went for Barack Obama. So naturally, Republicans are now looking to turn the clock back a decade. Tuesday, the state legislature will hold hearings on four new GOP-backed measures that, taken as a whole, could make voting much harder in the Buckeye State, especially for racial minorities, students, and the poor:
• One bill would reduce the number of voting machines that counties must have on hand, almost inevitably leading to longer wait times at the polls.
• A second would attack the state’s successful absentee ballot program. Last year, Secretary of State Jon Husted mailed absentee ballots to every registered voter, and nearly 1.3 million Ohioans cast one. But the new bill would dramatically limit the period when absentee ballots can be sent, and bar counties from sending them, instead allowing only the secretary of state, with approval from lawmakers, to do so.
• A third measure would cut early voting by six days and end same-day registration, when voters can register and vote on the same day. Voting rights advocates say they expect additional drastic cuts to the early voting period.
• And a fourth would reduce from 10 to three the number of days given to voters casting a provisional ballot to return with the information needed to make their vote count.

Wisconsin: The Voting Rights Case African Americans Must Watch | Judith Browne Dianis/Huffington Post

From courtrooms to the streets, civil rights advocates and grassroots organizations nationwide are doubling down to protect voters. Over the past few years, we witnessed an aggressive assault on voting rights, with a wave of policies making it harder to vote either passed or proposed in a majority of states. These measures included laws requiring current state-issued photo ID to vote, cuts to early voting and same-day registration and “show me your papers” proof-of-citizenship practices. The unprecedented attacks on democracy disproportionately affect voters of color. They are widespread, targeted and coordinated. This week, Wisconsin is on trial for limiting the voices of voters. Advancement Project is challenging Wisconsin’s law requiring voters to present limited forms of government-issued photo ID in order to vote. We plan to show that Wisconsin’s law discriminates against voters on the basis of race. This is the nation’s first Voting Rights Act trial challenging a photo ID law since the Supreme Court’s June 2013 Shelby County v. Holder decision, which blocked the federal government from stopping discriminatory laws and practices by several states and counties, mostly in the South, before they are implemented.

Connecticut: Election Day Registration Enables Nearly 2 000 To Vote | Public News Service

This month’s municipal elections in Connecticut marked the first time voters there could register on election day, and local advocates and election officials say the process worked well. Secretary of State Denise Merrill was expecting it would mostly be younger residents showing up for same-day registration, but she said the new option attracted voters of all ages. “This is the first election it’s in effect and it did very well; we had no problems, and we think about between 1500 and 2000 people took advantage of it.” Merrill said election-day registration was particularly popular in New Haven, and most importantly, she said, it gave many people a chance to vote who otherwise would have been left out.

Editorials: Digital election reforms will encourage participation in our democratic process | The Buffalo News

Another Election Day has come and gone, giving us a chance to consider an unresolved issue. That is, how to improve the American voting system. We are still operating under some obsolete rules and procedures. Those need to change if we ever hope to reverse the woeful turnouts of recent elections and ensure that all eligible citizens are able to register and vote without undue barriers. The proposed Voter Empowerment Act of 2013 has a component called Voter Registration Modernization that is intended to bring the American voting system into the 21st century. It is based on proposals from the Brennan Center for Justice, a legal advocacy group in New York. It requires the government to take responsibility for making sure that every eligible voter can become registered and remain that way. Modernizing voter registration, securely, might involve electronic, online and same-day registration. The bill has other aspects that would need more discussion, but the part dealing with technology seems clear-cut.

Colorado: So far, so good for mail balloting in Colorado | The Denver Post

Back in April when a new election law was making its way through the legislature, we expressed doubts about whether there’d be time by Election Day to prepare the underlying technology. So we’ve got to hand it to all involved in last week’s election: It went as smoothly as anyone could have hoped, even with the bells and whistles of same-day registration, universal mail ballots and ballots sent to inactive voters. Next year’s midterm election, which features contests for U.S. Senate and governor, will of course attract more voters and pose a bigger challenge. But nothing in this year’s experience suggests the system won’t be ready. It is now remarkably easy to vote in Colorado — even easier than in 2012, when it was already a breeze. And that’s a good thing, even if the mechanism — paper ballots and stamps — seems remarkably retro in this golden age of electronic communication.

