Federal Court strikes down North Carolina’s voter ID lawAround the Nation, Online Only, Top Highlights Saturday, July 30th, 2016
The United States Appeals Court for the Fourth Circuit has struck down a North Carolina voter identification requirement in state law. In its decision, the three-judge panel invalidated a lower court’s ruling that upheld the law passed by the state legislature with “discriminatory intent.”
The New York Times reported that the court threw out North Carolina’s requirement that voters present photo identification at the polls and restored voters’ ability to register on Election Day, to register before reaching the 18-year-old voting age, and to cast early ballots, provisions the law had fully or partially eliminated.
“We cannot ignore the record evidence that, because of race, the legislature enacted one of the largest restrictions of the franchise in modern North Carolina history,” said the decision, which Republicans said they would appeal.
“In holding that the legislature did not enact the challenged provisions with discriminatory intent, the court seems to have missed the forest in carefully surveying the many trees,” the appeals court wrote. “This failure of perspective led the court to ignore critical facts bearing on legislative intent, including the inextricable link between race and politics in North Carolina.”
“The federal appeals court ruling is a huge win for democracy and voting rights. All across America, state lawmakers are passing voter ID laws with the intent of disenfranchising Black, Latino, transgender, and low-income voters. Instead of denying people’s access to the ballot box, lawmakers should be pushing to reinstate critical protections previously available under the 1965 Voting Rights Act and work to ensure that everyone regardless of who they are, where they live, or their social economic status is able to exercise their right to vote,” said Russell Roybal, Deputy Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund.
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