The U.S. Supreme Court has just refused to reinstate North Carolina’s voter identification requirement and early voting restrictions.
The Supreme Court upheld the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’s ruling that North Carolina’s new state law was racially targeting.
Lawyers for North Carolina state officials were trying to delay the 4th Circuit Court’s ruling while they drafted an appeal on legal arguments for the Supreme Court to consider, but this delay has now officially been struck down.
The Supreme Court was equally divided in their ruling by a count of 4-4 (while by default upheld the lower court’s ruling), with the four more conservative justices supporting the state’s bid to enforce them in the upcoming election.
North Carolina’s highly contested law stipulated that a drivers license, state issued ID card, passport, military or Native American card would be required for a person to vote. It basically stopped the 318,000 registered North Carolina voters — disproportionately African-Americans and Latinos — that do not have a driver’s license, state issued, military, or tribal ID card. (birth certificates, social security cards, bank statements, or other forms of ID were no longer accepted). The law also stopped early voting and same-day registration.
The appeals court cited data that these methods were used disproportionately by black voters.
In 2012, 70 percent of black voters used early voting — and cast ballots at a slightly higher percentage than whites. Although black voters made up about 20 percent of the electorate, they made up 41 percent of voters who used same-day registration.
The new 2013 ‘Voter ID’ law was created in an attempt to stop voter impersonation, however, there was never any evidence of voter impersonation that might justify the voter ID requirements established by the new law.
When the law was originally passed in 2013, a former NC Republican Chairman even stated, “If it hurts a bunch of lazy blacks that want the government to give them everything, so be it…”
What do you think about North Carolina’s voter ID law? Do you think it should be upheld?