Wisconsin: Rutgers voter fraud expert testifies at Wisconsin voter ID trial | Journal Sentinel

A professor who studied voter fraud in Wisconsin and around the country testified Thursday that it is “exceedingly rare,” and that requiring voters to show a photo ID might have prevented just one of the few dozen cases prosecuted in the state over the last decade. Lorraine Minnite, author of “The Myth of Voter Fraud,”  was presented as an expert witness by plaintiffs in a the federal trial challenging Wisconsin’s voter ID law. She has written numerous scholarly articles on the topic, and testified before Congress and as an expert in other trials. Minnite, a political scientist at Rutgers University, said she’s been studying the incidence of fraud in contemporary American elections since 2001. She said she noticed that every time reforms were introduced that would make voting easier, claims that the changes would increase fraud also arose. She studied Wisconsin early because it was one of six states with same-day registration and might have more cases of fraud. But she said she did not find voter fraud — which she defined as “the intentional corruption of the election process by voters” — any more prevalent in those states.

North Carolina: Lawsuits over North Carolina voting law head to court | News-Record

As the fall campaigns wind down, a battle is just beginning to brew over the state’s voting rules. A pair of suits filed locally in the wake of the General Assembly’s passage of the Voter Information Verification Act are now making their way through federal court. One lawsuit filed by a group of individual and political advocacy groups in August has a hearing scheduled for Dec. 12 in U.S. District Court. The other suit was filed by the U.S. Department of Justice in September. Defense attorneys have until Dec. 2 to file an official response to the latter suit. No hearings have been scheduled. The law, which Gov. Pat McCrory signed in August, will require voters to produce a photo ID to vote in 2016. Beginning next year, it will also shorten early voting from 17 days to 10 days and eliminate same-day registration during early voting. It also does away with counting provisional ballots cast by those who vote in the wrong precinct. A provision of the law that prohibits 16- and 17-year-olds from pre-registering to vote began this year.

North Carolina: Lawyers reject arguments in election lawsuits | The Asheville Citizen-Times

Attorneys for the state of North Carolina and Gov. Pat McCrory on Monday requested that a pair of federal lawsuits challenging substantial changes to portions of a law overhauling elections in the state be dismissed. Offering their initial formal responses to litigation filed in August on the same McCrory signed the bill into law, the lawyers denied all of the racial discrimination allegations made by civil rights and election advocacy groups and voters about the legislation. The lawsuits seek to throw out new rules requiring photo identification to vote starting in 2016, reducing the number of early-voting days by a week and eliminating same-day registration during the early-voting period, among other steps. The lawsuits argue the changes are dramatic and would make it disproportionately harder for black citizens to vote, turning back the clock on voting rights.

Editorials: Voting fight: Is it race or is it politics? | Charlotte Observer

North Carolina’s new restrictions on voting may favor the Republican Party, but Democrats must prove more than that to beat them in court. GOP legislators who passed the rules last summer say they are designed to streamline and modernize the state’s voting while also blocking election fraud, a problem they describe as rampant and undetected. Opponents – including U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder – say the claims of fraud are a ruse and that the laws are part of a national campaign by conservatives to suppress voting by minorities, the poor and the young. Those groups are part of an emerging Democratic coalition that swung North Carolina to President Barack Obama in 2008 and came close again four years later. Who wins in court may hinge on whether judges believe Republicans were motivated by politics or race. In other words, have black voters been discriminated against? Or were they legal targets of hard-ball GOP politics? For now, what Republicans describe as reforms, critics call “the Monster Law.”

Editorials: Eric Holder’s Big Voting-Rights Gamble | Abby Rapoport/The American Prospect

Just about everyone who goes through a musical-theater phase at some point falls in love with Sky Masterson of Guys and Dolls. In the movie version, Marlon Brando plays the gambler who will wager “sky high” stakes and finds himself singing “Luck Be a Lady” while rolling the dice to see if he gets the girl. Going all in may be what you’d expect in a fictional singing crapshooter, but it’s a bit more surprising in a U.S. attorney general. Eric Holder’s announcement Monday that the Justice Department was going to bring a lawsuit against North Carolina’s new and wide-sweeping election law, which includes a laundry list of voter restrictions and changes making it harder to vote, showcases just how high he’s willing to make the stakes when it comes to voting rights. His department is now going to be litigating two high-profile cases—one against a voter-ID law in Texas, and the other against the omnibus bill in North Carolina. The DOJ is also involved in a case to show that Texas’s redistricting maps intentionally discriminated. Some legal advocates say he’s taking the only logical course of action. Others say he’s going double or nothing.

