The Department of Justice has finally dropped the hammer of NC Republicans and their odious voter suppression law with a lawsuit announced on Monday by AG Eric Holder.
A North Carolina judge will decide whether portions of the state’s voter ID law, described as “discriminatory” by critics, should be implemented or delayed, following suits filed by the federal government and others.
The law requires voters to show photo ID at the polls, eliminates same-day registration and pre-registration for students as young as 16, and cuts the early-voting period from 17 to 10 days. Lawyers from the U.S. Department of Justice, NAACP, and League of Women Voters will argue for a preliminary injunction against portions of the law in a U.S. District Court in Winston-Salem on Monday. A trial will be held in the case in 2015,according to the Associated Press.
“The state legislature took extremely aggressive steps to curtail the voting rights of African-Americans,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said at a press conference announcing the lawsuit Monday. “This is an intentional step to break a system that was working and it defies common sense.”
The law, 49 pages long, includes a number of other changes to the state’s elections and campaigns, including increasing the amount of money donors can give to candidates by $5,000, eliminating a one-box straight-ticketing voting option on ballots, and repealing the requirement that candidates appear in their own campaign ads and say they “approve this message.”
This isn't a voter ID law, this is a "help Republicans and their donors" law, and the NC GOP knows it. It's why the Moral Monday movement in NC has been protesting for over a year now, and are moving now to register as many voters as they can for November.
In 2011, Republicans, with the help of free-spending non-profit advocacy groups, seized both chambers of the legislature, also called the General Assembly, from the Democrats. Republican Pat McCrory won the governor’s mansion two years later, giving his party its first lock on North Carolina’s government since 1870. That set the stage for last year’s overhaul of the state’s election laws: In a single bill, lawmakers eliminated same-day registration, youth preregistration and out-of-precinct voting, and reduced the number of days of early voting. They required voters to show government-issued photo identification starting in 2016; student ID cards from state universities won’t be honored. Republicans say the law was aimed at creating consistency and eliminating fraud. State statistics show almost no documented cases of impersonation fraud at the polls.
Now, the Moral Monday movement, the NAACP and the League of Women Voters have the DoJ backing them up. Hopefully, my home state of North Carolina will find a way through this mess and vote out the GOP.