North Carolina: Voter law intentionally discriminates, Holder says | The State

The U.S. Justice Department’s lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s controversial voter ID law is the Obama administration’s latest forceful response to a Supreme Court decision that critics say gutted the 1965 Voting Rights Act. By claiming North Carolina legislators “intentionally” discriminated against minorities, the administration has taken up another fight with a Southern state over its voting laws. “We cannot, we must not, and we will not simply stand by as the voices of those disproportionately affected by some of the proposals we’ve seen – including the North Carolina minority communities impacted by the provisions we challenge today – are shut out of the process of self-governance,” Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday.

Editorials: The Dishonesty of Voter ID Laws | New York Times

The Justice Department on Monday sued North Carolina over the state’s restrictive new voting law, which requires photo identification for in-person voting and cuts back on early voting and same-day registration — all of which will disproportionately affect black voters. The suit, which follows similar litigation against Texas, is the latest effort by the department to go after voting discrimination in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling in June striking down part of the Voting Rights Act. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. called the North Carolina law “an intentional attempt to break a system that was working,” and he said that it was clearly intended to discriminate on the basis of race. But North Carolina and Texas represent only one front in the continuing battle to protect voting rights. Twenty years after Congress passed the “motor voter” law to make it easier for Americans to register to vote, numerous states keep trying to make it harder, relying on vague and dubious claims of voter fraud to push through misguided and harmful legislation.

North Carolina: Justice Department Is Challenging North Carolina’s Extreme Voter Suppression Law | The Nation

The Justice Department filed suit against key provisions of North Carolina’s worst-in-the-nation voter suppression law in federal court today. The lawsuit alleges that North Carolina’s harsh voter ID law, cutbacks to early voting, elimination of same-day registration during the early voting period and ban on counting provisional ballots cast in the wrong precinct violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The Department also argues that these voting changes were enacted with intentional discrimination and thus North Carolina should have to approve all of its voting changes with the federal government for a period of time. “By restricting access and ease of voter participation, this new law would shrink, rather than expand, access to the franchise,” Attorney General Eric Holder said at a press conference today. Days after the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, “the state legislature took aggressive steps to curtail the voting rights of African-Americans,” said Holder. “This is an intentional attempt to break a system that was working.”

Editorials: Equal voting rights still a dream in North Carolina? | Al Jazeera America

For Noah Read, Mondays have become a day set aside for civil disobedience. For months, the 42-year-old from Burlington, N.C., has rearranged his work schedule as a restoration contractor so he can participate in weekly protests. The Moral Monday rallies, launched by the North Carolina NAACP outside the state’s general assembly in late April, continue to attract thousands to Raleigh to voice opposition to a spate of Republican-led legislation that critics pan as socially regressive. The issues range from an education budget devoid of teacher raises to the state’s decision to end federal unemployment benefits. “There’s one issue that affects all of the constituents that are gathering at Moral Mondays, and that is voting rights and voting access,” Read said. Now, 50 years after Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech at the March on Washington, the state that was the site of the Greensboro sit-ins protesting segregation in 1960 is again a flash point in the debate over voting rights — proving for many that the struggle for racial equality is not over.

North Carolina: Voter bill could mean longer lines | Daily Journal

North Carolina’s new voter law is drawing national attention, but what are the local implications? North Carolina’s governor on Monday quietly signed a measure into law that overhauls the state’s election laws to require government-issued photo IDs at the polls and to shorten early voting, moves that drew stinging criticism and threats of legal action from the NAACP and other groups. According to the bill, voters will see the elimination of the straight-party voting option and same-day registration. Absentee ballots will gain some flexibility, but some say this could increase the chances of fraud. Lee Quick, chairman of the Richmond County Democratic Party, is not fond of the new law and said it will lengthen voting day poll lines and inconvenience voters who don’t have an ID.

Colorado: Election day voter registration attacked by GOP, defended by Democrats in Colorado | The Gazette

A politically polarizing new election law will get its first test run during the Sept. 10 recall elections in Pueblo and Colorado Springs. Same-day voter registration became mandatory with an elections overhaul bill that was signed into law in May. Democrats say allowing voters to register on election day provides greater access to the polls; Republicans say it will lead to rampant election fraud. It’s a debate being played out across the nation this year as states weigh the issue. The new law – HB1303 – will get its first test run during elections that are historic for being the first recall elections of state-level officials in Colorado. Voters will decide in two weeks whether to keep Sen. John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, and Sen. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo, in office.

Editorials: North Carolina House Bill 589; or, Politics in the New Third World | Mark Axelrod/Huffington Post

I find it increasingly difficult to believe that certain states in the alleged “United States” would mindfully attempt to undermine the right to vote especially in relation to many of those “third world” countries that the U.S. often dismisses as being, well, third world. Case in point is the travesty that is North Carolina House Bill 589 which, among other things, requires voters to show photo identification — a driver’s license, passport, veteran’s ID, tribal card — (though, with all sympathies to Michael Jordan, student IDs are not an acceptable form of identification); “reduces early voting by a week, eliminates same-day registration, ends pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds and a student civics program, kills an annual state-sponsored voter registration drive and lessens the amount of public reporting required for so-called dark money groups, also known as 501(c)(4)s.” This is all set up for the 2016 elections presumably as a way to reduce the monster that is voter fraud even though Governor McCrory has gone on record stating the bill was necessary even if there are very few reported cases of voter fraud. “Even if the instances of misidentified people casting votes are low, that shouldn’t prevent us from putting this non-burdensome safeguard in place.” He then went on to opine, “Just because you haven’t been robbed doesn’t mean you shouldn’t lock your doors at night or when you’re away from home.”

North Carolina: New law cancels ballots cast in wrong precinct | Associated Press

For a decade, registered North Carolina voters who didn’t go to their home precincts on Election Day – by error or on purpose – could still ensure their top choices would count. They’d fill out a conditional ballot from the incorrect precinct. If officials confirmed soon after that they were legally able to vote in the county, their votes for elections not specific to their home precinct would be tabulated. But Republicans at the legislature say people should be responsible to know where they’re supposed to vote, rather than force election workers to crosscheck their ballots and figure out their lawful choices. So they inserted in their elections overhaul bill passed last month a new law barring those out-of-precinct ballots- usually thousands combined annually in primary and general elections – from being counted at all. “If you do cast you ballot, you should know which precinct you belong in,” said Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, who shepherded the election law through the Senate, calling the change a “small part of the overall streamlining of the election process.”

National: Southern Discomfort: Republican voter ID initiatives are making it hard to rebrand the GOP as open to black voters | Slate Magazine

On Monday, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed an omnibus voting standards bill into law. In a video message, he talked only about the voter ID portion of the law and assured citizens that only “the extreme left” opposed the law, for its usual crazy, extreme reasons. He neglected to mention that he’d just cut back on same-day registration and in-person early voting. Hours later the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People sued the governor, arguing that he and legislators had “evidence that African-Americans used early voting, same-day voter registration, and out-of precinct voting at higher rates than white voters.” On Wednesday, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul spoke at the Louisville Forum and fielded a question about voter ID bills. “The interesting thing about voting patterns now,” offered Paul, “is in this last election African-Americans voted at a higher percentage than whites in almost every one of the states that were under the special provisions of the federal government. So really, I don’t think there is objective evidence that we’re precluding African-Americans from voting any longer.” While Paul was speaking, the Republican National Committee announced a special 50th-anniversary commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. It would take place a few blocks from the Capitol, and feature the party’s lone black member of Congress, state legislators from Oklahoma and Louisiana, the party’s black committee members, and two once-rising black Republican stars who lost their last elections.

Editorials: North Carolina law takes war on voting rights to a new low | The Washington Post

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s Shelby v. Holder decision, which gutted significant portions of the Voting Rights Act, it’s difficult to say which of the many recently passed voter-suppression bills constitutes the greatest threat to that most sacred of American freedoms: the right to vote. The contest has several leading contenders, but the winner just might be North Carolina’s especially draconian bill, signed into law on Monday. The bill includes the usual provisions that have come to characterize the quiet assault on the franchise: a shortened early-voting period, the elimination of the state’s successful same-day registration program and, of course, a strict photo identification requirement despite any evidence of voter fraud in the state.

Editorials: Hillary Clinton's voter rights crusade |

increasingly likely that Hillary Clinton will be taking another shot at the presidency in 2016. She hasn’t announced her candidacy yet and may not do so for at least two more years, but preparations appear to be underway – and pretty much everyone seems to be assuming that getting the Democratic nomination is a done deal for her. Which, of course, would mean that we might soon have our first woman president. Time will tell how this will all play out, but at least we can take comfort in the knowledge that if Mrs Clinton actually does become the 45th “POTUS”, it will not be because she or any other power players in the Democratic party spent years devising ingenious schemes to disenfranchise blocs of voters who tend to support the opposition. On Monday, in the first of a series of policy speeches, Hillary Clinton spoke about the worrying implications of the US supreme court’s recent decision to strike down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). The provision required states with a history of discrimination to get pre-clearance from the Department of Justice (DOJ) before they passed any laws that changed voting procedures. Clinton pointed out that in the past 15 years, the VRA has been used to block nearly 90 attempts to pass discriminatory voting laws. Since the provision was struck down just over a month ago, Republican law makers in several states have wasted no time ramming through highly restrictive voting laws that will make it more difficult, if not impossible, for millions of Americans to exercise their right to vote.

Editorials: The long road ahead for voting rights | NC Policy Watch

State GOP lawmakers wasted no time ramping up their efforts to drastically change voting in North Carolina after the U.S. Supreme Court, in Shelby County v. Holder, gutted the requirement that certain jurisdictions get proposed voting changes pre-approved. “Now we can go with the full bill,” Senator Tom Apodaca told WRALthat same day, referring to an omnibus voting bill that would do more than just require voter ID; it would reduce early voting, eliminate Sunday voting and ban same-day registration. Go they did, pushing House Bill 589 through both chambers and on to Gov. Pat McCrory’s desk for signature in just weeks and prompting voting rights advocates and even the Attorney General to warn that, by signing the bill into law, the governor would be casting the state into a protracted and costly battle in the courts. And those groups wasted no time, after the governor signed H589 into law on Monday, hauling McCrory and the state into court, filing three separate lawsuits challenging the law.

Editorials: McCrory offers shallow rhetoric to justify North Carolina Voter ID law | Charlotte News Observer

Even as Gov. Pat McCrory put pen to paper Monday, specifically the pen that signed the Voter ID bill into law, two lawsuits were on the way in federal court, a third was being readied for state court, and U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District was asking U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to use his authority to ensure voting rights in this state. McCrory mouthed the rationalizations of Republican ideologues in the legislature who have been giving the governor his marching orders for six months. The governor said the new law would prevent voter fraud. He didn’t bother to mention that voter fraud is about as big a threat in North Carolina as an invasion of dinosaurs (excepting the Republicans on Jones Street). And he of course didn’t linger on the other parts of the legislation clearly designed to give Republicans an advantage in future elections, blatantly political maneuvers: no more straight-ticket voting, which is favored by more Democrats than Republicans; no more same-day registration and voting, again something shown to be used more by Democrats; early voting periods will be shorter, and early voting also tends to draw more Democrats; no more pre-registration for students younger than 18, as the young tend to lean Democratic.

North Carolina: North Carolina's sweeping voter ID law faces legal challenge | Fox News

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory on Monday signed into law changes in how residents can vote that includes requiring them to show a photo ID at polling stations, a move that triggered threats of legal action from the NAACP and other groups. The American Civil Liberties Union joined two other groups in announcing that they were filing suit against key parts of the package. This came hours after McCrory said in a statement that he had signed the measure, without a ceremony. “Common practices like boarding an airplane and purchasing Sudafed require photo ID, and we should expect nothing less for the protection of our right to vote,” the Republican governor said in a statement.

North Carolina: Governor signs extensive Voter ID law | The Washington Post

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) on Monday signed into law one of the nation’s most wide-ranging Voter ID laws.
The move is likely to touch off a major court battle over voting rights, and the Justice Department is weighing a challenge to the new law. The measure requires voters to present government-issued photo identification at the polls and shortens the early voting period from 17 to 10 days. It will also end pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-old voters who will be 18 on Election Day and eliminates same-day voter registration. Democrats and minority groups have been fighting against the changes, arguing that they represent an effort to suppress the minority vote and the youth vote, along with reducing Democrats’ advantage in early voting. They point out that there is little documented evidence of voter fraud.

North Carolina: Sweeping Voter Suppression Law Is Challenged in Court | The Nation

Today, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed the nation’s worst voter suppression law. The sweeping law requires strict government-issued photo ID to cast a ballot, cuts the number of early voting days by a week, eliminates same-day voter registration during the early voting period, makes it easier for vigilante poll watchers to challenge the validity of eligible voters and expands the influence of unregulated corporate money in state elections. Two lawsuits were filed today challenging the voting restrictions as racially discriminatory in federal court under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. A third challenge, to the voter ID provision, will be filed in state court tomorrow morning. The lawsuit brought by the North Carolina NAACP and the Advancement Project alleges that the law violates Section 2 and the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments because it “imposes unjustified and discriminatory electoral burdens on large segments of the state’s population and will cause the denial, dilution, and abridgement of African-Americans’ fundamental right to vote.” It alleges that five provisions of the law disproportionately impact African-American voters—the voter ID requirement, the cuts to early voting, the elimination of same-day voter registration, the refusal to count out-of-precinct provisional ballots, and the increase in the number of poll watchers.